Embracing the Storm: Experiencing Grief After the Death of a Loved One

A storm is not always forecast before it hits, but even when it is, nothing can prepare you for the inevitable. Even when the sky begins to darken and the clouds mercilessly begin to roll in, a small part of you remains doubtful that the storm will be as bad as predicted.

Internally you keep hoping for a miracle, praying that something will change. Even as your world turns to grey, you keep searching for a sliver of hope, looking for even the smallest ray of sunshine through the clouds. Maybe things will be okay?

You’re not able to really believe it until it’s too late and the storm closes in on you before you get a chance to comprehend the reality of the situation.

For me, I had no warning. There was no thunder rolling in from the distance, there was no light rain hinting that something was coming. It all came at once and the sun that once was would never shine in the same way again.

The world around me changes in an instant, I am immediately wrapped in a blanket of ice. The very foundations of my life rock and crack as my grief thunders through my core. It’s so loud all I can do is curl up and shield myself from what is happening around me. The lightning bolt of reality tears apart my very soul. I am instantly bewildered, lost in a new reality I can’t comprehend.

I feel numb. It’s sinking in. The thunder keeps pounding. Bolts of lightning are breaking apart the foundations of my life.

I don’t know what to do. I brace myself against the hurling wind, trying to stand. Doing my best to regain some control over what is going on around me. Deep in my heart, I know this is my last chance to do what is needed. Despite the storm whipping around me, I have to do all I can. Internally I am switching off the power points to my emotions, protecting myself as much as possible. I fumble through the darkness, preparing myself to say goodbye to the life that once was.

As I say my final goodbye, a calmness envelops me. I think it’s over. Now I can look around me and see this newly changed world.

Internal rage thunders through the illusion and I realise; the storm has only just begun. What was once tearing apart the world around me, now wreaks havoc within me. Flashes of merciless light burst through my very soul. It tears through my flesh to unleash it’s unforgiving force into my already fragile world.

No amount of caution could have saved me.

The heavens open up and a cyclone of rage erupts. Wind whips around me. I am being thrown about in a whirlwind of emotions. I can no longer tell which way is up. There is no escape.

Everything I thought I knew is gone. I watch, as the essence of my being is ripped from within me. The pain is immeasurable. I can no longer think. I pray for something; anything of my old life to resurface. Deep down I know it isn’t possible, but this storm is destroying every morsel of my life. I want to escape, I want the sunshine back in my life.

I cry for my brother, the man he once was. I lash out in frustration, screaming “Why was it him?” I can no longer fight it, I can no longer stand tall. I succumb to the fact that I’ve become one with the storm.

I calm my thrashing, my energy is spent. My new world is dark, gloomy and cold. I can see in the distance dark hazy skies and I wonder what life will be like once this storm finally dies.

With the last of my strength, I cry one more tear before slipping into a restless, tormented sleep.

Although the storm has passed, the sky remains dark. I fondly remember the sun that once shone and I know that soon it will again return. It won’t be as bright and it’s rays won’t be as warm, but I have faith that my life will go on and I’ll once again be able to appreciate it and weather this storm.

In Loving Memory of my brother

Ian Stewart Masson

26-05-78 - 05-11-17

Taken much too soon.

Forever in my heart.

In Memory of Ian and all road traffic victims, please drive safe.

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