The following post has been classified M. It contains strong coarse language.
I recommend that it is not suitable for viewers under 15 years, Nanna and anyone with an aversion to the F bomb.
Not long after David died someone approached me and offered their condolences, I know just how you feel …. I put my dog down last week.
How I controlled my fury I do not know. Maybe I was numbed by grief, but I held my tongue when every fibre of my being screamed I put a dog down once too Champ, and it didn’t fucking feel like this.
There’s some space between that day and me now. With time, I’ve come to realise that it was an innocent comment from someone who was trying to offer comfort. She was simply comparing my loss to the most painful thing she’d experienced. Truth is, I hope she never experiences a loss that makes her dog’s death pale in significance.
It took me a while to get here. For a long time I compared my loss with others'. Would it hurt more to grieve a baby or an adult child? a child? a brother? a lover? Eventually I realised I wouldn’t have traded David as my brother, so comparing grief was a moot point.
Eden Riley is marking the first anniversary of her brother Cam’s death today. She writes a blog called Edenland. Her words have been a gift this year. I wish like hell that she wasn’t in this position, but her posts have been like a song from an old Roberta Flack record my dad used to play; She wrote as if she knew me, in all my dark despair…
I wanted to send her a little gift to show her I was thinking of her, that I knew what #fucktober felt like because I’ve survived three #fucktembers. I’m a reluctant crafter, but I rushed to finish it yesterday. It seemed important that it was completed within the year that Cam was still alive.
After it was finished, I sat looking at it. Was it good enough? It seemed so frivolous. What would I write on the note? Sorry you joined the Dead Brothers Club. Here's a scarf.
Then I remembered that on David’s anniversary it doesn’t matter what words are on the text message, the email, the voice mail. On that day, all I hear is I remember him and I remember that life will never be the same for you. So I packed up that imperfect scarf and posted it.
Since David died, I’ve thought about grief as a club. Only those who’ve experienced great loss are members. The bereaved recognise the darkness of loss in others. Yesterday, Eden described it as Griefworld - big gates, lots of roller coasters and no escape. I like her description better.
Living in Griefworld is like living in a foreign country. Your friends who've never been don’t quite get it. They try to understand but they can’t.