I shouldn’t listen to the radio as it frequently gets me so very 😡😡😡😡😡 mad. The local station had a programme about grief. It featured a so called Bereavement Expert who seemed to be reading from a text book released before the Rolling Stones were born. It was truly awful. We had callers who believed it was wrong to grieve for more than a week or so – people should jump into a new relationship immediately. We then had callers who believed you should lock yourself permanently in a grief isolation cell – staying there until you die. No other options mentioned. The expert and the callers just so quick to pick faults with others. A complete sea of ‘I know best’ attitudes. The Expert advised people to not hang onto loved ones ashes – deal with them promptly and then move on. Then the so called expert brought up the case of an elderly man who every year took his wife’s ashes out for a meal on their wedding anniversary. The expert thought this man needed help as this was deemed as unhealthy. He was instructed to move on. Yes it was sad but he should be considerate to the other people having a meal.

Deep Deep sighs followed by immediately switching to a bit of Green Day on cd.

You just can’t judge how someone deals with bereavement and grief. We all do it differently. No right text book approach exists. Finding a new love quickly, or never replacing your love or doing something in the middle are all fine. Just don’t judge and stop picking faults – you just don’t know anything about that persons life or what they are going through. I find reading and listening to other people’s experiences with grief really really helps. I love hearing people’s ideas. But I never ever judge them.

I’m calming down a bit now.

Maybe this year we will start scattering my partners ashes, maybe we won’t. A couple of years ago I scattered my mums ashes on her family grave. My mum was adamant, no ceremony at the grave. I would do it when I had time. No new words on the gravestone. So when the time came….

The graveyard does not allow unapproved ashes scattering. The Policy states that it has to be an official process. An expensive and time consuming process. So it was time to go into covert operation mode. I decided to opt for a backpack and a shovel type of look. It would make me look like I was here to do some gardening. As I walked to the grave I realised that this rather shifty appearance made me look more like a grave robber. Anyway the time came. Do I just scatter them or dig them in. I will do both. So some were scattered. Unfortunately it was so windy part of my mum may have made it to Norway. She always liked the sound of a Scandinavian holiday. I then started to shift away some of the grave soil. Bit of a worry thought – how deep are the coffins buried? A nervous glance to the side revealed a companion. On a grave 5 yards away was a squirrel also happily digging away. Was the Squirrel hiding some nuts or was the little fella also solemnly scattering some ashes. We will never know.

My mum loved animals. Mum loved feeding squirrels. She would smile at the sight of the squirrel burying the nuts. So as I walked away I hoped that the little fella had moved onto our grave. Mum would like that. Not sure the Bereavement Expert would though..

123 thoughts on “No text book grief.

  1. F*** the bereavement expert!
    Everyone is different, every event is different, every life is different, every relationship is different.
    My daughter died the day she was born. They took her away and disposed of her as hospital trash. I didn’t get to say hello or goodbye. My grief won’t leave …
    I don’t want it to. I don’t want her to think (if it’s at all possible, even remotely) it was my choice. I want … the experts at the time who deemed it was better that way – to [well, you know].
    I wish I had her ashes to keep at least a bit of them with me … anything, really. But I don’t. All I have is anger and rage that won’t move through the stupid five-stage process.
    So much for experts.
    and thanks for letting me get that off my soul – you can press the delete button if you like.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am so sorry you went through that. Not being able to feel the body close to you and really move through it is so hard. When my father died I was not allowed to see him and I didn’t visit the night before as I was not well and let me tell you I carried that grief and buried it for years. No wonder you felt angry. I can really understand that ❤

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Oh my God. I hope you didn’t blame yourself. I had a bloody injection to go overseas with that horrible guy who ended up abandoning me the day before Dad died, that is why I did not go to the hospital. I hope you came through that okay. We do what we think is best at the times. Big big hug, to you dear friend. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. That’s such a tough tough situation (can’t find any words) .I’m not sure what anyone can say. Any things Ive been through pale into significance compared to what you have been through. Some so called experts need to get there heads out of their arses. Stop doing things to suit their needs and think about others. If you ever need to unload you know where I am. You take care.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. I am so sorry for your loss. Please try Cruse (UK) or a local Bereavement Service as they will listen to you and help you work through the grief. You won’t ‘get over it’ -ever- but you can soothe your distress.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. You’re absolutely right, everyone experiences grief in their own way. And our mind tells us how and when. Only people who are too overwhelmed may need support through this phase by counseling.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Good to see you posting during daytime. Converting our local time to UK time via google leads me to suspect there are times when you are posting in the wee small hours when you would be better off lying horizontal in bed – drowsing ? sleeping ? counting sheep ? or otherwise giving your brain a rest.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh God! You’ve just made me laugh and that’s awful! But the thought of the sight of you and the squirrel digging …. and the Scandinavian holiday! I’m sorry, I’m sure I shouldn’t be laughing. I do love the way you write. The fact that you were angry after the radio programme but then as the words were typed out, you began to calm down, shows how writing does help. You just do whatever works for you and your son. Read about grief, listen to awful radio programmes about grief, write about it … in the knowledge that you not alone, people deal with it in different ways and occasionally, just occasionally you might find something that resonates or helps. Both my parents have died and just over a year ago my dog also died. In the summer, I took her ashes on our camping holiday with the intention of scattering a part of her in the river that she used to love. Somehow when packing the car, the bag containing her ashes ended up in the ‘kitchen cooking box’. I will admit that it looked very similar to the bags containing the plain flour, the salt and the cornflour, but I have promised not to berate my husband for the awful mistake that occurred thereafter. I’ll say no more. Very best wishes to you. Katie

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks Katie. I’m conscious of not trying to make the posts too dark, not everybody likes that. The funny stuff (hopefully) is how my mind lets off steam. It’s not a good feel having no parents, then the dog, that must have been hell for you. My partners mum died last year, she wanted to be scattered in the corner of our garden. Problem is is that the place she pointed to is our dogs preferred poop zone and now is being dug up by a mole. …Sorry I shouldn’t laugh now, but my Monty Python mind has started, did something then happen to the said the ashes. Sorry. You take care. Gary x

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think we all have a bit of Monty Python in us … I don’t think scattering the ashes in the poop zone would be good … I’m sorry, now I’m laughing again!

        The ashes damn nearly ended up in the pancake mix. X

        Liked by 2 people

  5. F$%# Im fuming just reading this. They are trying to get grief listed in the DSM psychiatric bible as a mental illness if it goes on for more that a year. Its so ridiculous. I remember a man who lost a loved one in 9/11 speaking of how everyone talks about closure but there is no complete closure when the love of your life passes on. Gods sake you loved them, isn’t the grief a measure of your love. Not saying you have to get mired in it but at least allow it a place.
    As for ashes a year on and we still haven’t collected my Mum’s ashes my sister has been in and out of psyche ward as you know as she has blocked grief (is being medicated through it) which means its hard to share anything together.
    I really understand you feeling upset by this. People have such disembodied ideas on dealing with grief. Its really really toxic.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Its been 4 years my husband has been gone. Everyone grieves differently and the the grief never really goes away. You become better at dealing with it that’s all. In my town (my husbands home town), my little family is watched closely. If I’m happy I’m judged and if I’m sad I’m judged. One group says I should be over it and “move on” and one group thinks I should be sad all the time. I really don’t care what people think about it anymore because they don’t know. So I just don’t socialize much and do what is best for my family. It’s much better that way. This was a good post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much. I completely get you not socialising much and putting family first. I survived purely because I had one job to do, give our son the best childhood possible. Nothing else matters. Not sure if I care that much about myself these days, it’s just not important to me. Please take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could have written that response. You are right nothing else matters and I feel the same about myself. I had another blog that was only about dealing with being a widow and raising grieving children. I started this blog for me. Know what I mean? I write to help myself with me because if I’m not ok it’s harder for me to be the best parent I can be. It has helped to write out my feelings. Being any only parent sucks and I don’t feel single at the same time. Haha whoa that was too much?!?! Thank you and you please take care also!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. With hindsight I would have split out my blogs. But it just all merged together into a bit of a mess. I completely get what you are saying. I must admit I feel kinda broken and that can’t help my standard of parenting. I might be a single parent but I have forgotten how to be single.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I do try to be as close as a perfect parent I can and possibly over parent. I just want them to feel as loved and as normal as possible. I wouldn’t know how to date. It’s been 24 years for me. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like the so called expert has either never dealt with grief themself or is very black and white in their thinking.
    Grief is like a wave; it can ripple, it can crash or be somewhere in the middle…
    People grieve at their own pace; some quicker than others while others grieve much longer.
    Do what is right for you.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Is this the truth? I read of a huge study that was done after the Hillsborough disaster – given it involved then untimely deaths of so many people who’d have been expected to survive a lot longer – to catalogue the affects of grief. It was fascinating and out the lie to may assumptions that might have been made about who was affected, when and how severely. And then I experienced my own – loss of parents, which of course isn’t like your dreadful experience but, as you say it takes us how it takes us. And because losing parents is ‘expected’ I barralled straight into the expectations that I’d get over it. Give it a week, have a funeral, sob, move on. I then read this book – the adult orphan – which included studies of people losing parents and the need to be alllowed to grieve in their own way. It was revelatory. Dad died in March 2005. I was efficient, in control, the epitome of the man who ‘dealt’ with this tragedy well. Then, in the August I took my son and uncle to see England win the Ashes at the Oval. For twenty years that was me and Dad, that last test match. The umpire knock off the bails and we’d won. Grown men cried with joy. I cried for Dad’s absence. I let a lot go, couldn’t say, couldn’t explain. My son, 15 at the time, thought me weird. He gets it now. Sod experts, eh? They read too many books. Glad you let that go.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I’m a Bereavement Counsellor for a national organisation and we would never, ever tell anyone that they should be getting over it. Bereavement (as you know) raises many issues about past losses, fears, identities, family dynamics etc etc and people need time to absorb these. Please complain to the Radio Station!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Bereavement expert is NO expert! When someone dies, they will ALWAYS be a part of you, good or bad. We all grieve differently. I’m so glad you recognized that and turned it off. Just reading it made me very angry. Oy!! ((Hugs))

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Each person is different, Thank the Lord. Would one want to live with one’s self. Good Grief, not me. Silence is quite hard for me, I love to chatter..Be happy I have to write. :)) I cannot cry eaisly. It took a year to grieve with tears for my mother. I lost one of my dearest friends in 2017 and I am still grieving. We need to let our God decide when to go forward not a prideful ‘expert’.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When my Dad died, my Mum grieved in a completely different way I did. At the time we needed some of the same things (like “us”) but also completely different things. For example she really needed the thought that his death “was good for something”. I found that strange and somehow heartless to think like that. But I understood very quickly that this thought helped her immensely and continued to listen to her and to talk about what I’m dealing with, instead of questioning it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Experts, huh? Going to share their superior knowledge? Yeah. Bugger off.

    NO ONE can determine another’s reactions to anything. Grief is just as powerful an emotion as rage, joy or jealousy. And, opinions are like assholes.

    Green Day was a better choice. Good on you.

    When my grandmothers passed away, I refused to say goodbye & I don’t visit grave sites. To me, my memories keep them alive. They will always be my grandmothers & visiting a grave, to me, is pointless. “They” are not actually there. They are with me.

    I was sad when they left. Sometimes, the memory of the sadness returns but, I just keep their memories with me on a daily basis. I still remember their voices & their mannerisms.

    The paternal side of my family discovered that my first cousin’s little daughter was talking to someone that wasn’t there. Before she could form words, she was babbling & pointing to nothing. One day she mentioned my grandmother’s nickname, something she would have never heard as my grandmother passed in 2000. Heh. Yeah. She is still around…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So are my uncle & both cousins. My uncle was very close to his mom and my cousins are quite a bit younger than I. Those two didn’t have her as long as I did. I was her only grandchild for 12 years and she was only 39 when I showed up. She doesn’t need to visit with me. She wanted to see her great-granddaughter.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Those “experts” don’t know shit. Yeah, I was really worried about Mom for a while because she wouldn’t talk to ANYone but me, and I never seemed to have the right thing to say. I think therapists are important as listeners–we need to be listened to. But being talked down to? Dismissed? Ordered? NO.

    That expert needs to be kicked in the nuts, is my point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so so sorry for you and your families loss. I have just read your story. Those 4 years, Truly Heartbreaking. Absolutely no shame in needing time. My loss is over 2 years now and I’m still working through it. Everybody finds their own way. No right way no wrong way, just the way you went. Please take care. I’m thinking of you.

      Like

  14. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I agree there can be no rule book about how a person should grieve. Each person is different and should be allowed to grieve in their own way. I lost my father a few months ago, so can relate to the pain of losing a loved one. I coincidentally also wrote a blog post about ‘grief’ today. Wishing you more strength for the future. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s insane to ever put a time limit on someone’s grief. I agree with you, well said. We all deal with the stages and phases very differently. My own mother has some coping mechanisms that delay her grieving period for quite some time, we are all different.
    I feel grief never leaves us. Once it’s a part of you, you just learn to live with it and cope however you feel is best for YOU. Well written and spoken, bravo.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. There is definitely NO text book way. I am SICK of these so calked “experts.” There seems to be an “expert” for everything under the sun. We are the only experts on ohrselves. I have recently had a HUGE argument and parting of the ways with a local vicar because I wasn’t doing things HIS way. He said I was not helping myself. Stupid git! Gary, my heart bleeds for you. I am so very very sorry for your losses. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Unfortunately people just do not understand grief until it happens to them, but I’d never wish anyone to have to join this awful club of grief. I’m quite a calm person but I am immediately on the defense when people start talking about ‘moving on’ and ‘the stages of grief’, they encourage everyone to be different in literally every other outlet but when it comes to grieving our loved ones we should all be doing it in the same way? It makes me furious if I think about the things they say for too long. I lost my dad when I was a child and the amount of people who try to diminish my feelings of grief simply because they believe I was ‘too young to remember it all’ is ridiculous. I’m tempted to scream at them, but if I did that they’d probably label is as being an ‘unhealthy response’. People eh? Anyway, I like your posts and your blog:)

    Liked by 1 person

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