UNTIL you experience it, it is hard to know how you will handle grief.
I can recall feeling sad when well-known people have died who I admired greatly: Gough Whitlam,Nelson Mandela and Robert Kennedy. However, I was lucky enough to reach the age of 42 before Iexperienced deep grief.
The death of my father rocked me to my core. I felt untethered and cried every day for a good sixmonths as I drove out to school and home again each evening. There was a realisation that ourrelationship had been complex, challenging at times but he was always there for me.I had knownfor some time that the day dad stopped gardening, would be the signal of the end being nigh. Hetripped one day as he manoeuvred a wheelbarrow. A simple trip, no extraordinary damage donebut he went downhill fairly rapidly after that incident.
With dad’s death, mum had lost her mate and her purpose. She sat down in an armchair and justwaited for time to pass. She ended up in care here, in Millicent. I took a couple of years off work toconcentrate on her, my sons and husband through some tough years.
For most days over threeyears, I went to the aged-care home to feed her. She was beyond hearing or speaking, I wasn’t evensure that she knew who I was. No matter, it was time with her and something I could do for her.
So, her death was less traumatic, a release for her and for me. Maybe I had already done somegrieving for the loss of my mother through those years leading to her death.
The death of my sister 11 years ago was a whole other level of sadness.We shared a bedroom growing up, we built forts with our brothers, fed out hay with dad, playedcricket, I wore her hand-me-downs.As adults, we were very good friends.
To watch her be eaten away bit by bit by cancer unravelled me.It stole a breast, enlarged an armthrough lymphedema, took her hair and gradually diminished her wholeness. The pain of loss was athrob, a percussion beat of sadness that went on and on relentlessly.And still January creeps up on me with its melancholy which builds to a crescendo and slaps me hardevery year. –Moira Neagle
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.