It’s coming up to 5 years, 5 years, whoa! 5 years since I sat next Poppa M holding his hand for the last time, watching and waiting as the machines turned off wishing and staring for his eyes to open in some kind of defiant miracle. It didn’t happen, we all knew it wasn’t going to but I couldn’t help but wish.

5 years just seems so long, it really doesn’t feel that long, and yet it is. I mean it sounds harsh and like I’m “over it” when I say it’s normal for him to not be around anymore, but it is. I’ve got used to it. That doesn’t mean I don’t still miss him, long for him, get sad and even cry every once i whilst, it’s just more bearable now.

You see, as someone recently put to me, “it’s like carrying a brick around, in your pocket or bag, and that brick is never going to go away, but it just keeps getting a bit lighter” and quite frankly it’s the best analogy I’ve heard yet for grief. I also think it’s an absorbent brick, so when there’s a time that this are a bit tough and you wish someone was here, it soaks some of that up like water and gets a little heavier again, but then it drys and wrings itself out to become lighter once you’ve come through the little hurdle. But it never ever goes away.

I guess that’s how I’m feeling a bit at the moment as the anniversary looms. I’m ok, I even doubt I’ll have a little weep because to be honest it’s more the off guard moments that catch me out. It’s the sudden thoughts and memories that appear from nowhere more than anything that bother me the most. And I’m also ok with that, I’m ok with what upsets me and what is and isn’t as bearable. I’m ok with how I cope and deal with not having Poppa M around anymore.

I really like this analogy and think it’s much better than the ever popular phrase, “time is a great healer” because whilst this is true, in the first days of losing Poppa M, I wanted to punch anyone in the face that said it whilst telling them to piss off. I think because that whilst it is true, time does help things heal, it makes it sound like you’ll be ok one day and get over it. Which is true you will be ok one day, but you won’t get over it. You don’t get over grief and equally you don’t get over some other kinds traumatic and heartbreaking life events, but you are able to carry the brick they bring more easily.

Saying this makes me realise how much more ok I am with a lot of things. Like, being on my own, raising P by myself, having a smaller circle of friends and family but that is tight knit, knowing my faults and not being perfect. I’m ok with a lot of things that at one time I wasn’t. I’ve been through a lot and similar to losing Poppa M, I’ll never get over it because these experiences have shaped me and taught me lots of valuable lessons, but those experiences and traumas are also like a brick that never goes away, it just keeps getting lighter.

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