Grief: Let’s be Honest…

 (To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.)

“We don’t want to overpromise – we want to be honest”, she said.

That comment was made just a few days ago during a conversation with someone I am currently working with. I first heard from this lady by email. She was messaging from London as I was standing under the clock at Grand Central Terminal in New York last year, during my postcard mission. It was a moment that will always stay with me.

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She had stumbled across an article about 60 Postcards and, as her project was born from her own experience of loss, wanted to reach out to find out more. Since then she has become a mentor, a confidant and a friend.

Her words about overpromising and honesty have also stayed with me as I realise that on this very blog, I often tell you how frequently I plan to post when I should simply explain that I will do it when I can.

So – speaking honestly – It has now been 3 years, 4 months and 6 days since my mum died and I still had an unexpected meltdown over the weekend. The fact that I have just spent so long trying to work out how long it has been is another horrendous blow. One minute you wish you didn’t have the monthly reminder of ‘that’ date – the next, you hate yourself for having missed it.

60 Postcards may have started as a tribute of handwritten notes scattered around a city but it is now about sharing stories and connecting with people. I have previously mentioned how powerful it can be to find yourself nodding in agreement and feeling a great sense of comfort while reading something that you can relate to.

There have been two profound articles shared online recently that have that effect.

Journalist, Sali Hughes, with the experience of losing her dad nine-and-a-half years ago, offered her thoughts on an article for The Pool:

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Image source via The Pool

“Grief is not a choice, a project to manage or a course of medication to take. It just happens while you’re unable to form a single, sensible thought.”

“…within the hangover of grief, you will still be able to experience the joy of a great joke, of a kind gesture, of an excellent meal or a Sunday morning in bed.”

“And if a dear friend you care about loses their parent first? Say, “This is horrible, this is complete and utter shit, this is the absolute pits of the pits” – never identify any silver linings in an utterly ghastly situation.”

Read the full article HERE.

The second was Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s open post about her husband’s death:

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Image source via Facebook

“Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not.”

“I have learned how ephemeral everything can feel—and maybe everything is. That whatever rug you are standing on can be pulled right out from under you with absolutely no warning.”

“I appreciate every smile, every hug. I no longer take each day for granted.”

Read the full article HERE.

I have mentioned my vision for a Tribute Collective before. These articles (amongst so many others) fuel my passion for making it a reality as soon as I possibly can. Despite grief being a totally unique experience, there is also a resounding, underlying sense of a society; a collective.

Until next time (whenever that may be)…

Goodnight,

Rachael x