Grief is exhausting


"Grief" by Cynthia Angeles

Grief is just so exhausting.  Someone described it as living in two worlds at the same time. As soon as I return from the hospital after my morning visit to see my mother, I just want to go back to bed and sleep. Doing simple daily activities is becoming more and more of a chore. I know all the right things that I should be doing right now, but I am not doing them right. I know I should be eating right, but I have no appetite; I should be exercising or going for a walk, but I have no inclination; I should be getting a full night’s sleep, but I sleep fitfully and wake early.

I alternate between feelings of numbness and feelings of utter despair and hopelessness. The outside world seems surreal, dreamlike – not something I feel part of right now. I feel like I am existing in a bubble, where I can see and hear people but feel totally disconnected from them and what is going on outside the confines of my mother’s bed. I drive past shops, businesses, people, and marvel at how they can all carry on like normal while my mother is dying in hospital.

But most of all, grief is like a heavy weight pressing down on my chest, so that sometimes it hurts to breathe. My heart feels as if it is breaking with the weight of all this grief. It sounds like such a cliché to say this, but for anyone who has suffered loss, you will know that feeling of your heart being squeezed tightly, or the feeling of a knife entering your heart, or simply the dull constant ache, an aching void, is not cliché but a terrible painful reality.