My best friend, grief.
CONTENT WARNING: This post talks a lot about death.
It’s been a while. I haven’t felt like I could sit down and write this post any sooner. I’m still not sure how I am doing it now. If I will belt this all out at once, or if I will start and stop, keep coming back to it.
I’ve talked about grief before. Greif and I were on a first-name basis. When you lose the person you had planned to spend the rest of your life with, you get to know grief quite well. This year, grief and I have become a hell of a lot closer. If we were back in the myspace days, grief would be up in my top 8.
This April, in a matter of a week, my Sister and Mother passed away. My eldest sister who helped me through so much, who, whilst I didn’t always agree with, was a person I loved SO much and knew would always be there for me. Who, if it wasn’t for her support and guidance as a teenager, I probably wouldn’t have survived. Then my Mum, who was my best friend, who I talked to at least 5 times a week. Who was my biggest support, my biggest cheerleader, who held my world together. Gone.
My sister had been sick for a while, but it was still a shock. In fact, the Christmas before M passed, he insisted I spend Christmas with my family because we didn’t know how long we’d have with my sister or Dad. Not knowing it would be his last Christmas. I am thankful for that Christmas with my family but also thankful that M spent his last Christmas with his family. My sister overcame cancer but there was so much cancer and the radiation had done to her body. She’d basically spent the last year in and out of the hospital. More time in, than out. Honestly, it was a mishmash of problems.
I remember someone saying that they didn’t know if she’d make it to Christmas, but she did. When I went to Sydney in March I wanted to visit her, but she didn’t want me to see how bad she was. I knew she was bad, she’d been posting pictures to Facebook and I honestly wouldn’t have cared how she looked. Should I have pushed a little harder to see her? I do believe she knew her time was coming. We’d often send each other fashion stuff back and forth, mainly Karl Largerfeld things, and last year, she messaged saying she wanted to get me something special to keep from her and a gorgeous Karl clutch arrived not long after. I was worried about her mental health. I was worried about her in general.
When my Mum rang early in the morning, I thought it was Dad, that something was wrong with Dad. I was quite blindsided when I was told Sam died. It didn’t seem real. She’d only gone back into hospital the day before, but obviously deteriorated overnight and was gone. What. The. Fuck.
My Mum and Sister didn’t have the best relationship. They hadn’t talked in a while, a choice they both made. Mum stepped in straight away though to help my niece and nephew. I was helping how I could and was starting to organise getting to Sydney to help. Then I began worrying about Mum, she’d had numerous heart attacks and her heart was only working at something like 30%.
I remember talking to her on the phone the next day, looking into funeral stuff. We hung up and both went on our internet searching. Later that day I rang back, she didn’t answer her mobile, so I rang the home phone. My Dad said she had a heart attack and it wasn’t looking good. I called my boyfriend and he came home straight away, we packed his car and started driving to Sydney. Craig drove 12 hours straight overnight to get to Sydney. It wasn’t good. Not at all.
She was in ICU a few days, whilst they tried a few things but she never regained consciousness. I went in every day, twice a day, to see her, to talk to her. Whilst everything that happened with M was in a 24 hour period, it was a couple of days with Mum before we were told that she wouldn’t make it. It was like Deja Vu. Being ushered into a private room. Everything explained. Then they told me basically word for word what they did with M. No oxygen to the brain. Braindead. We started organising with any close family who wanted to come to say goodbye, but sadly, over that night she got worse and we got the call to come in.
Mum held my hand during the hardest moment of my life, saying goodbye to M and being with him when he passed away. Then suddenly, I was there holding her hand as she passed away. There aren’t words.
It’s weird, it was like history repeating. I knew what had to happen, this would be done, that would happen, we would do this, they would do that. It would be the last time I’d be with the person I loved so much.
So much after is a blur. I went into autopilot, I didn’t cry, I didn’t process things. I guess that’s when grief saddled up and became my constant companion. Greif fog is a thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, grief was still a big part of my life, but I had almost learned to live with its presence. When this hit, it wasn’t just that phantom limb feeling anymore, it was a full-on devil on my shoulder that wouldn’t shut up. Must keep occupied. I was the only one who really knew what to do anyway. I had experience, I’d helped plan a funeral before.
My Dad, Brother, Niece, Nephew, and other Sister all were amazing. They all did so much, all took on their own roles. I am so thankful for them. The team effort. We got through it. Plus all the love and support from friends and family. We held a funeral for my Sister on a Wednesday and then one for my Mum on Friday. Both were different, despite being held in the same location but both were beautiful. I worked up the courage to speak at Mums funeral, something I couldn’t do at M’s (Instead, I wrote what I wanted to say on the back of the program). I managed not to bawl my eyes out and know Mum would have been proud of me. Public speaking is not something I’m good at.
Life had changed drastically. My Dad was lost, he’d not been by himself in so long. He and Mum had been married for around 30 years. He himself isn’t well. My brother has done so much in helping with day-to-day life for Dad. I’d been trying to go down every other month but had to cancel my last trip due to Covid and now don’t know when I’ll get back down again.
I’m, I don’t know. I really don’t. I’m still in this weird numb denial stage. It’s been a few months and I want nothing more than to be able to pick up the phone and talk to Mum. To tell her about stuff and ask for advice. It’s starting to feel a bit more real and I know I have to find a psych to go talk to before it all hits hard. I’m so thankful for alllll the years of therapy I’ve received otherwise I don’t think I could have done this.
This wasn’t as abstract as I had thought it would be and is more of an explanation of what’s been happening and why I’ve been silent. Life has sucked and I haven’t wanted to talk about it here. If you follow me on Instagram, you’d already know. That is where I’m most active, but I do hope to get back into posting here. Not that I know if people still read blogs. Still read this. Leave a comment if you do.