Grief doesn’t follow the stages that are suggested online or in self help books. I’ve experienced all of them at one time, and it was completely and utterly overwhelming. Several months after losing Steve I suffered a breakdown. It was utterly suffocating at times. I’ve learnt to ride the wave that is grief but just keeping my head above water on a daily basis at times is a huge achievement.
During the first two weeks after Steve died, I tried to carry my parents’ grief upon my shoulders as well as my own. This only made my grief worse - I couldn’t continue to do this and needed to focus on my own grief - I’d lost my first friend and only sibling to a devastating illness.
Every day I’m reminded of Steve, whether it’s a song on the radio, a robin or a butterfly appearing or just sensing him near me. There is so much of him in what I do everyday. I’m one of two and will remain so forever more.
Guilt has been one of the most difficult feelings for me. Experiencing happiness in my professional life (new job) after a stressful couple of years in a senior position made me feel incredibly guilty that Steve isn’t here to experience this himself or share in my happiness. I have to remind myself that he would be thrilled that I’m so happy.
To talk about him daily, to say his name out loud and to share my journey - that is grief. I now know that it’s ok to not be ok and to ask for help when needed as I’ll never get over losing my wonderful brother. This past year has made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. You never know who you may be helping by sharing your story as sadly we will all experience loss one day.
About Becky Knight
In December 2016, Becky’s younger brother Stephen was diagnosed with a brain tumour. This was later confirmed to be stage 4 Glioblastoma. After living with cancer for 22 months with incredible strength, positivity and good humour, Stephen died in October 2018 at the age of 34, two weeks before what would have been his 35th birthday.
Becky is 37 years old and has worked in childcare for almost twenty years. You can follow her on Instagram.