Grief & Cliches
“Loving you is easy, I do it every day. Missing you is the heartache that never goes away”
I’ve seen this little quote, in various different wordings scattered across social medias and greetings cards so many times. It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s one that’s become a bit of a cliche. I’m not saying this to belittle or put anyone down, so please don’t think that. It just got me thinking. Grief is one emotion that is all at once, both universally understandable, and universally incomprehensible.
There is not one person on this planet that will not come into contact with the emotion of grief at some point in their lives (sociopaths excluded). I think it is one of those times when we would all love to be able to switch our emotions off, but this isn’t possible. Believe me, I wish it was.
Ten months and seven days ago, my sister and best friend passed away. I found her in the morning. She was just laying in bed. She could have been asleep if it weren’t for the silence. There’s nothing like the silence of death. I know that sounds like a cliche too, but there isn’t.
It truly is deafening. It is the quietest quiet that you will ever experience, and it seems to last forever, as if the minutes (for you know that in reality, they are only minutes), are going by in slow motion.
Then, your voice, which has seemed like it was stuck in your throat, suddenly bursts free and you find yourself simultaneously screaming and crying, as you shake, and your mind searches for answers and solutions to a situation that can never be fixed.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that morning. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of seeing someone I love, laying there like that. I can only hope that I can find a way to live with it.
At first, people come round; they send messages; cards; flowers, but all too soon, they move on with their lives (as they have every right to do), and you are left trying to make sense of things. Trying to work out what your life is supposed to be like now that this huge part of it is missing, all the while, wishing that you could have just one more minute; one more second, even.
Some days, it feels like the pain is going to tear you apart, other days, you can almost forget. Almost. But then the memory comes back; spikes its way into your consciousness so painfully that it takes your breath away for a moment.
I thought I heard her calling me last night. I was almost asleep, and it made me jump awake, and for a few moments before I came to properly, I forgot, and my only thought was of getting to her. Then, I remembered, and laid back down; a hollow feeling deep in my chest as my dog crept into my arms, trying to comfort me.
It should be her birthday on Friday. Actually, it was her “unbirthday”; a Birthday she picked for herself as her actual birthday had many bad memories associated with it. This time last year, I was waiting on a few last minute presents, wrapping those that had arrived, and trying to find the perfect card. I don’t get to do that this year, and that hurts.
It’s at times like these, when all the cliched sentiments in the world put together can’t actually express the pain that goes hand in hand with missing someone, and all I can do is live with it, and hope for it to grow a little bit less some day.
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.