Grief. Such a horrible word. It is something I have not really suffered with before. Yes I grieved the job I lost through redundancy, I have grieved the end of friendships and relationships. But real grief. The grief you feel when you have lost someone close, someone you are never going to see again and someone you could have helped if you pushed harder. That grief is something else.
I have sympathised with many friends over the years over their loss of a loved one, I have supported them through dealing with the grief but I never fully understood how it feels.
Now, one week on after loosing someone dear to my heart, I am trying to find my own ways to deal with my grief and the guilt I feel for not being able to help them.
To some it may seem like I am acting normally. I am not crying every minute of the day. I am doing every day things. I am continuing to go to interviews. Some might think this is not the normal behaviour of someone who is grieving. But what I have come to understand in just seven days, is that people deal with grief in many different ways.
I could be one of those who decide to spend the days dealing with my feelings by drinking copious amounts of wine – don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of wine over the last few days – but that is not me. I could retreat into myself and not talk about it. But again that it is not me.
What I have done over the last week is ride the very emotional roller coaster that comes along with any loss. The first few days saw a lot of shock, anger and at the same time organisation. My head went to the place it feels most comfortable – organising, making calls, delivering the horrible news. Once that was over, my body was hit with the most overwhelming feeling of loss and guilt – when there was nothing else to organise on my side the feelings kicked in and they hurt like hell.
That night I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I danced (to music that I knew he loved) and I drank.
The next day I gave myself a talking to. I needed to get myself together. I needed to learn to work through my feelings. I needed to get back out running.
I had not run for four days.
Some might think that four days is nothing. But for me, that was a long time. All I had done in those four days was sit. Sit and make phone calls. Sit and talk.
It was time to stop sitting.
So I went out. I ran. It was the hardest run I have ever tried to complete. And it was only three miles. It was windy, it was raining and I wanted to stop. But somewhere along the way the sun came out and I felt like I was being pushed.
It felt like he was telling me not to stop, to keep going. So I remembered, I remembered his voice cheering me on in my final moments at the London Marathon.
So I kept going.
The next day I went out again and I felt him there with me. Like he was telling me that he was happy now. That he was okay.
So I will keep on running, even when I don’t want to. I will keep running because I can.
I will keep on running for him.