The Grieving Daisy

So, we’ve all dealt with grief in our life. I can’t really imagine a world without it, really. This might sound like an odd turn for a blog about sex and sexuality, but I felt like I should touch on this for a minute.

I suppose I’m better acquainted with Mamma B’s side of the family. There’s the annual gathering, and the odd visit or phone call. We seem to be close-knit. My relationship with Pappa B’s side is distinctly more fucked up. I don’t really know them, save from nan and granddad. And between you and me, things between them and us aren’t exactly sitcom material.

But when I learned that my granddad brother died today, I couldn’t help feeling slightly off-kilter. Sure, I have no idea who he is, nor any recollection of ever meeting the man. But still, he’s gone, and I’ll never get the chance to make good on meeting him.

I’m odd with death. I never really processed my maternal gamma’s passing until some time ago. I can distinctly remember a dear uncle’s funeral, where I was utterly terrified of going into the chapel, for fear of it being an open casket. Maybe it’s because I’m so incredibly aware of my own mortality. I have been since I was a young girl.

It’s for this reason that dad’s reaction to this particular death stunned me. I listened to him on the phone, telling his mum, “Well, he never gave us a dime, so why should I grieve him? Better him than me, I say.”

It felt like a particularly heartless reaction. I didn’t know if his insensitivity stemmed from hatred, his Alzheimer or just being a massive dipshit.

It made me wonder though. What is the appropriate way to express your grief? If it’s a more distant relative or friend that has passed, should you just ignore? Should you be strong for those around you who were more directly affected and offer support?

And what if it’s a close friend or relative? Do you still keep strong? Do you allow yourself for a weak moment and then carry on? Or do you utterly fall apart?

I don’t know much about what to do when someone dies. What I do know is that I’m shit-scared of losing the people I love. In boarding school, I never once missed calls to my mother, because I was worried sick something might happen to her. (There’s a longer story behind this, but not for now). When I woke up one morning to find an ambulance outside our house, and dad on a stretcher, I inwardly froze.

I don’t want to lose them. I don’t want to lose the people I need.

It’s a funny thing, this grief. You never quite know when it’s going to hit you. And when it does, it knocks you out.

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12 Comments

  1. I lost my best buddy to leukemia last year. I can neither define nor understand grief: it simply “is” what it “is” at any given moment of any given day. One thing I do understand: life is so very precious and absolutely to be enjoyed. You will grieve in your own way, in your own time.
    Hugs to you, x

    Reply
  2. Rory

     /  April 17, 2012

    I think that grieving is a very personal thing. Someone who means the world to you might simply be ‘tolerated’ by someone else, therefore nobody will deal with someone’s death in the exact same way. I think everyone gives someone’s death a place in their own way, whether it be by crying, taping off the mirrors and sitting on the floor, writing about it, or simply shrugging. I do understand your dad’s reaction might come off as a little heartless, but it might be a way of distancing himself from it. The thing is you never know what goes on in someone’s head, or the reaction they have when they are alone.

    I truly don’t believe there’s a ‘good’ way to mourn. Do what comes natural to you, let other’s do what comes natural to them.

    All that said, I’m sorry for your loss. Losing someone you never really ‘had’ (if it can be put that way) can be just as hard. *hugs*

    Reply
  3. There is not ‘way’ to grieve, it’s different for everyone and I have found I have grieved differently for different people. The sudden death of a cousins husband who I had met but twice really upset me by it’s wastefulness but the long drawn out departure of my much adored grandparents, both over 93 was tinged with relief as they were no longer suffering. Your Dad’s reaction might have been coining a phrase, perhaps he just meant his uncle never cared for him so why should he reciprocate?

    The only thing I have ever learnt about grieving is to go with whatever reaction you have, don’t bottle it up. Hugs xx

    Reply
  4. I’ve lost a lot of people important to me in one way or another. The main thing I’ve learned through life is that grief is personal, undefinable, and indefinite.

    Reply
  5. I’d agree. Grief hits us all differently, and is as unique as the relationship being mourned. Note that I said it’s the loss of the relationship rather than the loss of the person themselves. People are complex, and never entirely black-and-white, while we frame our relationships with those people in simpler terms. In fact, relationships you can’t define tend to be troubling things.

    Besides, people express their grief differently. You can’t start reading too much into what someone said in the context of one relationship about their innermost feelings on another relationship. Too many variables.

    Reply
  6. I distinctly dislike the notion that there is this ‘right way’ to grieve. That you’re supposed to display this emotion in a particular manner for a particular length of time and that people expect you to conform to this.

    I lost someone close to me almost four years ago now and was there when they died. It was sudden. I had this overwhelmning sense that I was meant to show my mourning. I’m an intensely private person – believe me on this, I honestly am – and whilst I may not have shown my sadness outwardly, causing my family to suggest I hadn’t come to terms with their passing and that I was bottling it up, there’s not a day that goes by without me thinking of this individual. When I needed to, I turned to Mister. This took me the best part of a few months. I didn’t want to turn to others as they were in their own grief. Perhaps that was my fault at not engaging with their own method, but for me it was how I coped.

    Hmm, Sorry this is all quite personal, but in the end it’s how you deal with their passing in order to move forward, the whole ‘begin a new chapter’ notion.

    With love and warmth,
    LP x

    Reply

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