Losing a parent shatters all that you know and the grief that is experienced, however old never really goes away, merely changes shape and you learn to deal with it in a different way. Everyone’s experience is different and what may help one person at a certain time, may not be the same for others, but reaching out for some sense of shape to it is in itself helpful. Here’s a few things that i found helpful or have been recommended to me.
Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd- A podcast hosted by Cariad who lost her father, talking to comedians about death and grief. This cracks opens grief from many perspectives, personalities and can poleaxe you when your experience is described back to you. They all help in different ways,, but the first episode with Adam Buxton talking about his father and Aisling Bea on her Dad’s suicide I found to hit me with a few lightening rods of truth.
The Dead Parent Club – The good, the bad and the banter. Sharing stories of loss and how it shapes your life.
Grief Works: Stories of Life, Death and Surviving is a book by grief psychotherapist Julia Samuel and brings together case studies of people’s experience of loss. I found it useful in a practical sense to read through experiences and Samuel’s encouragement and clarity when all seems so foggy. It’s good to dip into different case studies and covers loss of a parent.
A Grief Observed – C.S. Lewis all the raw, devastating, paralysing and pain-fuelled writings from death and grief – these quotes all have a familiar feeling. This felt so true in that moment when the tide of grief hits you out of nowhere
“How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”
From a Guardian review of Levels of Life by Julian Barnes contain two quotes that helped to balance some thoughts.
“Grief seems at first to destroy not just all patterns, but also to destroy a belief that a pattern exists.”
A quote sent to Julian Barnes from a friend and one he now uses in condolence letters:
“The thing is…nature is so exact, it hurts exactly as much as it is worth, so in a way one relishes the pain. If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t matter.”
Alfred Tennyson’s Break, Break, Break, a poem about the paralysis of grief Tennyson experienced at the death of his friend Arthur, felt, at the time hearing it read aloud like it spoke to the uselessness I felt. Tennyson also wrote In Memoriam A.H.H which contains the famous line, often referred to romantic relationships but in fact is about his friend Arthur ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, / Than never to have loved at all”