I'm going to start this post off with a little disclaimer. I've been debating over the past few days whether to press 'publish' on the below post or not. I don't want it to seem like a cry for attention or anything - it's not that at all. But last night, I realised it was OK to post this. My blog is quite personal, filled with my thoughts and feelings (granted usually on books, not everyday life, but there can be exceptions!) so I decided to share it with you.
There are two reasons I'm writing this latest blog post.
The first is that I love my blog. Over the past few months Little Northern Soul has become a passion of mine, not just a hobby, and is an outlet for me to express my thoughts and opinions, connect with others that have similar interests (or book taste!) and just generally be creative. I sometimes see it as a diary and so the below is a way for me to get my current thoughts and emotions down, on paper (so to speak) as a way of release. The second reason is that I haven't been as focussed on my blog lately and not putting my usual effort and enthusiasm into it, so I wanted to explain why.
Just over four months ago my Grandma had a stroke. A big one. From the off set we knew it wasn't a good prognosis. It was a difficult few weeks - she was awake and responsive but as she'd lost the ability to speak, couldn't communicate apart from saying 'yes', which was distressing when she was trying to say something. I'm not going to go into it all, but she carried on for four weeks before she passed away just over a week ago, on Saturday 22nd August.
Grief is a really weird thing. It's (thankfully) not something I've had to experience too much. My Grandad passed away about eight years ago, but if I'm honest I don't remember it that much. This is the first time I really feel like I'm experiencing grief, and boy is it an emotional rollercoaster.
Some days I'm absolutely fine. I go about my day as normal - work, gym, dinner, TV, bed - with little or no thoughts as to the loss of my Grandma or what my Dad is going through. I didn't see or speak to my Grandma every day like my Dad did, so there isn't something missing on a day-to-day basis for me, its more the family events, Christmas and Sunday dinners that I will find hard without her being there. Also, because I don't live with my parents, I'm not seeing them every day and seeing how they're coping. That slight removal from the situation can make it easy to, for a little while, forget and carry on as normal.
Then there's similar days to that, but with the addition of feeling guilty. Why should I be able to laugh or smile? relax? enjoy myself? My Dad certainly isn't doing that at the moment, so should I? The enormity of the guilt will weigh on my shoulders and I still don't really know the solution to this.
Then, there's sadness. Overall, I'd been doing pretty well really but last night I came home from spending the day with my family and I felt really sad. I had to stop myself from crying into my pizza (it was so delicious I couldn't bring myself to do so) and my thoughts kept flitting back to my Grandma, memories of happy times and thinking of how drawn and sad my Dad had looked yesterday.
The thing is, it'll be hard for some time. The funeral is on Friday and I think it will give us a chance to say goodbye and reflect on how we feel, but that won't be the end of the grief - then there's the difficult task of sorting out her belongings, clearing (and eventually selling) her house which will be a whole host of other memories re-surfacing and then disappearing. The finality of my Grandma's home going will also be wretched and very difficult. But, despite the horrible situation thats happening at the moment, I know I'm really lucky. Our family are close and supportive and I know we'll help each other through it as best we can. I'm lucky I got to spend the time with my Grandma that I did, some families don't have that so really, I need to focus on the good times we shared, not the loss. As well as family my OH is brilliant, truly brilliant, and can sense when I'm down, giving me a hug or thrusting a glass of wine towards me which is just what I need at the moment.
In time, I know I'll get back to normal with the blog, reading, work etc. At the moment though I'm finding it hard to concentrate on reading (I'm still reading the book I started last week - eek!) and then trying to create a coherent, interesting review for you all to read seems a daunting task at the moment. I'm sure that will change - hopefully soon- as reading and the blog are a great form of escape for me - they allow me to switch off from the outside world. Precious, stolen moments of reading are the perfect cure for such an emotional time.
So sorry if this post seems a little strange, I know its not my usual content at all. I just wanted to explain what's going on in my head and why Little Northern Soul has taken a slight backseat. I'm still tweeting and planning blog posts (mainly on the good days) and I'm sure eventually all days will be a good day, and I can give the blog the focus I want it to have. At the moment though, that extra time and energy is being spent on my loved ones. Thanks for reading if you've got this far, I hope it makes sense.
Lots of love, L xxx