They say remember the 5th of November but the 7th has more meaning for me, it’s a day I remember every year, and always will. 8 years ago today my granddad died. As if that wasn’t bad enough it wasn’t because he was old, it was by his own hand. He was suffering at the end and wanted some control over his life.
Because my granddad wasn’t a well man I think we all assumed at first that he had just passed in his sleep, it wasn’t until I was at my grandparent’s house that more details began to come to light. My grandma seemed in denial and like she didn’t want anyone to know what he had done. I still don’t know if this was shock or what that was about, I guess shock. I feel bad for her having to go through that, it must’ve been one of the worst days of her life.
Death affects people in different ways, and traumatic deaths tend to leave more of a mark on people. For me, I don’t recall going through a phase of disbelief and just went straight to despair. I remember everything about the exact moment that led up to my knowing and being told. I still replay the words “he’s died” in my head and they don’t even give the feeling that it actually happened, or in the way that it did.
It was a very hard time for me & it kicked my mental health problems into overdrive. Around this time I started being treated properly and started taking medication for my mh. I was very close to my grandparents and spent a lot of time with them up until my teenage years where it lessened. I would stay at their house most weekends and bake with my grandma, walk the dogs and help my granddad in his garden. Their house was my escape, they and their house were always so special to me.
Because my own parents were so absent in my life they took over that role for me, so when my granddad died I mourned a father. So at 18 years old losing the father figure in my life was devastating, I felt too young to be going through that. Having to accept that person and my happy place was also gone is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.
I like to buy poppies, cook food that he used to make me, buy fruit/veg from markets and look at old photos. Everyone does different things to remember people but I think it’s nice to have keepsakes and traditions. That way you’re remembering/honouring them and you still have a piece of them with you always.
People live forever in the memories we keep
As well as missing my granddad and feeling sad that he’s not around anymore I now have fainting spells and vomit at the sight of blood. I haven’t experienced this in public yet but it’s happened a lot when I’m watching tv etc at home. It’s the worst feeling that suddenly comes over you, you feel yourself going pale and cold like all the blood has rushed from your head, you feel dizzy and want to throw up, it’s awful. It’s like some weird anxiety thing I guess, I dunno. Trauma affects us all in crazy, unpleasant ways.
I know a few people who have suffered bereavement in this way or just in general. if you have a story you want to share or a helpful organisation I would love to hear about it. Please leave any helpful info in the comments for people. Services like Mind are detrimental for people coping with bereavement.
These organisations offer further information and support about bereavement:
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)
0300 111 5065
A self-help, voluntary organisation which aims to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.
0800 435 455
Helpline for people who are experiencing bereavement.
Child Bereavement UK
Helpline: 0800 028 8840
Supports families and provides training to professionals both when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
Child Death Helpline
0800 282 986
Helpline for anyone affected by the death of a child of any age, from prebirth to adult, under any circumstances, however recently or long ago.
Information on bereavement.
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