Well, University is hard. You’d think only 9 contact hours a week would leave plenty of time to pursue New Year’s resolutions. Yet between the hangovers, all-nighters and general great time, I’m afraid this little side project has been rather neglected.
Amongst the aforementioned over-simplified reasons, the past two months have been turbulent, so please indulge me as I divulge.
I wrote my last post on the train back to university after celebrating the anniversary of my friend’s death. His passing was sudden and tragic, and grief is something I’m still struggling to work through. My initial reaction was to compartmentalise and move on – I had exams to pass. Much of my processing was private amongst the very public mourning of my peers and community. One year on, I still hadn’t fully come to terms with HOW to grieve healthily, without feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy, and so repeated the denial stage and skipped straight to acceptance. I looked ahead to my university life, so removed from the trauma back home, writing a blog post of veiled positivity to convince myself of how OK I am.
I have not sought any form of counselling or support. I think this likely stems from a guilt of being so internally affected when I was so (arguably) externally “heartless” in prioritising my future. I’m hoping that time and maturity will ultimately pull me through, and that despite this I am doing OK. (Although I’m finding it hard to follow official advice, I am going to link some counselling services/helplines at the end)
I also lost my wonderful, enigmatic and truly unforgettable Grandma last month. Unlike my friend, we actually saw this one coming, though it doesn’t make it any easier. I was away when she died and was told over the phone how peacefully she passed – another manifestation of my guilt for having moved on from home to university. I miss her humour, inextinguishable dignity, and feisty sense of self. There is comfort in her finally reuniting with my Grandad, as well as financing a free bar at her funeral. (I had to lighten it up, she’d hate it if everything was so serious).
I’ve just about managed to finish second semester with all my work handed in and my mental health still intact. I’m hoping to use this holiday to read books and re-connect. So here is my re-solution (‘re’ because 3rdtime lucky, and ‘solution’ because God knows my problems need sorting) – write.
Sorry if this was too serious/confessional/not a book review, but it feels good to write things down. This period of my life now has a physical, accountable permanence from which I can grow – so I hope all three of my followers are up for the ride.
Cruse Bereavement Care – 0808 808 1677 (Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm)
Winston’s Wish 24/7 helpline – 08088 020 021
Winston’s Wish part-time Online Chat – https://www.winstonswish.org/online-chat/
Support After Murder/Manslaughter – 0121 451 1618 / 0845 872 3440