The Shifting Sands of Grief

I don’t blog as often as I used to anymore. It’s not because I don’t want to, more that I have felt a sort of blog writer’s block. Often when I am running, cycling or walking I will think of things I would like to write but then, when I am sitting down, I don’t know how to start.

The last few months I have learnt much more about the twists and turns of grief. How, just when you think you are feeling a bit more stable, grief can pull the rug away violently and leave you back down on the floor.

I’m not suggesting that I feel anywhere near as bad as I did when Bob first died. That rawness has certainly faded. Although I know that I am lucky in this, for some grief remains raw for years. It is now a dull ache which is felt everyday and some days pushes itself harder into my mind. One thing which is hard to deal with is that I miss Bob now more than ever. In the months leading up to Bob’s death the man I knew slowly slipped away from me. It has taken a long time for me to remember him as he was before. A combination of my being happy in a new relationship and an email from an old flame of Bob’s has really bought back to me the vivacious, fun and adventurous person Bob really was. We had said that we would always be close friends and I miss my friend terribly now. I want to tell him about my new adventures and want to hear of his – he always had a new mountain to climb, country to visit or sport to try.

Being in a new relationship has also brought some damage to the fore. In the past I have always wanted commitment and stability and, in theory, I still do now. But when confronted with the chance for this I now find myself panicking and being unsure if I can cope with ‘long term’. It is a fear which is easy to analyse, easy to explain away, but not so easy to get around. I also found that moving house seemed to unsettle my mind. I became tearful for, seemingly, no reason. I guess that many objects have tiny threads of memories attached to them; touching and moving them stirs the threads and takes me deep into thought.

Another issue which has caused many wrangles in my mind has been one which I have been unsure whether to write about. The one thing which has eased my grief has been the kindness of others. I have mentioned it many times; my family, friends and strangers have provided such immense support. When someone close to you takes their own life you are thrust into a whole new world. And I feel that a big part of that world is understanding other people. I have never known much about mental health, other than what we all read and see in the press. But the last year and a half has been a voyage of discovery. I have heard from many people on Twitter and through other channels who suffer from mental health problems and the most important thing I have learned is how complex and subtle mental health issues can be. I hope that I, at least, have a far greater understanding of tolerance and care towards everyone I come across.

So it has been difficult to come to terms with someone who has decided to play on my grief. Someone I have never met nor spoken to but who has decided to take my pain and twist it for their own means. The wrangle has been whether to bother to give them the air time and attention they desire. But their actions have caused me great thought on how we should all treat others.

This person knows neither me nor knew Bob and therefore knows nothing of our lives but chooses to spend time sifting through my Twitter, Instagram, blog and Facebook to peel information and photographs and use them for their own ends. They accuse me of killing Bob and tell me I should feel guilt. Anyone who has read my blog will know that I do feel guilt but not in the way this person wants me to feel. Death threats towards me were frightening but the ones towards our family dog were simply repulsive (these made me far more upset than the threats to myself).

I soon learnt not to look at this person’s social media and therefore not give them the audience they crave. But there is no denying that it is difficult to forget the intention behind their actions.

At first I was hurt, then angry. I learnt to turn to my closest friends to feel anger on my behalf. Their reactions of disbelief and fury gave me the space to allow my mind to settle. They took blows on my behalf and I am, yet again, indebted to them.

Now I try to feel pity, for a mind so twisted and unsettled that it needs to probe at my scars and dig them open for its own ends. But I am unsure that I can manage to feel pity. I want to see the good in everyone. This does not mean that I like everyone or want to be friends with each person I meet. I simply have a genuine desire to believe in looking out for each other. So when someone displays such vile hatred and cruelty towards me I do not know where to look for the good.

I suppose the question I have been debating in my own mind, for a while now is, at what point can, or should, we feel sympathy for others, feel pity for others or worry for the future of others. And at which point should we throw our hands in the air and say ‘I feel nothing for this person. This person is showing only bad’?

Mental health issues have such indistinct beginnings and ends. At what point does something tip into that realm?

It is beyond my understanding and experience but something I would certainly like to learn more about.

Despite the grief and the trolling I am enjoying my life at the moment. I love the two jobs I have and the friends I get to spend time with. I love the new adventures with my wonderful partner and family. I have loved the sunshine of summer – although this seems to be departed now! I laugh, I run, I cycle and I love. I grieve too and there will always be a gap in my life. I am so grateful that the happy memories are starting to return now and I will always try to fill the gap with good things, there are so many out there!

I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.



4 thoughts on “The Shifting Sands of Grief”

  1. Hi Cadi

    I can only say how incredibly sorry I am to hear that you’ve had to endure and deal with the situation that you describe. It seems almost inconceivable and unspeakably cruel that anyone in your position should have been treated in such a manner. To offer a comparison, I had a not dissimilar experience last year, when things were much rawer as they were for you. Mine however, was in real life as opposed to the virtual world as a friend met me and informed me that a certain person was spreading malicious gossip and untruths about both my late partner my myself.

    It feel so ‘unfair’ and it certainly is distressing – haven’t the like of you, I and others in a similar situation suffered enough? It would appear not to a miniscule minority of twisted and ill minds. Although difficult, and what you have been through regarding threats etc. is abominable, it should be remembered that a huge majority feel and display a lot of unconditional love and support when such a tragedy comes into one’s life. Even people we have never met. It far outweighs this type of sickness and helps us get our lives back on track as best as possible.
    I guess that my policy, notwithstanding possible police intervention, would be to completely and totally ignore the individual concerned in every single way – like she/he doesn’t exist. After being able to confront the two individuals concerned in my own situation, face to face, happily, they skulked away and I’ve taken strength from totally ignoring them in such a way since. For me, it’s the only way.

    Take care, keep it going and you know I’m always here for you.

    Stu xx

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. You write so easily and your words flow too with ease. I can almost tangibly sense your pain. (((Hugs)))… to someone I don’t know, yet feel I know after just stumbling across your blog… Take care. Suz.

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