Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Often, and as I have learnt, when someone close to you dies, the phrase you are most likely to hear is ‘they were such a loving person’. In the case of my recent bereavement, I believe this was repeated at least four times approximately per day. At first I understood this as being an easy way of filling the dreaded awkward silence felt by guests as they came to pay their respects in a house that despite their constant presence felt empty in ways that prior to a few days ago I had not even thought possible.
These people traipse in and out, kindly trying to fill a void in your life that as you sit and nod and force smiles you absolutely and undoubtedly know will never be fixed. These guests it seems are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. A couple will tell you, whilst staring into your vacant, stinging eyes that the pain you are feeling will soon ease, that you will become accustomed to the changes in your life.
It is these words that irk me the most, as I stare back and attempt to restrain myself from leaning forward and screeching in their faces. I inwardly contemplate the way in which a week from now, after the funeral, these people will return to the comfort of their homes, the normality of their jobs, and the blanket of love their full families provide for them.
I get this exact same feeling at the end of the day, when I find myself sat in my living room, staring at the space on the sofa where my little sister should be sat beside me. The empty space there, still indented slightly from the weight of her over the years is a perfect representation of the void Emily’s death has left inside of me.
There is not a time in my life that I can remember being without Emily. I was only two years and three months old when she was born into our family. The result of this is that a life without her seems simply incomprehensible. I am, however, now forced to accept this as a reality not only from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, but also in the hours of REM, where I am faced with gut wrenchingly painful dreams.
Please do not think I am arrogant enough to believe that I am the only one to ever have experienced this pain, for I know many are facing it around the world at this exact moment in time, perhaps that even you, my reader, as your eyes flick along the lines of my words, are facing it now. It is only that in these early stages of grief in which I find myself encased, it is hard to consider or recognize that there is a world continuing and existing outside of mine. The one shrouded in loss, anger and confusion.
Primarily, grief is all consuming.