What Does Grief Look Like?
Updated: Feb 3
Embarking on my own rollercoaster of a journey that is grief, I know that grief can be anything and everything at all times. It will look different for everyone because it impacts our mind, body and soul. Grief is an entity that at times can be very physical and other times just lives rent free in our brain and heart. It’s an abstract concept that can refer to loss of all kinds; people, relationships, pets, jobs, the impact of lockdown on our lifestyles. But for me, I am referring to the loss of my sister, my own grief framed by the collective grief during a pandemic.
Grief can be the loss of motivation and inability to look after yourself. It can be overly functional behaviour and productive bursts of energy as a means of distraction.
Grief can be the yearning to connect with others. It can also be the desperation to isolate yourself due to fear of not being understood.
Grief can be the loss of appetite. It can be the incessant need to eat comfort food.
Grief can result in hyper health consciousness due to the confrontation of our own mortality. It can also lead to self destructive behaviour.
Grief can be waking up late and spending the day in your PJs. But it can be waking up early with anxiety and spending time to get washed, and blitzing through your long to do list.
So what does my grief actually look like? My grief is a constant heavy weight on my shoulders that has ultimately taught me the importance of gratitude and resilience.
Through the lockdown I have learnt that I must continue to show up for myself first and foremost. I’ve learnt that it is okay to laugh or cry, to sit in the bath for hours or wallow infront Netflix, to chat and connect with friends over facetime or turn inwards to reflect. It is these things that are allowing me to push forwards and work through this journey. There will always be good days and bad days.
I am grateful for love and close connections. Having spent the lockdown with my supportive longterm partner, we have truly lifted each other through a difficult time. I am grateful for my amazing sisters, mother and best friends. I am grateful for all of the memories I have made and the memories that are yet to be created.
'All that matters in the end is love' - Saima Thompson 2020