Saturday, 26 January 2013

Reflections and silence

Once again I have put the link to the fundraising for Gretel:  I feel very strongly that the more it is promoted the more we may be able to help.

I have written, then deleted, re written this post many times:  finally I have decided that there are too many of us who find speaking of grief hard and it should not be shied away from.   The ones left behind often lose their voices for a time, then when they find them again the world has often moved on from them, no longer having the time to listen.  When it is time to break the silence we all need someone to just listen.

The news about Gretel was a shocking start to the week;  I had no idea that it would kick start a set of feelings I was not at all prepared to deal with.  I too lost someone close (my Uncle, my Dad's youngest brother and the uncle closest to my brothers and me).  He left us in similar circumstances and he left us with the same maelstrom of feelings I suspect is engulfing Gretel right now.

At the time I had no idea how to deal with the grief so it got put away inside a box of anger.  We stopped talking about him.  It was not that he had ceased to matter it was just that none of us knew how to cope.  As time went by we got used to the habit of not talking about him and as such never really dealt with his loss properly.

Twenty or so years later I have found that the grief was ready to come out of the box of anger, that had been coated in a layer of forgetfulness.  At first all I wanted to do was keep the silence, organise inside me the memories and weep awhile.  Little by little this has all risen to the surface and I have finally faced up to and spoken of the loss and grief that has been bottled up.  Blessedly, my mum has been staying with us this week and I have been able to talk with her.  Together we have had the time to reflect and respond.

Each loss of this sort is different and the rent in our personal world is different for each of us.  I cannot and will not compare my loss with Gretel's; they are too personal to each of us (the same goes for any one who has experienced similar).  But for each of us there is a need for silence, noise, sadness and eventually the ability to recapture the joys.


  1. Loss is so hard to cope with and as different as every birth; but it is something we all touch at some point in our lives. I hope you and Gretel find peace for your thoughts and someone to talk to when needed.

  2. Thank you Bella, funnily enough I think I finally have. My thoughts are now with Gretel.

  3. Hey Charlotte, once you start talking about these things, you find that so many others have been touched by similar situations.
    I had a cousin who took his own life at the tender age of 24...depression, not understood, talked about or even given a name back in the 80's........
    Andy's death rocked me to the core, knowing the part he played in Gretel's life it was just too hard to believe that he was gone.
    The week ended reading a story of another blogger who had battled for some years with I guess it was depression and they recently realised that the cloud had finally lifted. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like......
    I'm so glad you have had the opportunity to talk about and reflect on your feelings along with your mum.......

    Claire x

  4. I have a newish friend whose daughter died five years ago aged seventeen. My friend's grief & anger is immense. We talk about her daughter a lot. Maybe it helps that I never knew her.

    I feel sad for the loss of my sweet cousin aged just forty about seven years ago.

  5. It is frightening how many of us are touched by this.

  6. Dear Charlotte, thank you for your posts about Gretel!
    I know her, I love her, I feel her my friend! My heart aches a lot...
    I'm preparing a post about her, too - just trying to help in this moment.

    1. She has touched the lives of so many people, yet has remained shy and modest despite her talent. I just hope she can emerge out of this on the other side.

  7. Hi! I published the post about Gretel. Hope it will help in a way...

  8. Charlotte, I'm so sorry for your loss -- even long-ago losses continue to prick our sense of grief. Thank you for passing on the word about Gretel. I've been touched by so many expressions of love and concern for her.