GRIEF AND JOY
Two of the most powerful emotions any of us will experience during our lifetimes- are those of GRIEF, and JOY – and I have been thinking about them both a good deal lately.
To tackle the subject of grief first. Sadly over this last year many of us will have lost someone unexpectedly; due to Covid, or the effects of the disease mentally, or maybe a neglected illness. Whatever the cause, a death leaves behind it a huge loss which somehow has to be dealt with by those closest to it. I have always been of the opinion that it is impossible to give advice to others on how to deal with this grieving process, as every person and every circumstance will be different. Some will be mourning the loss of an old life, some a young one taken far too soon. Sympathy and kind acts are welcome of course, advice on the whole, is not. I only know that personally, the immediate shock of a death has an almost numbing effect. The days that follow the loss are managed as if in limbo. Time is suspended and the immediate pain is put to one side while dealing with the logistics; the funeral, friends and relations to be informed, legal matters to be sorted and the clearing of clothes and possessions. When all this is done, it is the moment when the reality hits and it is then that the full torrent of grief sets in. It is all too easy to come out with platitudes like “you have such good memories” “think of all the good times you had” etc. The problem for those trying to grapple with their loss, is that remembering too much only exacerbates the feelings of what they have lost. For most it is a matter of accepting that you will live in ‘the veil of tears’ for a while and have to wait for the grief to lessen. During this time, it is probably sensible to avoid pieces of music, or poems, or maybe even a meal – anything that has a deeply personal memory. It will only aggravate the pain and bring back memories before you have the strength to deal with them. That will come later. The feeling of loss may never go away completely, but to use another great cliche ‘time is the great healer’. And it is. From personal experience, with time, the pain does lessen and a way of living with the grief becomes possible.
And so to joy. Over the last year, the loss of our freedom during lockdown has been difficult to bear, so the anticipation of the approaching lifting of restrictions has brought real joy and a sense of euphoria. Increased pleasure will be found in meeting up with friends, seeing family again, sharing meals and maybe even the joy of getting away for a holiday. Maybe one thing that lockdown has also done, is to give us increased pleasure in things we had failed to notice in our busy everyday lives; a good book, the joy of birdsong, watching plants grow,
or enjoying the peace without the noise of traffic and planes. I have experienced many moments of real joy over the last year, in spite of the hardships.
My latest joy is in publishing my latest novel, my 6th book and the second in the Rawlings Trilogy . A YEAR OF TRIALS FOR E G RAWLINGS will be available June 30th from www.jjmoffs.co.uk/shop, to order from bookshops, or on Amazon.
If you do order a copy, please let me know what your thoughts are – or put a review on the JJMoffs home page.