Bereavement is the acid. Grief is the rain.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything down.

I’ve been a Dad. Slagged off TopGear.  Burnt some clocks. Had some Lovely Holidays and got though Christmas.  I’ve done some work and have started posting stuff about the kid’s achievements and fairy cakes on Facebook, which is the true measure of a functioning family, right? Fuck, I even went on a date! It all sounds pretty wholesome. Right?

wholesome flotsam jetsam partsome

The Rolling recovery is stalled. Anxiety, depression, anger – they are all here or hereabouts. Today I played the girls audio recordings that Nicky made for them when she was dying. It was the first time they had been played. Tilly is anxious and losing weight and  Betsy is often sullen, so we listened to mum’s protestations of everlasting love together to acknowledge that all our crazy fucked up behaviours can be explained by the events of last year. I’m not sure it helped.

Time to get back on the bike and write. (Forgive me)

So I guess there’s a bit of catching up to do. A few things that I need to clear up and get out of my head. I started writing this blog in part to help me get some perspective on events through the act of writing them down and in part as a document to help others who are dealing with or affected by grief. So. Lessons from the last few months.

  1. Time doesn’t heal. It’s a fucking lie. Healing implies a restoration, a return to a previous state. That is a fanciful pile wishful shite.
  2. We don’t grieve. Grief does us. It will have its way. Whatever strategies we employ, whatever tools we deploy it matters not a jot. It does us. If you do the right thing at the wrong time you’re fucked, the wrong thing at the right time – equally so. Strangely, the wrong thing at the wrong time serves as a useful reminder of the awfulness and brings a moments peace through forgiveness. The right thing at the right time?  It’ll take years ’til my little family finds out if we ever managed that elusive bond. It will have its way.
  3. Grief and bereavement are not the same.  There was a time when I used them interchangeably but they are distinct. Bereavement has its time, Grief is forever. Let me explain. When Nick died we all lost some one and some things:   a friend,  a lover,  a daughter, a mum, a sister, a future, a laugh, a light, a wise counsel, a creative spirit, a pure and gentle soul are a few you’ve mentioned. So, bereavement I believe is the discovery  of what the loss of those things actually means to each of us.   What was it that she gave to me? to us? to you? What do we miss? And, most importantly, what does that feeling of loss tell us about ourselves?  I have been counselled through my bereavement and thus I think it is over, I understand and now face what it is that I and we have lost. I guess you may have already done the same.  It is uncomfortable. But if Bereavement is the acid, Grief is the rain.     Grief is forever.  I understand now that grief for Nicky is intrinsic to the world I inhabit,  and every day for the rest of my life that same spectre will remind me of what is that I and we have lost. It will have its way. Unfortunately, I still don’t think I am a single step closer to learning to live with that understanding.
  4. Except perhaps an acknowledgement that words alone have not been an answer,  so I am embarking on some new action adventures to help us find within us that which is lost.  I’ll keep you informed as we orienteer this strange new landscape.
  5. It takes a long time to get anywhere when you take three steps forward then five steps back.

It’ll be a year since she became ill soon. And then, at the beginning of March on the anniversary of the day she died, we’re going to scatter her remaining ashes in the sea and under a tree. The earth will have travelled around the Sun and Spring will be upon us.  Time for light and reflection. Join us if you like?  Drop me line and I’ll send you the details.

 

6 comments

  1. Dear Simon,
    I didn’t know Nicky personally, but I recognise her face. I am an actress based in Brighton too, about the same age as Nicky, with a 3 year old son. I can’t imagine the loss you must feel. I read your blog and felt moved to write, but I have nothing profound or any particular wisdom to add, just to say that I hope that the Spring brings a new warmth to you and your family and that Nicky’s life is celebrated with joy on her anniversary, as I’m sure it will be. I hope that your tandem keeps you all safe and that other adventures will come.
    Tamsin

    1. Tamsin

      I am sorry it’s taken me his long to say thankyou.
      Thank you.
      Nicky was a beautiful bright funny soul whose loss is still felt and will always be felt. Life abhors a vacuum, it’s a principle of science. Life is rushing in. That feels good.
      I loved her totally and unequivocally and nothing will ever change that, I feel blessed to have known that love. I hope you do to.
      Cherish that love, cherish every moment you have with those you love too.

      Sx

  2. Hi Simon
    Just read your story via CTC magazine lovely tale of travelling after your great sadness. Good Luck in the future .

    1. Thankyou, I am really glad to have written it, and more so that people have enjoyed it. We are all still rolling, getting better everyday.

  3. I understand. Grief, I think, has broken me in ways im still discovering nearly two years later. For a long time it seemed he was merely at work, or perhaps visiting another country. I memorize photos, videos, and memories in hopes that nothing fades. Before my husband died he said “I’m sorry I ruined your life.” I told him that was ridiculous, that he made my life. But in retrospect I often wonder, ‘how could he have known?’

    Yet, I have carved new ways and experiences, I like to think from his unseen guidance. Dating is out of the question, but I’ve learned to coexist with the way life is now. I still want my first and last thoughts of the day to be of him.

    1. Hey. My thoughts are with you. Get on and live this life however you choose. It’s the only one we have and the best response to death is to live life in as full, kindly and respectful way. I am sure all that he’d want is for you to be happy, despite his unwilling best efforts. Take care of yourself.

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