I've Been Thinking - January 21, 2019

Getting To Know Grief: A Foreword

life after loss grief lareese craig blogger brighton


My fingers are hesitant, they’re not quite sure what to make of the elusive keyboard before them. Like a gloveless hand shovelling snow for hours or Theresa May’s dancing, they’re frigid, arthritic and uncomfortable to watch.

It’s a strain of writer’s block of sorts, but I’m not stuck for what to write exactly. Rather I’m confused about how to unpack it all just enough to make sense, not so much that I pluck my heart out and stick it on a skewer ready for toasting round a campfire, ya feel me?

As someone who naturally gravitates to vulnerable writing and who wants to share everything, holding back is proving incredibly h-a-r-d but I’m handling that little bastard they like to call the ‘grieving process’ with due care.

*Correction* I don’t believe grief is a process. That theory can fuck right off.

A process suggests it has a beginning and an end, something I’ve already found to be a completely useless idea.

I am bereft and I’m conscious I need to acknowledge that in writing, but the enormity of articulating exactly what that means leaves me feeling overwhelmed. I don’t want to fall short in my readers’s estimations, especially when it comes to talking about my nan.

life after loss lareese craig brighton blogger grief

I want to give you everything I know about loss, I’m just not sure if now is the right time to do that. For today then, I’ve set myself some loose perimeters and made a deal with compromise himself.

Consider this my rough foreword – still vulnerable in its description but not so fragile that it causes me to stand in the shower drowning myself with Abba, repeatedly cupping and attacking my tits with Radox Muscle Therapy. Picture that will you please. Isn’t it erotic?

That’s right, even my non-existent tits need therapy, that’s how thorough grief is.

The last three months have changed me indefinitely, because seeing the person you love the most suddenly lifeless… that has to change you. I’ve met with dark, hopeless days – and yes, it’s as lonely as it sounds. I’ve also met with strength, acceptance and humour – and yes, it’s as wonderful as it sounds.

grief life after loss self help lareese craig brighton blogger

lareese craig brighton blogger life after loss grief self help

Real grief is a part of who I am now and I intend to get to know it like I got to know my vagina when I was 11 years old. A pink hardback book once ordered me to take a compact mirror to my female folds and have a jolly good poke around.

Of course, I obliged. It was a pink book and I was 11! If a Mean Girls-esque Burn Book tells you to look at your vagina, you look at your vagina.

The same book also told me to rinse my hair under cold water for 10 seconds for extra shiny locks – not quite so revolutionary as discovering my vagina had a hood, admittedly.

Grief, I’m learning, is the Medusa we all have to encounter. It may be an ugly son of a bitch, it’s scary and venomous and looking right at it is a fucking challenge; you’re a stranger to yourself and other people can see it ~ it’s palpable.

But much like discovering your own vagina – or penis, reflective surfaces work for you too, lads – you can just hold a compact mirror up to it and examine it indirectly & gradually, bit by bit.

Little by little.

If your heart could speak it would tell you that it appreciates your careful pace, darling.

Love you bye.

Photography by Nadia Meli 


  • I agree….there is no end in the grieving process. You just adapt to the forever gaping hole in your heart. You become a different person that don’t quite fit in the same way as before. My hope is that we become more. Gosh that sounded like the foreword in Michelle Obama’s book.

January 21, 2019

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