on the nature of grief

It’s now been a month or so since my little brother Glyn passed away and I’ve noticed that after the initial shock of knowing that he is gone I’m still having periods of melancholy, sadness and dearly wishing and hoping that he was still here.

This isn’t the five stages of grief as defined by K├╝bler-Ross, that is aimed at the patient themselves not the family although you can see the use of the framework but something altogether subtler and harder to describe. I had not talked to Glyn in many years, and those recent times had been more of brothers who’d shared many fights and much bickering with one another and not the pair of siblings that played together when we were very much younger; I have distinct memories of cleaning the sleep from his eyes when he was five or six and sneaking downstairs on Christmas morning (at a few minutes after midnight in fact to our parents disgust) that every parent would wish their kids to be.

Trying to remember someone’s life for their impact upon my personality and life is something I’ve always tried to do, and thankfully I’ve lost relatively few people that have made such large impacts on me as a individual, but especially with his I’ve wished more people ask me about him. How strange it is to understand that this is very much more a personal event, not shared with many, and that gap in shared experience and memories leaves such a hole in mine.

Perhaps that’s the lasting impact of the grieving process, to show how much people mean to us and to highlight that no matter what that the impact we have on others, like ripples in a pond, will always mean more and be far more personal and private than one could ever imagine.