1. The grieving process is a difficult one to navigate sometimes.
I know that everyone will tell you that it gets better, possibly controversially, I don’t believe that it gets better, I believe that you grow around your grief and it becomes a smaller part of you as you become a bigger person.
2. Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it.
I wish I had spoken about my grief more. I felt like a pot of boiling water with the lid on at times. There are people out there that you can talk to, there are services available to access, no matter how you lost your loved one. You should take as long as you need to process your loss, never let anyone tell you ‘you should be over it by now’.
3. Talk with everyone in your life about what they want in death.
Talk about doing an Advance Care Plan, resuscitation, funerals and flowers because having that conversation means that you can be certain you can give your loved ones exactly what they want. It will make the process of death/dying much easier at the time and feels so liberating.
4. You may well one day have another parental figure, it doesn’t ever fill the gap.
5. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been (it’s been 12 years for me), it is still like a kick in the gut occasionally, and that is completely normal. My father loved Tomb Raider and at a new movie/ game release, I used to feel an intense pang of guilt that I am still here and he is not. I now celebrate the new releases for him. I like to think he would enjoy me enjoying them.
About Alyx Brown
Alyx Brown lives a (mostly) zero waste life in Margate. She works within a team at Pilgrims Hospices promoting openly talking about death and dying. Alyx will be starting Coffin Club in East Kent as part of her work to engage the local community. She volunteers at an animal sanctuary on a Saturday morning and in her free time she tends to her allotment and can often be found reading, painting or drawing in inclement weather. You can find her on Instagram as @alyxthemessybaker and @bythewildthings.