WEEK 46 (2023) – Anne shares her thoughts on grief

This week’s email has been handed over to me as our daughter in Melbourne has been a little tied up with her young family. So, as it is still very raw for me, I thought I would write about grief…

It’s a bit of a taboo subject, and lots of people prefer to ignore it.

By that, I mean most people get embarrassed when dealing with someone who has been bereaved and think by ignoring the situation it is the kindest thing.

Certainly, for me, it is just the opposite.

I have felt the need to share how much I have missed Robert and how being suddenly on my own makes me feel a bit like an invisible person.

I was very blessed to have our beloved dog Rafa to keep me company, and after 15 months without Robert, I had got to a manageable level of grief as long as we were together. A pet, especially a dog, is one of the most therapeutic ways to deal with grief.

Then, unfortunately, two months ago, very unexpectedly, I lost Rafa. This has been unbearable and has opened up all the grief I thought I was dealing with.

I had a wonderful marriage, and Robert always encouraged me to be confident and independent, and I must admit I found it easy to be that way with our relationship being so strong.

Grief, unfortunately, really knocks confidence, and I have found it really difficult to come to terms with how I have been feeling. And sometimes, being a recluse is easier than facing the world.

I know a lot of you will have experienced your own losses, and we all deal with grief in our own ways, and we probably all think our loss is worse than anyone else’s, and of course it is.

We all need lots of support, and friends and family say things like we are here for you, just ask.

That is probably the worst thing to say, as when you are in grief, asking for support is not easy …..so my advice is if you have a loved one who is bereaved, don’t wait for them to contact you. You need to just be there for them.

Visit them, stay with them, keep telephoning them, make them food, just be there.

Also, it doesn’t get easier as time goes on. In fact, it becomes more real as you move out of the shock phase, so just be prepared to deal with tears anytime.

Despite everything that has happened, I am looking forward to spending Christmas in Melbourne with our family and, particularly, the two young grandchildren.

Children are what life is all about and are a joy to be around.

Robert and I always intended to spend last Christmas in Melbourne. It was what he wanted, so I’m sure I’ll be feeling him with me. And yes, there will be tears, but then that’s also part of healing.


Warm regards,
Anne Redfern

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