Friday, 19 February 2016
There doesn't seem to be enough room in the blogosphere for raw honesty.
For truly soul-bearing words that you would only perhaps utter, hushed, into the ear of someone you trusted completely. There just doesn't seem to be the room.
And maybe that's the way it should be. The internet shouldn't be a place to spill out the intricacies of our lives and our loves and our losses.
But that doesn't feel right.
It doesn't feel right to share my favourite recipe, a precious holiday, a new job and not share the other half. The quieter half. The sadder half.
So, today I write on loss.
Last Summer my Grandad died and I told nobody that didn't, in my opinion, need to know.
It takes me a while to process grief. Initially, it doesn't seem real, even though it very obviously is. I believe that my rational brain goes into overdrive to save me. It rationalises, of course. When my cat died - my sweet, characterful cat - my Mum called me whilst I was at the gym. We spoke for five minutes, I put the phone down and continued my work out. Jack turned to me, hugging me - 'are you ok?'
I shrugged him off. 'I'm fine. He had a good life. We should finish the work out before our muscles get cold. He had a good life'. In that moment, those placating words were enough for me to carry on lunging. Later, curled into a ball, I'd appreciate his arms wrapped around me.
When my Grandad died genuine, well-intentioned voices would say 'that's a good age'.
That's all they could say. That's all any of us can say. But isn't it strange? Isn't it strange that this is what we say when others die? Oh that's a good age. A good age, as if they were ripe and ready to be plucked from the present.
Over time, my rational brain became preoccupied with other things. New job, car insurance, where the next 10, 000 words of my novel were going to come from. Selfish things. But things a brain can't help but preoccupy itself with. It gets distracted, it gets busy carrying on. It forgets to save me.
Then, over time, creeping in like a shadow realisation settled in my brain. Lay over my mind like a blanket.
This has happened.
And, mostly, everyone has stopped talking about the event. The passing. But I feel as if I'm only just catching up.
And, maybe like every other millennial with a blog and an Instagram tick, I feel like I need to share this. It needs to go alongside the recipes, the outfit shots and the restaurant review. I need an image and an article that says to the world - I'VE LOST SOMEONE.
But it just doesn't fit.
Throat lumps and eyes prickling with tears don't seem to go, to match.
But I struggle with that. I've been struggling with that. I feel like I need to make these feelings known. I need others to know that I'm processing. Why? I'm not sure.
No - I am sure. It's cathartic. It's part of my process as someone who writes the sense into things. Blogs, this blog - my blog doesn't feel like a whole. It's a part of me, a colourful dimension full of the things that have made me happy. And mostly, I believe that's the way it should be. Filled with beautiful, joyous things that I want to chronicle and remember.
But sometimes, just sometimes, I think it also needs to be a place for the things that have devastated me.
They need to be chronicled too. They need to be remembered with equal gravitas, as they are equally shaping.
So here I am, writing on loss, #nofilter.