Hurts so bad.

The pain of grief at the moment is so hard. It’s like a constant dripping. I don’t know what’s really triggered it off, but it maybe that Christmas is looming and I’m feeling particularly lonely and sad without John, and I can’t even try and stop it. It’s agony. And it’s tiring. I can feel myself pining for him and there’s nothing I can do. I can feel the panic that he’s not here bubbling it’s way up to the surface every now and again.  Can’t even write anything else….

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Hurts so bad.

The pain of grief at the moment is so hard. It’s like a constant dripping. I don’t know what’s really triggered it off, but it maybe that Christmas is looming and I’m feeling particularly lonely and sad without John, and I can’t even try and stop it. It’s agony. And it’s tiring. I can feel myself pining for him and there’s nothing I can do. I can feel the panic that he’s not here bubbling it’s way up to the surface every now and again.  Can’t even write anything else….

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I’ll be honest…

Not too sure how to write this blog post really. I am reflecting as I write so it might get messy and interesting…. like the rest of my posts really…

A friend of mine and a member of the church passed away suddenly on Sunday, and now I am faced with a lesser grief inside of the big grief, and that’s very strange indeed. Because I can feel myself going into different stages of grief for him and moving into different ones for John…. I don’t understand, so I don’t expect you to either… but it feels very odd.

Today has been so strange, woke up very anxious about various things that needed to be sorted out and had to ring about 3 different people to get different views that all lined up perfectly which helped greatly, and my anxiety dropped out, thank goodness as it was overwhelming me.

Went shopping as nothing much in the house, then came back feeling very emotional for no reason in particular if you know what I mean… and thought “Oh! I’ve got that documentary on George Michael to watch!’ So sat down to watch it….

Let me first say I used to LOVE George Michael, for many reasons, music, voice, depth and his music and lyrics really connected with me, I was listening mainly to his 1990’s going forward stuff, and when my Nephew was born and tragically passed away after 7 days it was one of George Michael’s songs that God spoke to me through and I didn’t realise it was God till years later…so there’s some background. When I sat down to watch I wasn’t really thinking about any of that…

That documentary wiped me out. I had no idea George Michael’s life had been so affected by grief and bereavement or how many of his songs I had internalised, and had meant a lot to me. And even though the documentary only played snippets of his songs the force on my emotions was so powerful and kind of blindsided me, I sobbed so hard. I have a banging headache and at one point I couldn’t even breathe properly. And even though the documentary was in no way shape or form spiritual, I honestly believe I had a spiritual experience… I know, I know, that sounds like right dodgy theology,  but I can’t help it… I looked back over all the songs I knew from him and all the times and places and things I had felt and thought about and I saw God working in my life… and I was overwhelmingly grateful and…. there’s another emotion but I can’t articulate it right now… maybe it is just grief…

I guess even if I don’t fully understand what that was all about, at least a lot of tears and emotion came out…and my bereavement counsellor would say that can only be a good thing.

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Circles and cycles. 

The so called “5 stages of grief” are not straight forward for anyone as everyone is different and behave and act differently and have different stages some more, some less. For me I am back  where I was a few months ago with thinking everything through. It’s a horrible stage and I’m annoyed that I’m back in it, and I’m dreading if I have to go through this stage again. It’s exhausting. Thinking thinking thinking all day long about everything, over and over again. It’s ten past nine in the evening and I’m going to bed as I’m tired even though I only got up at 8am and have done only 4 hours of study all day long. I hate this stage, cause the thing is there’s only so much you can think about things without trying to guess the future or second guess yourself or your circumstances, or rush ahead in your thinking which for me isn’t so much of a problem as the further off future I can’t seem to think about as it’s too uncertain right now, and any thought I do have either end up with me in unstoppable tears or questioning everything. My main priority is to keep walking with The Lord and honour Him, but because everything has changed with John passing away this has been the biggest struggle I have faced. Also (and this maybe slightly controversial for those who don’t believe in these things) the devil seems to have been tempting me a lot the last few weeks and it gets tiring trying to swerve him, thankfully I know my boundaries and also I couldn’t handle the guilt or shame that I would feel if I succumbed to the temptation at the moment, I just don’t need that complication in my life (When do you ever? But you know what I mean.) So I’m off for an early night. Church in the morning and that’s a whole different mountain to climb…

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Bereavement counselling was hard yesterday… like all the times it has been difficult I have floated around the hard bits until about 10 mins before the session is due to finish and then discovered/admitted what was really going on…. this is my way of doing things which is not helpful. My counsellor reminds me very much of a Priest I know and one of my Youth Workers growing up. Mainly because eventually, they get the crux of the matter out of me and somehow that forces me to deal with it…dealing with the issue normally takes time though and I will still skirt round it at any opportunity I have.  What a pain in the neck I am, here are people trying to help me and they almost have to literally pin me down to get the real stuff out of me. Makes me feel like such a fraud for 90% of the time. In a nutshell, what I learned yesterday was I need to cry more…. not what I wanted to hear. I don’t like crying. I never used to mind it, but since John died its been horrible. And I have had to stop myself crying at times cause my eyes were so swollen I could hardly see out of them….for days… so it’s not as if I haven’t cried, I have, but for some reason, it would appear, not enough. How much is enough though?  Maybe I should try just crying whenever I feel like it! Ha! Even the thought horrifies me….maybe I do have an issue?… Am I just a pride monkey? That may well be the case, but no! I’m not having that, how can you go about living your life when you are crying every 4 seconds? Grrr… I’m frustrated. I definitely don’t want to suppress my grief, but at the same time, I want to be able to actually function…which potentially if I was crying all the time I wouldn’t be able to. In my last post, I spoke about how I have to build myself back up countless times a day. Well, crying is one of the things that knocks me down… and now the advice coming is to cry more?… to be fair I have just confused myself. I understand I have to give myself time etc etc, but again how much is enough?  And I feel like such a narcissist by thinking about myself so much. Man alive! I’m so bored of me. I’m doing my own head in. I’ve got to go and doing something else before I crack up completely.

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When John died it’s like everything went to zero. That may not be true but that is how it felt and still feels at times. It’s like every single day I start at zero and some how through out the day I gradually work my way, the most I’ve probably got to is 4 and that was at my theology degree Residential, when John was alive I was on 9.5. And throughout the day something can come and knock me back to zero in an instance, a smell, a sight, a sound, a memory, and back to zero. So my days are spent building, trying to build something of me back up. Sometimes I can be knocked back to zero three or four times and those days I probably get up to 2 at the most before I am back at zero. Which may explain why church is so hard… every second is a sight, a sound, a thought…and I’m at zero. Today has gradually gone down and down, met with one of my Pastors this morning that was alright, verbal processing felt good, but I woke up at zero as I do everyday when I open my eyes and John isn’t there, so at 7am I managed to get up to about 3 for coffee with one of my Pastors but last night when I went to bed I had a sore throat but thought I would shrug it off, but it’s been getting worse and I’ve been feeling rough, and then the thought hit me… I haven’t been poorly without John yet…. back to Zero in one fell swoop. Have remained at zero for about 2 hours and now I’m going to bed as I am so tired, I don’t have the energy to build just to wake up at zero again… I hope a good nights sleep will make me physically better and so tomorrow building won’t be so hard. “Come on Vickster”, I hear you say, “Rely on the Spirit”. You come here and do this and I’ll tell you to rely on the Spirit and we’ll see your response. Harsh, maybe, but I’m just telling it how it is for me.

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Even as I write I’m annoyed, frustrated, fed up and sad. Only lasted 35 mins at church. Didn’t even make the preaching. Started crying when I left my house. When I got to church and saw my friend outside absolutely sobbed my heart out and that was before I even got in the door. Some how managed to compose myself and go in and sit down. But by the time it had got to the tithes I couldn’t handle it anymore. So I left and felt ridiculous for leaving, felt guilty and ashamed. Felt I’d let myself down, John down and the church down, so felt even worse than I had when I started out to church. Not good. But seriously I couldn’t handle it, I mean really. I wanted to have a proper full unstoppable loud wailing melt down. Can you imagine? In the middle of taking up the offering? And I knew it was coming so just legged it. The thoughts that hit me are: Am I suppressing some of my grief? Will this always haunt me at my church? Will it just pass with time, as at the moment it isn’t? What exactly is this? And another thing is people who haven’t experienced this, some of them can be very understanding and sympathetic and empathetic and I think God for them but if they have never been through it they don’t really understand the complexness (might have made that word up, sorry) of it. It is true that I can go into other worship places and maintain a modicum of composure even though I cry and there are still times that I want to leg it, but it’s just about manageable. At my church it is not. It took everything within me on Thursday when I went to worship practice to stay in the building, and I only managed that because I was hidden away at the back. Is it a pride problem? Don’t know. Could I cry like this at home?  There have been many times when I have yes, of course, but it’s ok I can just go to bed afterwards when it’s all over and sleep, at church I cannot do that I have to face people I have to walk out the church drive or be driven home and it’s messy and horrible and maybe it is pride but I don’t want people to see that and think I’m a lunactic. “Remember the time that person had a meltdown during a random moment of the service and had to be carried out?” Is not a line I want spoken about myself. Not everyone knows me in church and knows what I’m going through so to them it would be random and highly inappropriate. But there’s more to this. I moved to my church for John, not that I didn’t want to or that God didn’t say to, all of those things are true, I knew John was a leader so I asked the Lord whether it was right for me to go, and He gave me a visible unmistakable sign, that it was right while we were dating to move across. It was a smaller church then and everyone knew who I was, the moment I walked in people said “And you must be John’s girlfriend?” When we weren’t serving which was very rare, we would sit together. So now I walk into church and what? It may seem like a minute detail, but to me it’s massive. Where do I sit? I have been offered a place at the front but I can’t sit there, it’s too much, it’s too unnatural, and maybe it’s pride, it’s too on display, crying in front of everyone STILL. Nope not happening. John used to sit in more or less the same seat, so every time I’m there I look over expectingly to find him he’s not there, obviously that helps the emotions…. Lovely kind people offer to sit with me, which I am grateful for but you know what, make the most of the time to sit by your spouse, cause I would give anything to sit next to mine. So I sit mostly at the back, I try to sit with people, but when I cry people either have no idea what to do, want to comfort me which is impossible, or move away. So what do I do? Someone said to me “You’re lost here aren’t you?” What a precise remark. Yes I am lost, and not just here, everywhere I go. Totally lost without John. I have no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I’m going to do it. Now you may ask “What about the Lord?” Good question, “Surely you are found in Him, He will direct You, and sort it out.” And that is true. He will but right now it certainly doesn’t  feel like that. Not that I live by my feelings although this post would suggest otherwise…. see how complex this whole thing is? I feel like a walking contradiction. And what’s weird is the only song I have in my head is James Morrison “Undiscovered” and the chorus says “I’m not lost just undiscovered.” Helpful. Not. 

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