Imagine 3 separate boxes. These are the boxes where I contain my grief. Let me explain.
The first box is where I hold memories and thoughts of John that are too painful or traumatic to think about and talk about casually. If I am going into this box I need to be somewhere safe with time and tissues. The second box holds memories and thoughts of John that are emotional but I can talk about them, thinking about them and I might shed a tear or two but they wouldn’t derail me completely like anything from box one would. The third box hold memories and thoughts that I can think of often and without sad emotion, pleasant memories or neutral thoughts. Or thoughts that have been in box one and moved through to box two and are now in box three. So in mind my thoughts and memories of John and our time together are categorised into these boxes. I know which are in which box and so I know which I can talk freely and openly about and which to avoid when in public etc.
Sounds good, right? Sounds ordered. Grief, however, as many people know and despite how hard I try to make it, is not like that. Also, time has no effect whatsoever. For 5 years and 3 months I have been able to think about, talk about and see on tv Liverpool Albert Docks where John and I got engaged without sad emotions and sometimes neutrality, so this would be in box 3. Yesterday it jumped into box one. I sat and sobbed my heart out as it appeared on the TV. And then I was angry. Angry that I can’t control it. Angry that I thought I was “safe” with those thoughts. grief makes no sense and its horrible to try and live with. Will somethings ever come out of box one? Or will they stay there forever? Admittedly I should be grateful that there are boxes two and three, because with the grief for my sister Paula it is mostly all in box one. There is very little in box two and no box three at all. My Dads grief is much more sporadic, I probably do have three boxes but they jump all over the gaff but the boxes are not as overwhelming as John or Paula’s grief. My whole life was with John and Paula is such a tragedy I don’t even know where to begin.
I’m tired. I’m tired of consciously and subconsciously trying to process it all. I genuinely don’t have the energy for it. Just before the pandemic hit I was starting to get used to being without John and know who I was when I was out in public. I was starting to gain confidence in being who I am without him. 2 and a half years without having to do that however has meant I am now having to go through that all over again. My therapist say it is not the same but it sure feels like it. Back to crying in supermarkets again. I know my Dads death too will have affected that too cause I just don’t feel safe without him being around. If things go really wrong I know Dad would have sorted it out no matter what, no question. Now it feels very much just me and Keeley. And we are doing are best. And I will do my best for her and make sure she’s ok. Currently I have just about enough energy to get up, get dressed (some days!), get the dogs and myself fed, and do my work. After that I have little to no energy left. Sometimes I head straight to bed. This frustrates me cause I’m lonely, desperately lonely and I need to be around people and maintaining friendships and making new friends and building a new community for myself and my future. But at the minute I can’t. Its taking everything in my just to function. I have no answers either. I don’t know what to do. I need to go back to church but again, no energy. What about the Lord Vick?, I hear some of you say, good question, when you have an answer or have heard from Him, do let me know won’t you(!). The extrovert in me is so loud but I don’t have the capacity. I also have no idea when this will end but I can tell you in the first words I heard as I stepped off the train for my first day in Liverpool, “it’s kettling my swede.”