I sit here at my dining table facing a window which is full of cloud. Everything around me is balancing - books and papers balancing in piles, Shay's toys balancing on each other, and the children attempting to balance on blocks. No matter how many times I tell them not to stand on their toys, they are always doing it.
They are both standing next to each other staring at the television, balancing. They have so many mannerisms which are the same that I wonder what Patrick would have been like...
It is all a balancing act. Life is a balancing act. I also balance. My balance is on the brink of emotion. Will I or won't I?
I have heard a lot of stories lately about people and their loss. I have heard a lot of stories lately about the reactions of the people in their life, of the philosophies directed at them, at the comments overheard. It makes for heartbreaking hearing. But, that is the nature of my 'job' now and I do welcome all conversation. Even if heartbreaking to hear, I relish in hearing the stories.
It always amazes me what other people have gone through after they have lost. Sometimes it does not have to be a child who has died, some people say crazy things after an adult has died also.
You see, the reactions of people affect the person who is grieving. If we are told constantly that we need to 'move on' then we start to bottle up our emotions. If we are told constantly that we should not worry because we will have another child then we stop talking about our loss. If we are told constantly that we should be 'over it by now' then we pretend to be happy.
And pretend and bottle we do. But, surely, everyone is different and everyone deals with a situation differently. You show me the Definitive Guide On Grief and I will show you a rubbish bin to put it in. A person should be allowed to feel however they want/need to feel. And a person should be allowed to feel down/sad/bereft for however long they want to feel that way.
Why the constant need to be happy, or act like we are happy? I think too often when people lose a baby there is a rush to make everything better. But, nothing can ever be made better. The loss and sense of emptiness is always there.
Because the moral of the story is that, we have to allow ourselves to feel whatever it is we need to feel before we can make sense of anything. And this is not just a moral for people grieving. It is a moral for any person going through any myriad of situations which a person can go through.
Life is a balancing act. There is both happiness and sadness on either side. We should not pretend to be happy all the time.
You are allowed to be sad. No matter what type of loss. No matter how long ago.
You can stop listening to everyone telling you that you need to move on. You can stop listening to people making out that enough time has passed. And you can stop listening to people telling you that happiness is the way forward.
You are still allowed to be sad.