Remember 2017 When I Used To Share My Deepest Thoughts? Well We’re Doing That Again. Let’s Chat… About Grief

I’m not sure where to start. There’s a lot to unpack.

Sometimes, as I clean my teeth, I write a whole blog post in my head. I did that today, and now I need to get the ‘toothbrushing’ thoughts on to paper. Does anyone else do that? I’ve been in this blogging trade for 3 years, 3 of the most important years of my life, so it’s ingrained into me at this point.

Today I wanted to unpack. That’s an analogy that I will be using a lot in this post. First, my mind wandered to journaling. I thought it would be best to journal this. Then I realised, as I put literal pen to paper, that it would be too emotionally challenging. I know that sounds weak ‘you can’t even write, eww’ but honestly. I almost started crying.

As we head into a new month, you might be thinking about unloading the negativity, and only carrying through the good bits.

That, I’m afraid, doesn’t always work.

Right at the start of the year, I lost one of my closest relatives. I thought of telling you, but my blog at that time was so ‘professional’. To be honest, it didn’t really feel like me as I sat and wrote at the keyboard. I was ‘Erin’. Erin was almost like an alter-ego, but to a point where it felt kind of toxic. I loved the content I was writing, of course, but it didn’t feel like I was writing it. Erin wrote it. Erin received praise and accepted it gladly, but it all these lovely comments never felt like they were for me. I still struggle now. I AM Catherine. People DO care about and love my blog. It’s so hard to accept. But yes, I can be awesome sometimes. 

So I never told you.

It didn’t hit me until just today, 7 months after she had died. When I was first told, Mum said ‘grief comes in waves’ and I completely understand that now. 

Granny was probably the member of my family I was closest to, outside of Mum, Dad and Jon (my brother).

But when I heard the news I was completely unbothered and went on with my day. 

For 7 months I pretended everything was okay, and everything felt okay. Of course I was sad, but not as sad as I ‘should be’. 

Then came around mine and my brother’s birthdays.

She wasn’t there.

She won’t spring back from the dead to say happy birthday. What was I expecting? There was just this absence. It didn’t really feel like my birthday without Granny. And I know this isn’t the worst thing that could happen to me. I know people who have lost their parents at a young age, and I know that must feel 10x worse. But when it’s your first ‘proper’ loss, you are foolish, naive and don’t know what to expect. 

Today is my brother’s birthday, and my best friend’s. I should be happy. I had zuccini bread for breakfast, camped in my friend’s field, ate a ton of cake and spent time with family. Although I am content, it doesn’t stretch further than contentment. I am so incredibly grateful for today. I got to live another 24 spectacular hours on this planet.

I just feel a bit empty. 

Yesterday I was brimming with life and fun and excitement. That version of Catherine is still inside somewhere, just not today.

I find it hard to accept that in my perfect life, things can be less than perfect. I have everything a teenage girl could ask for. I live happily with my family. I have clean water, a bed and a roof over my head. A beautiful cat, a platform to share my thoughts and receive responses from like minded people.

On some days, though, you won’t be okay.

Now I would like to return to the analogy I mentioned at the beginning of the post, about ‘unpacking’.

We’re catching a flight to September. You have one suitcase and hand luggage. What are you going to take with you? What will you keep in your hand luggage, right by your side as you’re flying? And what will go below the seats, in your suitcase? 

No-one goes on holiday with all of their possessions.

You have a suitcase to pack. So pack it wisely.

You’re probably going to put in all the happy things and leave the negativity behind. You might take the good experiences with you and forget about the seemingly ‘bad’.

That’s what I did.

I moved on from January, the month my granny passed away. I’ve taken 6 flights since then, my suitcase being unpacked and repacked so many times. 

Really, I should have taken Granny’s passing with me.

It has made me stronger. 

It has taken 7 months for it to eventually hit me. I needed those seven months. But if I hadn’t gone back to pack grief into the suitcase, I would never be able to understand it.

I hope those metaphors don’t scare you away from my blog. I love using things like that though.

Whatever you carry into September, I hope it serves you well. Many good things will come to you in September, that you will be able to carry in your suitcase to October. Maybe your suitcase will expand in size, maybe it will shrink. Leave behind the things that don’t serve you. Just NEVER forget to pack in the mistakes and the hardships. You learn from them and they will make you stronger.

Grief isn’t negative.

It’s a natural part of being human and living in a mortal world.

Grief isn’t positive either.

Grief is beyond comprehension. It’s just so complicated. There’s no quick fix, and even if you could find one don’t use it. Let the wound heal naturally and give yourself time to recover. But if, like me, it takes seven months to deeply sink in, allow time for that too. 

I’ll love you and leave you. Wishing you all the best for September,

Catherine xxx

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23 thoughts on “Remember 2017 When I Used To Share My Deepest Thoughts? Well We’re Doing That Again. Let’s Chat… About Grief

  1. I woke up to this post in my email inbox, normally I don’t take the time to stop and read the posts, I just tell myself I’ll read them later. But today something told me to read it, and read all of it. Catherine, seeing this part of you and your life is.. how do I put it, the beauty in grief. I believe that you have such an incredible talent of writing and what you wrote there, is exactly the beauty and proudness you Gran had for you. I know I didn’t know you Gran nor do I know you very well, but I can truly see it in your writing. Although this was a different kind of start to September that I had imagined, it made me stop and think, remember and realize. All the best to you, Catherine! Hope you have an amazing September. 💗Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a beautiful and heartfelt piece and it definitely resonated with me. Loss of loved ones is so hard and it feels like it shouldn’t be true. My grandfather, who was my angel, mentor, idol, and much more passed away 7 years ago September 9th. It still hurts to this day and I still feel like there is no way he isn’t here. Thank you for this piece and I am truly sorry you went through this. Your Mum is looking down on you and she is very proud of your strength, kindness, and just how incredible you are. Lots of love sweetie!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is absolutely beautiful Catherine. I’m so sorry about your granny and I know that doesn’t help much but I’m praying for you. Grief is a very hard thing and im kind of in the same spot you were before your gran passed, no one I’m really close to has died and I don’t know how I would react. I imagine I would kind of bottle up my feelings for a while and then one day they would all come tumbling out. Proud of you for writing this post and putting it out. I thought it was wonderful and it moved me to tears the first time I read it.
    I loved the metaphors, I love your blog and I love you ❤
    xx, Jasmin 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Catherine,
    I’m very sorry to hear what your going through because I have found myself in the same boat. My grandmother passed a few months ago and for the longest time I was emotionless. I didn’t talk about it and I tried to pretend her death hadn’t happened but than one day, I started hysterically crying. I’ve been a mess ever since that day but this post really resonated with me. Thank you for having the courage to share this and giving me some comfort( even though you weren’t necessarily meaning to). My sister once told its beautiful how you can be loved by your family and that is something so special that nothing can ever sever. Grief is very hard and it’s also very different for everyone. I’m hope your doing okay and, if you ever want to talk please shoot me an email!
    XOXLUCY 💖❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for leaving this thoughtful comment. I’m so dreadfully sorry to hear about your loss. I’m glad this post resonated with you. You’re never alone 💓☺️ That is a very kind offer! You’re so wise and that is very clear in your comments. Thank you for leaving so many for me to respond to. They have made my day ☺️

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Catherine, this is such a lovely post!! Your granny is in a better place and it’s so true that grief has a way of just sneaking up on you sometimes! I hope you can get through it and you know you can always talk to me if you need to on IG DMs or in my blog comments! For me, grief comes to me most of the times in one huge wave. When my grandfather passed away, I instantly cried when I heard the news, I don’t know why but after that I didn’t cry. I feel like I need to get things out of my system as soon as I find out news. And for me, writing really helps! Hope you’re doing okay now xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was so profound and moving Catherine. I’ve always thought of you as someone incredibly eloquent and thoughtful. You’ve expressed yourself so well as usual. Last year I lost my grandfather. Earlier on in the year I’d lost the most important person in all my time on Earth. For a while, it just didn’t hit me. I knew what I’d lost but the grief hadn’t reached me yet. Hadn’t swept me up into its depths. My grandfather’s death was overwhelming and sudden. I felt alone, sitting crying on the ICU ward floor. I was so close to him and he was.. so cold. I saw all the men in my family cry. That’s how I knew this was a disaster. An absolute terrible disaster. I cry all the time but these men I know don’t. My father? The last time I saw him cry was when his mother passed away in 2017.

    I know your granny would be so proud of you. You are so loved by everyone who has the pleasure of knowing you x

    Liked by 1 person

    • *try not to cry, try not to cry* Thank you for sharing Maryam. You really didn’t have to. I’m incredibly sorry for your loss. In everything you do, I know your grandfather would be proud of you. I completely understand how you feel about your father crying. I saw all of my uncles cry and it was really upsetting.

      You are incredibly kind Maryam. I don’t know what to say other than “thank you, thank you, THANK YOU”. Your support is very much appreciated x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. *hugs* I’m sorry boo
    I hope your pain eases with time
    This happened to me when my Grandma was developing alzheimer’s. It took a while for that wound to start hurting.

    I wanted to tell you that you shouldn’t be so concerned about what amazing content your readers will want. YOU dictate what you want to write and we just follow you on the ride. Personally, I don’t even read these type of posts usually but it’s because you are writing them and your personality is engraved in them that I read them. You do you and whatever you feel like doing right now. 🖤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It’s up and down, but I feel steady again (now school has resumed). You are so thoughtful – that was really reassuring. Oh wow, that’s so lovely of you. I never knew my posts could be that interesting. You’ve made my day 10000x better. Aww! <33


  8. I’m sending you lots of hugs and love, catherine!! ❤ The emotions you're feeling are completely normal and please take time to process them, that's important. I do understand you deeply – my grandmother passed away five years ago and she was the most important person in my life, she basically raised me. At the time it hurt, I wouldn't speak to people, I would barely eat, … but I would do my normal life. I just felt numb. Now I'm better, even tho it still hurts, it'll always hurt. Especially in the little things, just when I for example wanted to share how I was getting better at maths. But time will make you stronger to handle it! If you ever need to come here to unpack again, we'll listen. Love you so much! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so lovely of you. Your words mean a lot to me. I’m so sorry for your loss. It must be dreadful losing someone so close to you. I’m so grateful to have this space on the Internet where I can share my thoughts and receive responses from others like me. Your comment is really appreciated. Stay strong xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This was a beautiful post which touched me. Grief is something that is so complicated, some days it isn’t there, and other days it comes to you like a tonne of bricks. I also admire you writing a post like this, sometimes we try and hide the low moments, so I am happy you shared something like this. Thanks for sharing!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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