Sunday 10 March 2019

A Blue Sky Young Person talks about what loss means to them, and how they've learnt to deal with losing someone close to them.

"There are many ways that someone can cope with loss and the feeling of losing someone, something, or in some cases, losing yourself. The loss I’m talking about, is of a loved one. This person doesn’t have to physically die for you to feel this way, they could’ve been taken from your life and be unable to speak to them.

I’ve lost many people in my short lifetime, but gladly only two of them have actually died. I say ‘gladly' because I’m very lucky that I’ve only had to grieve for two family members, as I didn’t know others who’ve passed away in my family. The first person I sadly lost was my great Nan, when I was around 6 years old. I may have only been 6, but I do have some fond memories of her. I remember when me and my siblings would go to my nans house (her mums) and we’d sit with her in her room on the floor, in front of her big cushion arm chair, and she would put on Mr Bean - the non-animated version. She was a frail lady even from my earliest memories of her, she always was.

She was a very kind lady, always had a lovely smile and kind eyes. I remember one of the fondest gifts my sister and I were given from her, was those hand knitted dolls where there were two people in one, so you could turn the doll upside down and there would be another lady in a different colour with different hair. When she passed, I remember that I wasn’t told in the nicest way. I remember being in the car and we were heading near the area my Nan lived, and I said: “Can we pop in to see Great Nan?” and my mum just said that she had died. I was only young, but I knew what she meant, and I was very upset. I later discovered that my older siblings had already been told; I never found out why I wasn’t. Grieving at such a young age was hard and I didn’t understand it very much, but I knew that any song that we sang in school about death or heaven etc, made me upset and I cried. After a while I didn’t feel such sadness because as I grew older and found out that she was 86 and sick (she had been for a very long time) - it helped, as I knew she was in a better place. Now I can remember her in the nice way that I remember her as.

The second person I lost was my other Nan, from my mother’s side. This Nan I knew very well. We used to go camping a lot when we were younger, with her and my parents and she only lived around the corner from us, so it was always easy to pop over and say hello. Sadly, she passed away mentally before she had physically died, as she had dementia, leaving her personality gone and a shell left behind. I remember she was a very honest lady, and that she had been put through such horrible things in her life; I always thought how strong she must have been.

One day, we were told by the home that she lived in, that they believed she was passing, so we went over there and sat with her. We gathered around her bed, held her hand and played Amazing Grace, her favourite song. I went to college the same day she died, because I needed to distract myself. It wasn’t a good idea, I broke down and it was understandable.

Losing someone is always hard, and it will always hurt, but normally it will hurt more so in the beginning and sometimes, even before ‘it’ happens. When you know the inevitable is coming, the waiting game is distressing, but the best thing you can do, is sit with them, hold their hand, spend every second you have with them, until they pass. Let them know it’s alright to go, and to stop holding on if they are in pain. It may be hard to say, but in your gut you know it’s the best thing to do.

Play their favourite song, tell them about your day, act like you would normally when you see them. Just know that every second is special. When they pass, you’ll be in denial and almost forget they’ve died. And when you remember, it will feel like they have just died all over again, like a tonne of bricks hitting your chest. You may have uncontrollable crying, but the pain will fade; it may not be next week or next month, but every day the pain will ease a little bit.

You won’t always feel pain when you think of them. Having a way of remembering them helps, for me I have 2 songs I play. ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ - I light a candle, and use it to imagine she is sat in front of me. I tell her I miss her and about what has been happening and any news. It will help to believe they're watching over you. My Nan’s favourite bird was a Robin, so every time I see one, I believe it’s her keeping an eye on me and making me know she’s there.

Death will always be hard, and you’ll wonder if life will ever go back to the way it was before. Sadly, life does just goes on, but without that one special person. But know that the special person will live on, they will live on in your heart and in your memories, as long as the people who knew them and loved them live, they will live on spirit."

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