Grief pops up when you least expect it.

Today I am writing about grief.

I am working in the area of grief and I regularly talk to people about the circular nature of grief and how it can be triggered when you least expect it.

It hit me the other day when I least expected it.

I am very very well and I do not intend to upset anyone who has grief related to losing a loved one because I think that is so much more significant than my loss but I still experience loss in relation to my accident over two years ago. I had an incident last night where my grief about my accident was triggered. I feel terrible for the feelings that I have because I know my life is truly special but it is what it is and it still effects me.

I was sitting with my beautiful husband and daughter at dinner last night at a gorgeous little restaurant in Miami called Little Truffle. I felt so blessed eating beautiful food with two very special people.

David was telling me about his ride that morning and how he had a personal best up a big hill out the back of the coast. I love listening to David’s achievements and I don’t ever want him to stop achieving or doing amazing things or telling me about it. Last night however I found it really hard listening to all his achievements because I was jealous of his achievements and angry that an achievement of mine was not realized.

I will try to explain why….

On the day of my Accident I did personal best times up both McAffees and Mount Glorious. I was so fit and healthy. The week before I had ridden to Mount Tamborine and back – a distance of 140km with a decent Hill in the middle. I had loved it and was even better at the end of that ride than at the beginning. I was training to do a ride called The Peaks Gold Coast . I am a slow rider but my fitness was improving and I believe I was on track to be able to achieve my goal of finishing this ride.

I never got to do that ride and I won’t ever do anything like it again. This is not because I can’t train and do the ride, it is because at this point I choose not to do a ride like this. I am lucky I am still alive. I am very very aware now of the fragility of life and how easily life can change. It only takes a flat tyre descending a hill to lose control, a car coming to close and the mirror side swiping you, a car door opening as you ride past, a car not seeing you and pulling out in front of you. As a rider you are aware of the possibility of all these things happening but when you ride if you thought of things like this constantly the enjoyment of the ride would be non existent. My accident was due to my own personal error not someone else’s but I am acutely aware now about how quickly life can change. I know if I put my mind to it I could train just as hard as I was two years ago but my choices now are different.

I love my life. I am happy with the choices I make. Just every now and then I get caught by surprise by my emotions. These emotions include anger about what happened to me and sadness for the opportunities not realized and the goals not achieved. And every now and then I feel overwhelmed by these feelings. I can’t change what happened to me but I do love this journey of life and making new memories and achieving new goals. These feelings of anger and sadness are getting less frequent but they still pop up occasionally.

I think this is the nature of grief. You experience a loss. The feelings at the beginning are overwhelming. You deal with the day to day. Eventually you continue on with life and making new memories and making new plans. Your feelings become less overwhelming but they are still there under the surface. Every now and then those feelings bubble over sometimes when you least expect it. You don’t need anyone to tell you it is ok. You know it is ok. You just know that things are now different.

I hope anyone dealing with the emotions related to some sort of grief are managing ok. Please make sure if the emotions you are dealing with become overwhelming to get help.

There are many numbers you can call if grief becomes overwhelming

Lifeline—phone 13 11 14 for free counselling and support (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Lifeline also provides information about other grief counselling services.

13 HEALTH—call 13 43 25 84 for general health information and referrals (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

The Compassionate Friends, Queensland—support for families who have experienced the death of a family member. Phone (07) 3254 2585 or attend a drop-in centre.

Sands—if you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death, call 1300 072 637 to speak to someone who understands.

beyondblue—phonecall 1300 224 636 if you are feeling depressed and want to talk to a trained professional about your problems (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Salvo Care Line—call 1300 363 622 for counselling provided by the Salvation Army (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Parentline—phone 1300 301 300 for counselling and support for parents (8am–10pm, 7 days a week).

Kids Help Line—if you are aged 5–25, call 1800 551 800 for free counselling (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

MensLine Australia—call 1300 789 978 for professional support and advice for men (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Until next time

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2 Responses to Grief pops up when you least expect it.

  1. Remember Me says:

    Thanks for this post Jen. Your honesty has touched me very deeply. What a lovely photo. I’m going to use that quote from Catherine Woodwiss on my blog. I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year. I nearly forgot: no more PB’s for me with bilateral hip replacements – I’ll just have to accept that I’ll never get under 90 minutes for a half marathon!

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