Because I am a conditioned creature, subconsciously and occasionally consciously paying attention to what is said in media soundbites and HR management techniques, I have this notion of grief. I know that it’s bullshit, because every grief is different.
Here’s what the received wisdom says I should be feeling:
denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
Nope, nope, nope, nope, yes.
I longed for my mum’s death, because of the nature of her illness. Dementia robbed us of her person, leaving behind the physical shell. I’ve had six years of dealing with the loss of her. Maybe I’ve been through what the received wisdom says I should go through already.
This is what I feel, cycling through from moment to moment:
relief, sorrow, guilt, pride, joy
Relief that it’s over.
Sorrow that she’s gone.
Guilt that I couldn’t do more to help her.
Pride that she was such a remarkable woman.
Joy that she was in the world and made a difference in her own small way.
It’s not a cycle, really. It’s a scribble. A tangle of string that doesn’t want to be linear, or cyclical, or focused on progress.
I don’t know why I’m telling you this. It doesn’t matter.