As much as I like writing (well my version of writing), my favourite part of blogging is getting to read other blogs. They can make you laugh, cry, think and fill you with renewed hope. One of my favourite blogs is by Katie and Evee. It really captured me as like my son, grief often hits when we are far too young. They talk about it so beautifully. It’s grief with hope, loss with the desire to live again.

I’m really excited as today Katie and Evee are here on my blog. They have also rather recklessly allowed me to write on their wonderful blog today as well.

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Grieving During Quarantine

Hello, our names are Katie and Evee. Gary has kindly shared his platform with us today to write a little about our experience with grief during quarantine. 

~

Sometimes, during big events where the whole world is grieving such as the time we find ourselves in today, our own personal grief can feel small, detached and forgotten.

Evee: We lost our Mum 18 months ago, on the 9th of September 2018. We still feel it every day, but recently, the want for our Mum during such chaos, is deafening. For example, when I was at university trying to work out how to get home before lockdown, everyone had parents on the phone to call for comfort, or to pick them up. I felt the loss of my mum then.

Katie: Over the past 18 months I have been learning what grief is and how I can fit it into my everyday life, and our blog has been a great means of doing so. When life shifts, as it tends to do, I try to bend with it. I try to shape my grief to fit the big hole where Mum used to be. Before quarantine, I was working on allocating time to fit grief into my fast-paced life; 05:45 start, the commute, work, the commute home, cooking, exercise, writing for the blog, sleeping, and amidst that, trying to maintain friendships and socialising and trying to find time for me. Each of these parts were like spinning plates.

With this global transition, I now work from home. I think I speak for the whole nation when I say that this is a hard adjustment. We are all confined to the house, yet working towards the constant harsh deadlines. This, alongside the anxiety, fear, and sadness that the whole world is feeling right now has been intense and hard to escape. For me, something has had to give in the last couple of weeks and a couple of my spinning plates have fallen down – grief being one of them. 

Getting to grips with my new quarantine routine, I have not been able to dedicate any time to reflect on my grief or to sit quietly with my thoughts at all. But grief doesn’t stop just because our lives seemingly have, and as Evee mentioned, we both miss our Mum more than ever right now. 

Evee: On the other hand, I have a lot more time than Katie, because all of my exams and most of my assignments have been cancelled. I haven’t been able to do work because it feels like the minute I do, I get an email saying that the module that I’m working on has been abandoned. This week, the only thing I have been able to count on, is my home exercise routine. 

The gym used to be a huge part of my life; it would often be a place where I think about Mum and process everything. I enjoy the feeling of my body being spent, and of stretching my aching muscles out. For some reason, while my body is active, my mind can chug away slowly and think about everything that is happening in the world, and its impact on my small world. 

When the gym became a breeding ground for the pandemic, I began to create workouts at home. I have created a hard work out for myself to do during the day. I find this gives me a sense of normality, and enables me to have that time to myself and for me to think about Mum. Like what she would say and what she would do in this situation. My one hour outside I use mainly for cycling or walking.

I also spend a lot of time cleaning, tidying and making this house cosy and homely for my little family. It is things like this that make me feel like I am helping out, and easing the pressure off of my sister and Uncle.

It is in these moments where I can clear my head and remember happier times, and think of who I have, and what I can do to get through this period. And that also involves a lot of blog writing! 

Writing has always been a big part of my life, but particularly now, I find it indulgent and wonderful to log onto our online community, talk and feel less alone.

Katie: Thankfully, the clocks went forward recently which gifted us with an extra of sunshine in the evening. I use this extra hour of daylight to take my walk and I’m truly grateful for it. Evee pointed me to the direction of a nearby, beautiful church. It has become a wonderful addition to my newroutine. I go there to stop. Sit, think and reflect. It is an hour dedicated to being still and quiet. I close my eyes and reflect upon life and our Mum. I use this time to ground myself during such pandemonium.

~

This is a challenging time for us all. We constantly receive intrusive breaking news notifications on our phones. Our head is clustered full of worries, anxieties, and fear. It feels like at any moment our spinning plates will fall. Dedicate time to yourself. Dedicate time to reflection. Dedicate time to processing. In a little while, you’ll be able to pick these plates back up.

Stay safe, sane and smiling, friend.

Today we leave you with a song from one of our favourite and happiest artists; Newton Faulkner. 

 

My best-laid plans are washed away

No time to make ’em all again

Sometimes life gets in the way

We’ve got to keep on breathing

Look how far we’ve come

Look what we’ve made

Started from nothing, building

Brick by Brick – Newton Faulkner

 

Katie & Evee x

98 thoughts on “Grieving during quarantine

      1. I’m hanging in, my friend, though admittedly in a black mood most of the time. I am so disgusted with the ‘man’ who is supposedly leading this nation … leading us down the path of destruction … and equally disgusted with half the people in this nation. I question whether life is worth it most days. Sigh. Take care, my friend … I still hope for that coffee someday. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It was lovely to collaborate with you, we really enjoyed it 🙂 This online community means so much to us! Lovely to meet you all too, hope to see you over on our blog! We love the open dialogue you get with WordPress 🙂 x

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a beautiful expression of grief compounded! Thank you, Gary for sharing this poignant piece. I lost my Mom to cancer when I was 28. It took a long, long time to really get over it but eventually I learned to live with a hole in my heart that can never be filled – even all these years later. To deal with grief in the midst of this pandemic has got to be so much more challenging. It’s hard enough in “normal” times. I think these young people are so very wise. We do have to process in order to heal. God bless you, Gary and may he bless Katie and Evee as well.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. We are good. No corona beer here. LOL! No cops stopping us to ask where we are going. Riverwalk is open. No travel restriction between counties. Supplies are spotty, tho… Haven’t seen a Clorox or Lysol wipes container in over a month. The TP thieves are still out & about. One would think that, with a nasty flu bug, the kleenex boxes would disappear…not TP. Apparently, another side effect of this bug is confusion regarding which end to wipe. *eyes rolling*

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s been a good weekend. Stayed away from work and focused on home and the boys. Managed to give myself a big dose of pollen today though so now I can’t sleep with hayfever symptoms 🙄 x

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Katie and Evie I have abundant gratitude to Gary for introducing me to you through the venerable platform of his blog. I was extremely moved and also humbled by your attitudes. What you are going through is unthinkable. Losing your mum was devastating. Now you are playing out your grief against a previously unimagined tapestry. Your mum would be, IS extremely proud of you. And you have just earned another follower. Go softly, you both and all who are grieving with you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The pleasure is mine. I am delighted to have found you. Gary commented to me that you remind us why we keep on living. I am looking forward to reading so much more of your work. X

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah… So the hidden cottage on the other side of a bit of one of our old garden walls was like one of these ladybird books today. You know, ‘Brian and Sue, both in their 70s had eschewed their gym class–cancelled at any rate–for turning on their outdoor jukebox at 3 pm and getting wasted…’ ‘ I am not even getting started on Sat night. See, we have the upper bit of a house so despite all the trees and walls, I can see quite a bit from our kitchen window… Six hidden gardens in fact…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Grief is one of the most powerful human emotions we can ever experience and it is a journey that differs from person to person. But the impact on our well-being and ability to adapt to a new normal especially now is challenging. I have experienced a lot of grief during the past five years and have insights that I didn’t have before. I have learned how to just listen to others going through their grief and to just be there. I don’t expect their grief to be the same as mine but can reassure friends that it is OK for them to experience things in a new and unexpected way. Thank you for sharing your story and dropping by my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautiful girls. Beautiful words. I just spoke with one of them the other day. I’m not sure which one, but she was very lovely! Their mom would be proud. Prayers going up for both of them. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. what a lovely share Gary! I lost my mother 10.10.2019 but she had a long and full life. We knew she was going and got to say our goodbyes and prepare. That does help …

    Writing sure is cathartic .. and sounds like you three are supporting each other with loads of love and care xx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Cool! Great idea, the guest blog. It helps your blog reach new eyes and with a topic like grief, that is really important!
    I’m sure their mother would be very proud of how they’re helping other people who are going through the same thing!
    💌💌

    Liked by 2 people

  8. At a time when the whole world is mourning a wide range of losses, I am especially cognizant of those who are grieving the death of a loved one. To be isolated is difficult enough; but to be isolated in grief can be a great challenge to hope. My friend Jim used to say, “The best is yet to come,” and I try to remind myself of that every day. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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