Philip Lubberts with his daughter, Taylor-Marie Lubberts, in the early 1990s. (Trish Dolan photo)

Philip Lubberts with his daughter, Taylor-Marie Lubberts, in the early 1990s. (Trish Dolan photo)

Column: A rollercoaster nobody is ready to ride – my experience with grief

Hello all, I know I’m no ‘Clare’s Corner’ but I must admit I was very inspired by the articles she delivered. Her columns were a great way for her to express herself while finding her voice.

I’ll be using this space as a platform to express myself and hope to continue the trend set by the previous editor, voicing personal opinions and discoveries made in young adulthood.

Though the previous editor was good at keeping things cheery and happy, the experiences in my life sometimes aren’t as vibrant as her self-discoveries. A lot of things I plan to cover really hit close to home so I just wanted to give you a bit of background about myself before I jump into things.

About seven months ago, I lost my father after his year-long battle with cancer. He was my best friend and we kept each other in line. When he got sick I was in disbelief because he was always so full of life and had the ability to spread joy through one smile. Losing someone so close to you makes you feel like you’ve lost part of yourself. A feeling like this is something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.

Throughout these months of recovery, I learnt a lot about grief and its effects. I would like to pass on the knowledge I’ve gained to anybody who’s willing to listen.

So here it goes.

Grief, the annoying feeling that lingers around you in the best and worst of times.

The one thing I never knew about grief until I had it was, it never goes away. It stays inside of you and little by little it tries to piece off.

Many say, “over time it will pass and that feeling will go away,” which is true but what I didn’t know is grief comes out during everyday hiccups. I can make a mistake at work or break a glass at home and fall to the floor starting to hyperventilate like a loved one passed away an hour ago.

Sometimes I try and move forward but get hit by this wall that’s buried deep inside and stops me dead in my tracks; unable to move forward, stuck in this empty space, missing people that are no longer here.

The worst part is, sometimes I don’t see it like that when it’s happening. I embody an outsider’s perspective and just think I’m overreacting about spilt milk, but never take into consideration that I’m still grieving.

Grief has the power to keep me down when I can be doing so well in life. I promise you if I won the lottery tomorrow I’d still be sad about my fallen soldiers. It’s not something I can just let go of because something good happened; grief would be carried in my pocket alongside that same winning lottery ticket.

All I can say is two-steps forward one step back.

Yes sometimes that step back feels like a leap into the past, but one thing I have to remind myself is it’s just a step and all I can do is keep moving.

Some can call me a cry baby but I call myself strong to even know that it’s the grief I’m dealing with.

Taking notice of what I’m feeling empowers me to be in control of my life and take back my days instead of sulking and hoping my loved ones will return.

So now when someone tells me “keep your head up soldier, time heals all,” I know they mean well but sometimes I just need that breakdown moment and that’s something they might not understand.

To recognize my sulking isn’t because I broke a glass but because I’m missing someone, and that’s okay. I’ll miss them and keep missing them because that’s what keeps them alive in my heart. Those tears are memories, and everyone shed is a remembrance of the joy my loved ones brought me.

READ MORE: Clare’s Corner – A place for everything, and I mean everything

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