Sunday, September 21, 2014
Labels: advice, thoughts
Talking about death and loss is a sensitive and often taboo subject. In my life I’ve experienced two great losses, the death of my best friend from cancer aged 18 and more recently my wonderful Grandad. Death is unfortunately something we face every single day, but often there is that detached feeling seeing something that isn’t happening to you. When it’s some your close to it’s often harder to comprehend. Grief isn’t simple.
As someone who’s currently dealing with loss and has in the past, I thought I’d share my personal experience with coping with two completely different deaths.
Joel was my best friend. We’d been friends since we were kids and had been pretty inseparable ever since. I found out he had cancer not long before I went to New Zealand in ’09 and within 6 months he was gone. He had stomach cancer, which spread and unfortunately he passed just before his 19th Birthday. I saw him the night before he died… All skin and bones. I kept telling myself I didn't want to go, before my friends physically made me go. It's not that I didn't want to see him, I did with all my heart. I just couldn't face the reality of seeing someone I loved so close to death. It was shocking to see someone who you shared your whole life with like that. I made myself never remember him like that though. He was the tallest person I knew and the most gentle and kind soul. I got up and spoke at his funeral, it was unplanned but I just felt like I had to. Like that was what he wanted me to do. Seeing my friends cry and sob their heart out at his funeral was one of the most distressing and heart warming things I’ve experienced. The boys in our friendship group were incredibly close and they were sobbing uncontrollably.
My Grandad on the other hand was an old soul. He was a traditional man who appreciated good manners, and his family and a fart joke. He’d been sick for a very long time. He had Altzimers and had recently gone into a care home. He forgot who we all were, and often he’d ask the us the same question over and over. It was frustrating and upsetting in equal measures. Once he asked my poor Granny “where’s my wife?”, she told me she just cried her eyes out. I can’t even imagine how heartbreaking it would be to lose a partner let alone someone you’d spent your whole life with. The idea of losing your mind is up there with the most upsetting things I can think of. My mum told me he wasn't able to eat earlier in the week and his time was going to come soon. In some ways maybe it was better knowing he was going to pass than it being so sudden. Needless to say it’s absolutely devastating, but I think we’re all in agreement he’s in a better place right now. But that doesn’t mean we all don’t wish he was here.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that at first with both deaths I felt nothing. Maybe it’s because I knew both were going to happen. Neither were sudden, and I avoided that punch to the stomach. Maybe it’s because a part of me wanted to believe it wasn’t going to happen. I found that I had no outward bursts of sadness, no tears. Just pure shock and desensitisation from what had happened. Like they hadn’t really gone... I hadn’t seen them for a bit. Although in my heart, I knew I was and still am deeply troubled by mortality and the loss of people around me - but on the outside I was 100% stone cold. Nothing. I felt like I wasn’t normal because I wasn’t experiencing the same grief as everyone else.
Grief is of course one of the most gut wrenching, confusing, and horrific human emotions. But everyone handles things differently. When Joel passed, I withdrew completely. I didn’t eat, I exercised constantly and did whatever I could to keep busy. I didn’t see my friends, argued constantly with my boyfriend and completely disconnected. I just wasn’t me. While I wasn’t crying or shaking my fists at the air hollering “WHYYY” - Deep down was battling with the concept of death. I think as humans we're all afraid to die, but I worry more about the people around me than myself. There were times when I was so upset and afraid I couldn’t deal with myself but never did I let this out. There were times when I felt soulless because I felt like I should be more unhappy than I was. Like I was guilty of not being sad enough.
The turning point for me with Joel was when I realised love never leaves you. You can love someone despite them not being there anymore. They didn't stop loving you, so it would be wrong to stop loving them. You may lose a part of your life, but it’s only going if you let it. I sought comfort in the fact because I still loved these people with all my heart they were still there with me somehow. Maybe not in the real world, but spiritually.
Grief is never easy. But a huge and the woeful learning curve, we will all have to deal with in our lives. As I say all the time with everything, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to scream and cry. It’s okay to be not okay. While nothing will ever be the same again you’re allowed to experience loss and grief in your own way. I think about Joel and my Grandad every single day, and while it does bring me sadness I remind myself of the good times and the love we’ve shared.
So this post is for them really, and for anyone who might be going through a loss in the family or with a friend. Remember how important these people were and still are in your life. If you're experiencing anything similar right now then my thoughts are with you and your families. No words make it better - trust me, I know - but there is something comforting in small words of condolence and sharing the memories with others.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the circle of life. Remember who you are.
Yes, I just quoted the Lion King.
We are all put on this earth for a reason. What reason that exactly is isn't always clear. Maybe that's part of the fun of life, working out your role without the world. Life is about making mistakes, learning new things and testing yourself. Sometimes things are great and sometimes things are bad. The past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or learn from it. No matter what happens, you are the most important person you will ever meet. Remember that it's not about what others think of you, your personality or appearance. Just never close your eyes to your own greatness.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
dress: yayerDon't really have a proper post to show you so hey, here's some photos of me. I know... POSER ALERTTT. I got a new flashgun for my camera so I was playing with that earlier! I was supposed to do a outfit post today, but I ended up going to lunch with my Aunt and Cousin and then went to see my Dad. So by the time I got home it was too dark to take photos proper photos. Although thanks to my new flashgun it may help my indoor late night photography... maybe. It was seriously so dark this evening, although I think it supposed to be the shortest day of the year?
I often get comments that are simply just "nice photos" or "liked the images". I often ponder the importance of the written word is in blogging. I like to write text to go with my posts not just post photos, Although I am by no means a writer. I left school over 5 years ago now to focus on art and design, and despite getting a A and a A* in English at GCSE, my grammar, spelling, punctuation and stuff are awful. I write how I talk and how things flow out of my mouth rather than trying to write formally and "correctly" in a style that doesnt suit me. I know most of the time my posts are a bit TL;DR! They do have a bit of a formula normally, a bit about the clothes, a bit about my day. Not only so you can know what I did, It helps me remember what I've done and when. One day when I'm old and grey I can look back and remember all the daily goings on in my life.
To me, photos are very important in what I believe makes a good blog. But it is only a component in successful blogging. I love reading about other peoples thoughts and feelings. Diary style posts are my favorites, Blogging is voyeuristic by nature, You want to know about the person behind the blog and who they are. Its not just looking at what someone wears or the eye makeup they use. I want to know what they did, where they wore something, how they felt about it. I think the way someone writes says alot more about a person that a photograph. Milly's blog for example is an actual JOY to read!
Things like Tumblr, which personally I think is purely just a website for photo dumps, not necessarily a legit blogging platform, have really made me question how important I feel writing is on a blog. Its all well and good posting 10000 reblogged photographs, but what does it really say about you as a person? Maybe I just dont get it because I dont really find images "inspirational". Like I touched on earlier, I think alot of people follow the person behind the blog, not the blog itself. Personality is a major thing when it comes to successful blogging. Words say so much more than about you photo ever could. But never worry if you cant write "properly". Its a blog not a column for a magazine. Just write, say anything, It doesn't matter if its professional or not.
So just to add a disclaimer, I'm not complaining and this is by no means an attack on anyone. Just touching on some thoughts really. Its not really a very comprehensive or well constructed out post. I just typed as I thought.
PS. I know my eyebrows look weird, I didn't fill them in today, the right one is the one that's been growing back no thanks to a bad eyebrow threading experience! I wasn't wearing much makeup, only liner and a contour so I didn't bother with it!
and PPS. To clarify, I dont HATE people saying nice pics or whatever, It was just the starting point that got me thinking about this! I too fall victim to the nice photos comment occasionally! I do appreciate those comments just as much as the others!