How to Cope with Death
As it is coming up to the anniversary of my Grandad's death, I thought I'd tell you how I've dealt with his death and that you're not alone with what you will go through when a loved one passes away.
Me and my Grandad weren't incredibly close, but I did love spending time with him. For my Grandad, he had a problem with his breathing for years, but it got gradually worse over time. In the few months before he died he had to have an oxygen tank which he would have to use when he felt particularly short of breath. The last time I saw him before he died was on New Years Day so I missed out on the last month of his life. What makes it worse is that I could have gone to see him the day before he died but didn't. Guilt has bitten away at me ever since then and will continue to do so forevermore.
When I found out that my Grandad had died, I can remember that day so vividly. It was a school day and I can remember in the last lesson of the day trying to attract the attention of my crush, not knowing that my Grandad had died. Then I remember going home and when my Mum got back she told me about my Grandad (he's my Dad's Dad). I've always found that when it comes to upsetting things, I've always managed to hold everything in and let it all out when I'm alone. But this wasn't the case. I cried so much in front of my Mum and brothers, despite trying to keep everything in for my little brother who was two at the time.
I also remember the night that he died. I remember going to bed and I was shutting my curtains. I'm pretty sure it was a clear night but there was only one star, that I could see, in the sky. It was shining really brightly and was directly outside my window. I decided right then that that star was my Grandad. I don't really believe in heaven and hell, but I do like to believe that we go somewhere when we die. That we don't just die and then that's it.
I was offered the day off school the next day to try and get over my Grandad's death. But instead I decided to go. This was because I'd rather go somewhere where no one knows what's happened instead of staying at home and crying all day. This is another point, I didn't tell any of my friends. I knew that two would know because they live quite close to me and both our families know each other really well so they were making sure I was alright throughout the day indirectly, not letting on that they knew what had happened, even though I knew they knew.
Please don't do what I did. It's okay to cry. You're allowed to grieve. You're allowed time to yourself to try and make sense of what's happened. If you hold in your emotions, that can only stay in there for so long until they all come flooding out at once. Trying to hold your emotions in at school, well anywhere really, is really difficult. If found that and it took all the courage and strength in the world to try not to cry.
At first, just the little things people do may annoy you. For example, I went to my Gran's less than a week after my Grandad had died and my Uncle was sat in my Grandad's chair. I know what you're thinking, 'what's so special about this chair?'. Well, I see it as that was the main place my Grandad would sit and no one else would sit there. So to walk in to my Gran's for the first time since his death, I just felt like my Grandad had just been forgotten about and that I was the only one that could remember.
One thing I regret about my Grandad's passing was never opening up to anyone about how I really felt. People would ask me if I was alright and I'd say I was but honestly, I wasn't. And I'm still not alright now. I'm sitting here crying about everything whilst writing this. Because, to be honest, you never fully get over something like this. One day you might say 'I'm finally over it. I feel like myself' but as soon as something is brought up, you get upset and realise that you're not over it. But that's okay because nobody else is over it either, even if they seem to be.
Death affects people in many different ways so you're not necessarily going to be feeling the same way about it as someone else. However, you will both feel very emotional about it, even though only one of you will show it and the other won't.
During a loved one's death, please remember that it's okay to cry and it's okay to show your emotions. Even if you're like me and like to seem strong on the outside, you are allowed to cry. And don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.
If you have recently lost someone, don't be afraid to open up about it to someone. If you don't want it to be with someone you know, then please feel free to talk to me about it. All of my contact details are in the tab at the top of the page.
Please don't be afraid to open up to someone and remember you can cry. It may seem like you're never going to get over it, but trust me, everything's going to be okay in the end.
Love Beth xx