a Grief encounter trying to cope with loss in our lives

Bobbi Kristina and her tragic late ,other, Whitney Houston
Bobbi Kristina and her tragic late ,other, Whitney Houston

The late Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, currently lies in hospital on a life support system. She was found face down and unresponsive in a bath tub some weeks ago, a fate that echoes the same sad demise of her mother.

It has been revealed that Bobbi Kristina, 21, had been sending messages days before she was found unconscious, about the anguish and pain she was still experiencing over her mother’s sudden death in 2012.

In one, she describes that the loss left her feeling ‘pain like your heart has been ripped out of your chest’.

Grief is a strange emotion, it’s something that we rarely speak of and when we do, it can cause acute discomfort to those we try to discuss it with.

I lost my father 20 months ago. In that time I have never fully disclosed to anyone the grief that sometimes comes out of the blue and totally consumes me.

I have broached the subject with a relative but the panic in their face made me clam up. I didn’t want to cause them discomfort. I now seem to be attempting to eat my grief, if the amount of food I keep turning to for comfort is anything to go by. It’s as though I’m trying to consume that which consumes me.

Food fills me up for a while in a soothing way but never reaches my heart.

No amount of chocolate and chips can fill the dad-sized whole in my life.

Author C.S Lewis wrote: “No-one told me that grief feels so much like fear”, and it does!

Perhaps that’s why we try to batten it down when it comes to call because of the frightening sensation it induces in us.

I don’t like giving way to the tears because they soon become huge sobs that I find frankly quite alarming.

Grief is a very solitary emotion. It can come unexpectedly.

Sometimes simply noticing a flower in bloom can cause it, because it reminds us of how the world continues to carry on, even when our loved one is gone, and that can sometimes feel incredulous and unfair. Grief is something that never goes away. I thought my eight-year-old son was coping with his grandfather’s death but he began to cry suddenly last week and said he missed his granda. “What do I do with the love Mum?” he asked me.

And I stood there gaping at him, not knowing what to say because I have asked myself that repeatedly since my father’s passing, what do I do with the love I felt for him? It’s not like you can drop it off at a charity shop along with your loved one’s belongings. When someone dies we are left with all the love we felt for them but we lose out on all the love they felt for us. The only way to touch that love again is through our memories.

I like to remember one particular day when my father and I were practically brought to our knees on a garage forecourt because of a funny remark he made to me.

We both dissolved into tears of hysterical laughter, the kind of laughter that makes you go floppy, where you can hardly breathe and end up not sure if you’re laughing or crying. People were staring at us but we didn’t care.

I was lucky to have many moments like that with my father.

He used to make me laugh daily; he was my confidant, my counsellor, my friend. I miss him. Grief is something that no-one can help us with.

We must come to terms with it inside ourselves; it complicates us in a way we never were before. No-one is strong enough to withstand constant grief, perhaps that’s why it seems to come and go in waves, tapping us on the shoulder intermittently to remind us that we had something very special in our lives that’s no longer there. I like the inscription from an old Irish headstone that reads: “Death leaves a heartache no-one can heal, love leaves a memory no-one can steal.”

We are wrong to think that grief ever goes away.

We can never stop grieving because we never stop loving, but when the really bad waves of grief hit, we have to ride them out.

Grief is like the ebb and flow of the ocean, when the tide comes forcefully in, some may drown in the yearning for that person, as is what sadly seems to have happened to Bobbi Kristina.

In the words of author Rosamund Lupton:

“Grief is love turned into an eternal missing.”