Grief & Loss – my story

“There are no happy endings; endings are the saddest part. So just give me a happy middle, and a very happy start.”

Shel Siverstein

Grief and loss is something that many people experience and for many reasons.

Grief can be the death of a person, but it so many other losses as well. The loss of a job, loss of identity, loss of a pet (lost, stolen or died) and also loss of a relationship. It is when you are mourning for something that is no longer present in your life.

A really strong loss for me was when I noted that my father was having dementia like symptoms and being out of place when visiting us prior to the birth of our eldest child. Dad was in his late fifties and when at home, he managed due to his schedule which he had utilised for many years. He would go to the local shop for the paper at 7 am, then back to collect the mail at 10 am.  Early lunch and catch the bus to the Club to play cards and return home.  When he was visiting us, he didn’t have these things to do and spent the day slightly disorganised and rattling coins in his pocket with confusion.  He was diagnosed possibly six months after this with Alzheimer’s and I recall a conversation after a scan revealed that he had lots of empty spots in his brain. 

This started my grief process even though Dad was still with us for many years.  I was grieving the loss of my parent as I knew him, the grief that my children wouldn’t know their Pop or he them.  This double grief is unusual and when Dad did pass away, I had already grieved and then the process needed to start again. Although at times, I noted that I was happy that he was now at peace and hopefully got his mind back.

I have grieved for so many people due to death, whether accidental, suicide or through disease, and with a range of ages.  It is difficult saying goodbye to people we love.  It is also difficult watching others in their grief, a family member or friend.