It was national grief awareness week from 2nd to 8th December 2021, run by The Good Grief Trust.
I was going to do a few social media posts, but then didn’t do them. Part of me stopped for my own reasons and part of me had so much to say that it was too much for 1 small social media post. Instead, I’ve decided to put some words down here on my blog.
Then I stopped halfway through writing the post and now we’re in September 2022, and the death of the Queen has raised the topic of grief to the surface again. There is a general collective grief (for many it’s a conflicted and complicated grief), which in turn has also brought around their own personal grief from their own losses and looking at social media this has been complex and complicated.
Grief is such a unique and individual emotion and experience, and honestly I can say that it never fully leaves you.
It can change and it can ease, but it never really goes away.
That sounds sad and miserable, but it isn’t always and I’m not sharing this because I want or need pity, because I don’t. I guess what most people who are grieving find they need is not be ignored and not to have other people treat your grief as an inconvenience or annoyance.
You may be shocked or surprised to hear that this happens, but it really does and often from sources you least expected it from.
I can only write this post from my own perspective, and your experiences may be totally different to mine.
What I’m really happy to see over the past few years are more people being open on social media about their feelings and their grief and loss, because before it was something our older relatives were advised to keep inside and private. And I hope that in reading other people’s experiences it helps more people, I know it helps me when I see social media posts describing exactly what I feel.
Five steps of grief
You might have heard about the 5 steps of grief, which includes:
When reading about this it makes it sounds like a 5 step programme that we follow step by step and then if we do it all correctly and after we reach the end it will all be “normal” again. Sadly, that isn’t how it is.
These 5 grief steps/emotions are what remain with you and they can come in any order at any time, even years later.
Some of the first emotions you can feel can be related to how the person you love has died – in other words, was it sudden and a shock, was it from disease, their age etc. I’m not saying the grief is reduced if you know that the person will die soon, but the order of your feelings and depth can be different.