1. Grief can make you feel invincible and almost super human. You will do things completely instinctively that you never thought you were capable of - like reading a eulogy at your mum’s funeral.
2. Invest in your friendships and at times like this, you will be hugely rewarded. When you’ve lost the person who loved you in such a unique way, it’s your friends who will replicate this championing of you. If they know you really well, they will also feel your loss as if it was their own, even if they’ve never been through it themselves. That’s pretty awesome.
3. You can’t escape grief. You could move to a paradise island with George Clooney attending to your every need but the grief will still be there. It follows you everywhere. It’s true about the waves of grief too, sometimes the tallest most powerful ones will last two to three hours, sometimes days, other times they can last two months. Give in to the grief, accept it and trust that the huge waves will get smaller soon.
4. Some decisions will be made easily - others not at all. How do you celebrate or spend special anniversaries? What do you do in the ‘year of firsts’? What to do with the huge cardboard tube full of ashes still in a jute bag from the crematorium? It’s hard to want to plan anything in the future that doesn’t involve your loved one.
5. It seems strange to say it, but grief is boring! If your loved one was ill for a long time or under palliative care, the grief would have started way before they died. It’s rare to feel such prolonged and profound sadness and you can get really bored of always feeling sad. It’s also hard not to feel guilty for constantly being the sad person when you’re usually like Pollyanna!
About Carrie Smith
In December 2018, Carrie lost Pauline - her mum and best friend - to sepsis as a result of terminal breast cancer. Her mum had moved in with her family for several months whilst she was undergoing treatment. Carrie is now trying to learn how to live her life without her.
She works as a TV documentary producer in Cardiff and is mum to nine year old twin girls.
You can follow Carrie on Instagram.