Friday 5 April 2013

five weeks on ..... lessons learnt

Five weeks after Chloe died and this is what I've learnt, so far, about grief:

  • Firstly it runs you over, it lets you catch a breath, and then it reverses and runs you over again. 
  • The vast majority of people are really kind - if you allow them to be.  It's impossible for people to know what to say; thankfully the loss of a child is way outside of most people's experience.  But if you open your heart most people just want to help.  If you allow them to it really really helps. 
  • Love and friendship are all that matter.  Be really really grateful for the love of close friends and family.  I definitely couldn't do this journey without them.  AND I'm sure that I'm not much fun to be around at the moment; I am so grateful that people still want to spend time with me and reach out with love, understanding and compassion.  I'm totally amazed that some of the people that do this are under 18. I thought that teenagers were supposed to be a pain! 
  • A few people can be mean.  Most don't mean to be mean - they just can't deal with a loss of this magnitude or it's just not the right time for them - and at the end of the day my grief is not their grief and sometimes I want to "get away" from me too.   So they avoid you, say daft things or sometimes even lash out.  I'm afraid grief makes you selfish and I'm way too tired and lost in pain and sadness to try and understand why they may act like this.  I'm sure that there are many reasons why and I'm absolutely certain that I am also super sensitive at the moment.  So, just for now, I use my mental "delete" button to deal with these people.   Their issues are not my problem and it means I have far more energy for the people who matter to me.  Simple?
  • A very very few number of people are just mean.  Delete! 
  • Low expectations really help.  A fellow bereaved parent (sadly there's a little club of us) advised me to expect to feel very sad every day.  So every time I feel a  tiny bit less sad it feels like a bonus.  Maybe a good way to live life generally.  
  • Stay with the thoughts.  It seems to me that there is no way round grief.  Every time I have a sad thought (which is pretty often) I stay with that thought and just allow it to settle.  Some people try and keep really busy to stop the thoughts, and I know that some find this helpful.   Personally I find it much better to stay with the thought until it gently drifts away.  This seems to make the bad thoughts a tiny bit less powerful. 
  • Remember that the strength of the sadness is equal to the strength of the love.  Chloe really really mattered to me; so it really really hurts now she is gone.  No surprise I guess. 
Onto another day, another week without my precious Chloe :(


  1. Well put, Debbie. You seem to have a clearer insight into this than I did. I hope you'll be able to continue to catch your breath more and more.

  2. I'm striving myself to reach that place.

    1. I love your site LK - such amazing things that you've made:) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. xx

  3. Debbie, this is such a beautiful tribute to your precious Chloe, I think it is wonderful that you are able to write and share your feelings and thoughts along your journey which will help your greiving and also help others who will read. I found your blog by accident as I run a charity for bereaved parents, called A Child Of Mine!! We would love to offer you a platform to share your blog on our site, please do email me if you would be interested much love and peace - Gayle x

  4. Dearest Gayle, thank you so much for posting and yes definitely please do share this blog. I have just read all through your site and am TOTALLY amazed that you have done all this after losing your little boy. And what a beautiful little boy. So much in your site resonates with how I want to deal with my grief. I found it positive and uplifting and a fantastic source for other bereaved parents - or really anybody who is bereaved. My very personal view is that s bereaved parents need some kind of hope that life can be worth living again. This quote really affected me: "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love" - Washington Irving. I just love it!
    Please keep in touch. And I hope my ramblings offer some comfort to another family. Debbie xxxx

  5. I have just found out about Chloe, and about your blog, via Facebook- writing this blog is unbelievably courageous. I cannot imagine the utter agony of losing one of my daughters, and I think this definitely will help others in similar positions to you- you write beautifully and I think people often have trouble articulating grief; you do it so well. I hope the rules on treatment gets drastically overhauled and I'll be following your blog to see if there's anything I can do to help; in the meantime I've added Hannah on Facebook and will be keeping up to date on what we can sponsor. Lots of love, Hannah X

  6. Thank you so much for posting and please do keep in touch xx