Living With Grief

Is Anyone There?

Listen (verb): Take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or a request

I’ve felt so low this week. I had to message my boss earlier to say “really sorry, I’m logging off, this week is just too hard.”

Launching the blog has been so emotionally draining. The response has been very positive, but really overwhelming. Lots of people have been in touch to share their experiences, which has been incredible, but it’s also really tough. Ideally I’d like to be everywhere, for everyone, but my heart is near bursting. Please bear with me.

The bruth of the matter is, though the text messages have been encouraging, I know that they’re fleeting. When Summer passed away, there was a similar flurry of messages, so I’ve been transported back to that time, and that’s been hard.

Since Summer, some of the initial offers of support have been maintained, but the vast majority have faded away. The realisation that this will happen again, has also been difficult. (I’m wondering why I rocked the boat! For someone so considered, I didn’t consider that).

In case it’s not yet been made clear:

Grief is so lonely.

I find the grief particularly tough during the day, during the hours when I’m by myself and most people (including my husband) are at work. Which is pretty unfortunate timing.

People often say “you can call me, any time”, but that’s not true. Real life doesn’t work like that, so I never actually know who I can call.

This week I felt very close to messaging friends to ask them to give me slots for when they’re usually free to chat. I thought I could draw up a timetable, so I can always know who’s around, when. Upon reflection, that’s a bit needy, isn’t it? Although, I am in need.

I think part of the reason for launching a blog was wanting to be heard. In all ‘bruthfulness’ though, I’ve been surprised about how few people have actually subscribed to hear more. It’s made me feel like people were curious or nosy enough to, essentially, read my diary, but that they don’t care enough to follow through with the journey. (Speaking to R who’s been through baby loss, she reflected similarly – once people knew how she lost her babies, they didn’t check in again). I never thought about how that aspect would make me feel. It’s actually left me a bit heartbroken. It’s a form of rejection, I guess. On the upside though, this subject matter (or writing style, probably!) isn’t to everyone’s taste, so it’s great that people gave me their time and read as much as they did.

So thank you. To everyone who has commented on this blog so far, your words have been so encouraging; I’m sure I’ll revisit them time and again. And special thanks to those readers who have subscribed, it’s reminded me that you’re still here and that you’re continuing to listen.


(8) Comments

  1. Vicky says:

    Today I read and re-read your blogs and the following things occurred to me:
    Her and James have been through so much
    Why did I not know this?
    Because I never asked….
    How can I help? You’ve told us how
    Why am I selfishly thinking of my own pain when I read them?
    I would like to think it’s empathy but also because I’ve not dealt with my own feelings
    Reading your words was like opening a floodgate
    If I feel this crap, how must they feel?
    Again, you’re telling us
    Keep telling us and I promise I will start listening (and talking)

  2. Kirst says:

    I’m here Anj, I’m listening, and I’ll continue to listen.
    I know that lockdown has been an important time for you to start working through this mountain of grief – but as you say, I can imagine that the loneliness becomes unbearable sometimes. I’m aware that I’ve been one of those people preoccupied with my stressful job and various other life dramas, and I haven’t been as available for calls as I’d like to have been. I guess it’s easy for people to get swept up in their own lives and drop the ball when it comes to actually being supportive in a real and practical way… yet I have no doubt that there are so many of your friends and family who love you dearly and wish that they could help, but don’t quite know how. This blog is a wonderful way to show us x

  3. Mel says:

    Anj, my heart is breaking for you. I wish I could take all your pain away in an instant. I also wish I could be there in person to hug you or hold your hand constantly – for as long as you need me. Times like this I wish I wasn’t living in Australia so I could just turn up at your door! But lockdown would have prevented that anyway! FaceTime and text messages are not the same.

    Kirst has put it so well – there will be lots of people who genuinely want to help you but don’t know how. But this blog is a brilliant and thoughtful way of letting them know how you are feeling one day to the next, and that might help them to think about how they can help you. Xxx

    1. Katie R says:

      I know we’ve only met briefly (once!), but I wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest with your journey. I’m sending you lots of good vibes from across the pond. I’ve been struggling with infertility. We have had different experiences, but I wanted to give you a big virtual hug. I’ll be following your journey and cheering for you each step!

      1. Anjulie says:

        Katie, a 6 hour hike (in the most memorable part of the world!) and a drunken evening to celebrate, does not count as brief 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words and for showing your support. I am so sorry to hear about your struggles, but ditto, I equally admire your honesty. Thank you for that and thank you for joining in this journey (if only it were as straightforward as Torres del Paine!), I’ll be rooting for you guys too xx

        PS when I told James last night that you’d subscribed, he asked me whether I thought we’d see you guys again. My response? “of course!” xx

  4. Rhiannon Rusius says:

    I, for one, would be happy to give you my good times to call. I don’t think it’s overly needy of you to have an idea of who might be most available if you find yourself in a real low spot and just need someone at the other end of the phone. I actually do happen to be always free, and even when I’m back at work in Sept, I will mostly be working from home, so you really can call me any time, day or night, and I will stay on the phone with you just as long as you need. I’m here, I’m listening, and I’m learning so much from you, just like you have from me. Grief is not a journey that goes in a straight line, there are mountains, pits, roundabouts and I often feel like I’ve been blindfolded, spun around, and haven’t the foggiest which way to go. Eventually a vague direction of travel becomes visible, but it can be really hard work getting that far, we need help. That old phrase of “it takes a village to raise a child”, well I think it takes a bloody village to get through life generally, so here I am, one little villager to another. Pop by and borrow some flour or sugar any time xx

  5. Karen P says:

    Still definitely listening although have missed a couple I think and will go back and read them. I know we don’t know each other except through Instagram but always happy to chat via pm there ( @theregrewflowers) or by email if that would ever be of any help. And expressing need is ok. Not only is it how we’ve all managed to survive in the first place but I think it also educates and helps those around ( who l honestly do love us) know how they can make a difference. I know it’s hard that you have to be the one to spell it out, but how will they know if you don’t tell them? And further down the road, if they meet someone going through the same, they will have a much better idea of what to do/offer xx

    1. Anjulie says:

      Thank you Karen, you’ve been so kind. And I love and appreciate all of your comments. So please keep reading and commenting, I am taking it all in, even if I don’t reply all the time xx

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