The G Word

Noun – Definition: intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.

This is going to be a short piece. It’s not really so much a blog post, but more a recognition of something that has happened, an acknowledgment.

Unless you were raised in an extremely progressive home, I’d be bold enough to say that no one is really raised to know how to deal with grief. It’s almost like a big monster that creeps up on you once someone you loved or cared about has left this world. It surprises you, sometimes even scares you, and we’re not educated with how to deal with our grief or emotions.

From a young age we aren’t taught how to deal with grief; I’m not sure if it’s a British ‘stiff-upper-lip’ thing or whether it’s just put down to being too sad to teach to children. It’s almost deemed weak to acknowledge your suffering publicly. Society teaches us that to move on after someone’s passing we must forget, or pretend like such awful thing never happened, and that the quicker you move on the faster you will heal.

If you were taught differently, you’re very lucky. I don’t know where or how I learned to deal with my emotions, usually I can proudly say I’m in tune with my feelings. But I can safely say my relationship with my grief, after the loss of my nephew Joshua, is an unhealthy one. A monster that has taken 11 months to creep up on me, and now it’s here, I don’t know how to deal with it.

People are designed to be born, to live a full life and then, surrounded by their loved ones, they will pass on. But how are you meant to deal with the loss of a loved one who never truly lived? How can you process the loss of a life so pure, it didn’t deserve to leave us. When my nephew passed away, it redesigned the definition of “gone too soon” for me. Every loss that had come before paled in insignificance to the loss of him, and instead of dealing with my pain, I pushed it to one side.

Grief and mourning are two words that are so often brought together in harmony, but in a way are two very separate things. Mourning is a time period that lasts for however long for the individual. But usually after a period of time mourning will leave you, and you will begin to see the light of the future and your life will begin to flood with new memories and happiness again.

Grief is something that never leaves you; it’s that time you think of a memory you spent with a loved one, it’s placing flowers on a graveside, it’s that sharp intake of breath every time you remember that your life goes on but they’re not here to share it with you.

I believe you can only begin the healing process by acknowledging your grief, taking it by the hand, sitting it down and having a good old chat with it. Your grief is there for a reason, and it will continue to haunt you until you understand what it wants, and why it’s making you feel the way you feel. I’ve spent so many years pretending to be strong and acting like everything is okay every time I’ve lost a friend or grandparent. But the loss of Joshua has taught me I cannot move forward neglecting my emotions; I must recognise that monster and let it in, only then will I learn it’s not such a monster after all, but just another emotion to add to my technicolour array of feelings I feel every single day.

As a family we remember my nephew by talking about his legacy. Even though he lived for such a short amount of time, his impact was magnificent. His footprint has imprinted with so many people for so many different reasons. I think I have realised today that Joshua’s legacy for me is to always understand and accept my grief, and know it’s that that makes me human. I will never again be ashamed to grieve, and neither should you.

Want to learn more, find support for child loss or follow Joshua’s Legacy?
My sister-in-law runs a wonderful Instagram in memory of my nephew and other babies and children gone too soon.
Click here to take a look: Joshua’s Legacy

  • Lizzy

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story Georgie. I recently spoke out about my own grief after losing my mum suddenly, but it’s taken me nearly 8 years to get to that point. It might not feel like you’re in control of your emotions now but acknowledging that you need to let them flow through you is good step to getting there. Sending you big love. x

    • Georgie Glass

      Thank you Lizzy, what a lovely thing to say, I’m sending you lots of love back, I hope that embracing your own grief has helped you remember your Mum and start the healing process x

      • Thanks Georgie, I didn’t want to post this because it felt like self promotion and on this subject it didn’t seem right, but If you’re intested in reading my story you can do here
        Maybe it will help? xx

        • Georgie Glass

          Thanks so much for sharing Lizzy – I’ll give it a read tonight. X x

  • A well written post, Georgie. Too often we are told not to feel and move on when we should take the time to feel.

    • Georgie Glass

      Thanks Elsa, you’re so right. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post x

  • Nicolette Lafonseca

    Georgie thank you for writing this it is hard to talk about the elephant in the room because culturally we don’t or we are told not to and for me personally it is my one woman anger crusade.
    I have been pregnant 12 times and I have only 2 children now. One was a still birth the rest miscarriages both early and late but they are all my babies. At first I complied with don’t talk about them because it makes others feel uncomfortable but keeping the world is important especially with short lives as with ypur nephew.
    So now I think sod it when my MIL said why are you depressed to me at Christmas your miscarriage was in October I do not stop talking as I would have done. Also when we had naming days for our two sons I asked for donations to Derrian House in their name despite being told that will bring people down.

    I have no idea if I will be able to prepare my boys for grief it is so big but I will let them know it happens on their terms and there is no set way that should act or behave or a time limit.

    Love to you and to Joshua x

    • Georgie Glass

      Thank you for your comment and sharing your story with me Nicolette. It’s such a shame when we’re told by society that we should be ‘getting over something’ only a few months after it happened. It’s your body and mind that has been through what you have been through, and only you can determine your state of mental recovery.

      My thoughts and love are with you and your family, and hope we can meet one day to discuss things more. Thank you again for your kind words x