What I’ve learnt about bereavement over the past decade
Bereavement, it can seem like such a formal word. But nonetheless, if you find yourself reading this post, I hope it can help.
I might as well start off with my experience — My “story” starts in 2011, I was a normal 8-year-old boy, living in South Ockendon in Essex, with my mum, my step dad and my brother. We were happy, we were complete and my mum was expecting a new baby boy👶🏾! The day we lost mum will never leave me, how can one minute someone could be chatting away as normal, and the next minute they’ve collapsed on our balcony floor? I watched my mum die on our balcony floor and still, I don’t think it will ever leave me.
This was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, I don’t think I will experience that amount of pain for a long time to come. This year, in May, marks 10 years since her death, and it would have been my brother’s 10th birthday. I find it hard to apprehend: 10 years is 3650 days, and if I really wanted to deep it, 87,600 minutes.
Those ten years has been one hell of a journey, having to grow up without a mum, an absent father and moving across the country to a place I hadn’t heard of (at the time — Leeds). But it has been 10 years of healing, therapy and counselling. It’s been 10 years of finding answers. And 10 years of building a legacy for my mother.
I won’t lie to you, it’s not easy AT ALL. Some days you’ll be okay, you’ll be getting on with your life and then another day, something will remind you of who you’re missing. It can make you want to sleep for hours and then when you wake up, you still feel restless. Bereavement is like a morph — doesn’t just have one definition, one feeling, it’s a rollercoaster of pain, reflection and healing.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one, I don’t think I can tell you how you have to feel, but I can promise you that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it will ease over time.
Bereavement is a journey; not your typical Uber ride, but it’s a journey that will help you through your journey.
I’m still not done grieving, and I hope you can find your path.
Signing out, Lanre
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Image: Girl with Balloon, Banksy, 2002.