“And all I was thinking; was feeling my grief”.

Recently, I have moved house. I casually rang a utility company to update my address. The woman on the end of the phone asked a few questions for security purposes.
The following question, I was not expecting. It has been 5.7 years since Nathan died. I thought that I had covered all bases as far as updating details with companies etc. But no, I hadn’t. The woman on the end of the phone asked me ‘is Nathan Johnston your secondary contact?’
And just like that, the reminder hit of my reality, that Nath died. All of the feelings, the grief and overwhelming loss for myself and our family, all of that hit me at once.

Grief triggers can suddenly hit when you least expect it.

“And all I was thinking; was feeling my grief”.
Sitting on the phone, attempting to undertake a very ordinary task, time stood still for me in those moments.
I couldn’t think at this point. The woman on the phone kept talking to me, it was just noise. I wanted to tell her what was happening to me, and why I couldn’t hear her following questions.
But my brain was overwhelmed with grief and could not process her words, to form my own words back.

My grief feelings became all of me.

I also had awareness of what was happening to me, and that I was experiencing a grief trigger.
My brain did follow on, allowing me to end the conversation with the woman on the phone.
I allowed myself to feel it, and knew I had to take some time to process the feelings. I wrote down how I was feeling. I shared it with my peers in the Grief Connect® WA Young Widowed Support Group and had support from my peers.
Over the years, I’ve mastered how to manage my grief.
I notice when grief trigger affect me, I don’t avoid triggers, I acknowledge triggers, I feel them, I write them, I talk about them…… it is a process.
It is not linear. It is not comfortable. But go with the process, as it helps!

No matter how short, or long the time period has been since our person has died, grief triggers can be shocking and unsettling.
When grief triggers hit in tsunami form, it is really important to talk about it, have a chat about it, have a yarn about it, converse about it.

SPEAK IT out loud. Verbalising helps our brains to unravel and process the knots of grief, that are our thoughts in our minds.

You do not need to carry it all on your own. It can be so heavy carrying grief all by yourself.
There are people out there who want to help. You are not alone on your grief journey!
Tell someone you trust, or make an appointment with a General Practitioner, Social Worker or Psychologist for counselling.