This woman I know was having a tough week. A tough couple of years really. Then COVID swooped in with a giant hammer and sorta whacked in a few extra nails in the coffin of joy and personal freedom… You know, of course you do.
So when the 5km limit was lifted it became possible for this woman to get to a Cork shopping centre. She wanted to stock up on a few bits that just aren’t available in rural shops – so YAY! The excitement! Off she went, hopeful of a joyous adventure, freedom, autonomy – she was excited, and fearless. For the first times in months.
Minutes ago I was wandering around the kitchen wondering what to write about for this week’s issue of the East Cork Journal. I fully intended to avoid the “C-word” but then I saw this article. I can’t resist a good mnemonic – and when the author (Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap) then generously gave permission to share it – well, I couldn’t resist. So here it is, edited heavily, full version link below.
When you can’t have a traditional funeral it’s a cruel, double loss. This is where we are now.
If you have been drawn to this post then perhaps you have just suffered a terrible loss, and won’t get to celebrate your loved one’s life and mourn your loss with the funeral that you and they might have wanted.
And if that is so, I’m sorry.
This post is about why funerals matter, what might be different without one, how that might affect you, and ways to help yourself through it.
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness. Feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel Christmas.
Here’s the thing though:
It’s October again. Already. Infant and pregnancy loss awareness month as designated by Ronald Reagan in 1988.
How quietly it’s slipping by, unbelievably we’re nearly half way through. And still, not much has been said. Same as every year. Is it par for the course? Because child loss is one of the many things we don’t talk about – that we “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the outpouring of concern for women and their babies in recent years that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
Is it that?
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
So the results are out!
For many, I hope, today brings a sense of relief, achievement and celebration.
But for some there is mild to utterly devastating disappointment.
Well, that flew didn’t it??!
So, the exams are over and you’re thinking “Yay! Stress? Nah – done, distant memory, ‘be grand now!”
And it is done for some, but for others a new and unexpected stress has already kicked in. It’s a little trickier than pre-exam stress, because the people around you might assume all students are now the embodiment of Zen and relaxation, because technically the exams are over.
Just hours to go guys! (Like you don’t know…sorry…)
I’ll keep this simple and not link to supporting evidence – but, as with my last on Leaving Cert tips, know that I have it if you’re interested:)