So pleased to have another guest post for you from Katie and Evee. If you haven’t already, it’s so worth checking out their beautiful blog, twitter (@thegriefreality) and instagram sites (thegriefreality). They have a wonderful view on life and living with grief. Today you will find a new post from me on their blog.

Identity and Grief

Tell me about yourself. What makes you, you?

Grief strips you down to the soil of who you are. When you experience this, you may realize you don’t know who you are. The person who you miss the most has been replaced with this new awkward lump of emotion; Grief. That’s exactly what it was like for us.

When the nurses chatter has died down, and everyone has gone home to resume normal life; You are left with yourself, but who are you now?

This question was one we both struggled with at different times.

Grief forced us to not only walk without Mum in this life, but also to relearn who we were when everything was stripped away.

We used to hold a firm sense of self. We trusted that our identity was unshakeable; we knew who we were, and nothing was going to stop us from being us.

But nothing could have prepared us for how alien we felt when we lost our Mum. What made us ‘Katie’ and ‘Evee’ seemed to have run for cover when we experienced that crashing loss.

Certain aspects of identity are dependent on certain factors; the family circle being one. Your family teach you everything you need to know about the world, how to react and respond. Your family teaches you to love.

When a key member of this circle is taken away; you feel lost, bewildered, confused. How can you continue living as the person you were before, when all of the factors that created you are gone?

The crucial part of this is to know that that version of you is undeniably altered. It may disappear for a little while, but you will come back to yourself one day: just a little more beaten, and a lot more experienced.

This is not necessarily a bad or negative thing. When you cut open a tree, you see the rings of growth; your previous selves are concrete in these rings of growth. The rough patch you are going through is like the bark which will eventually grow into another ring to make up that tree.

No growth comes from being what you were, and staying stagnant in your identity. Growth comes from turning up for a new day, each day, no matter how weary you are. Becoming a new you with those previous experiences making up this new edition of you.

Your loss and your love will always be a part of your identity. Your loved one will maintain an inherent component of you. That is not going anywhere.

You may have a few more grey hairs, wrinkles or awkward branches sticking out, but your core will always be you. Whatever that now looks like. That is what holds you firm, and renewing your green leaves.

Stay hopeful,

Katie & Evee

49 thoughts on “Identity and Grief

  1. The thing I find is that with all the suffering going on in the world, especially this year in lots of ways, I find the grief I’ve been trying to cope with is returning to its original form from 2013, strong and powerful. And I’m not this person. I am positive and funny, but lately it is a struggle.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I was definitely “altered.”

    In less than a week after losing my husband, I dealt with the legal aspects – removing his name and closing accounts; the familial aspect – the fact our adult children had now only had one parent; and the social aspect – what the loss meant to friends and family. It took me weeks to center on myself, and then I was like, “What now?”

    I believe we take our identity for granted until grief and loss gives us a reality check. It’s been just over a year and only now am I beginning to feel “comfortable in my own skin.”

    Thanks for a thoughtful post, ladies.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Staying stagnant isnt how we’re supposed to live. I love the tree analogy, it’s perfect! We’re always growing and learning and incorporating new experiences, good and bad, into our growth.
    Keep reaching for the sunshine, drink in the rain, and dance in the wind!💖

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is the kind of post that makes me feel so alien. I lost my mother before I was 10. She suffered with cancer for at least a year before that, but I was too young to understand, and no one was allowed to tell me. I was being protected, but really, I was being deprived. One day my mother was taken to the hospital, and I never saw her again. I never got to really know her, I was the ninth child born of her in 12 years, and she was spread so thin only my four or five older siblings ever got to really know her.
    I hear people talk of grief, but I have nothing to relate to. I can feel existential grief, but of famil8al grief I know so little…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny… my brain must be really tired. Took me a while to figure that one out. It’s true… It’s true. Nobody paid, or is paying me to say that.

        Liked by 1 person

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