In my extended family, there’s another young widow, a suicide survivor.
Yesterday, from a distance, I saw the effects of grief on her family and friends when all the disagreements, resentments, anger, frustrations, disappointments and grudges amongst each other exploded on social media. The issues have popped up occasionally, but not to this extent nor this explosively.
Some are long-standing, obviously predating the loss and potentially have nothing to do with the loss per se. Others seem to be a consequence of loss, either on the widow or those around her. But they all came out.
But why yesterday with such force?
It was the anniversary that many of us in hindsight say was the hardest.
Not the first.
But the second.
When you’re not really expecting that sledgehammer.
Here’s the thing – she’s been accessing mental health support from the start. She may well have been expecting the harder hit of this anniversary. But everyone else quite possibly wasn’t. Yesterday’s events may not even be seen by them as founded in grief, but observing from a distance, being a year or so further into my journey, I wouldn’t be surprised if at the absolute guts of it all, and for the timing in particular, is grief in all it’s terrible ‘glory’.
We get inundated with advice – where to find support, encouragement to seek counselling, access peer support groups face to face or on-line. But our friends and family may not get that advice (or follow their own advice!!), seek that support and then experience similar reverberations of their grief at key dates that we do.
And we potentially have to deal with that fall-out, too.