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Grief looks Green

Grief is like an ocean, it comes in waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.

This is exactly how I feel. I know all too well about the days where all is calm and bright, and then BAM you're awakened from your sleep by a memory that overwhelms you and knocks your path sideways.

Sunday lunch is and was a big deal for us.

It was on a Sunday we would all sit together and put the world to right.

It was on a Sunday when I started to enjoy real conversation with coffee in my hand.

It was on a Sunday that my Grandad would sit and listen to me play the piano for hours on end.

It was on a Sunday that my mum pulled a trifle together with a can of custard that was 6 years out of date!

It was on a Sunday that chaos was rife in the kitchen to get dinner on the plates warm.

It was on a Sunday that you couldn't see out the kitchen windows because they where steamed from the cooking.

It was on a Sunday that I was supposed to go visit my Nanny after lunch, but decided to let her sleep off whatever was bothering her and I'd see her Monday.

On Monday she was gone!

Like that - overnight - my sweet Nanny had flew away to be with Jesus. I will never forget the raw panic in my sisters face as she banged down my door early that morning, to tell me to get up because 'Nanny was dead'!

Jesus said: 'Don't worry, today you will join me in paradise'

Luke 23:43.

She was a funny woman, pleasant and so caring but nothing really impressed her....ever! I had a dream a few years after she passed away, she was calling me on a phone from heaven. I heard her voice calling me and as I asked her 'Whats it like up there?' she replied...'ah....its alright!!'

When my Nanny passed, I don't remember thinking about how my Mum felt that much. They were extremely close - always together - always on the phone - always mother and daughter.

For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-14

My Mum had lost her Mum, and only now do I realize the sharp pain that comes with that. I'm sure she was trying to get a hold of it all for us - but I know now she must have also woke up in the middle of the night, knowing something so real and so close was gone and missing. I know she missed my Nanny enormously.

My mum fought hard against breast cancer, and as I type the words 5 years on, I still cannot believe it. In the quote above it says, 'all we can do is learn to swim', and this is so true. Grief springs up upon you on a day that you're doing ok. It grows around memories and things you hold in your hand. I use my cell phone a lot, much more than I should or need too. My mum would have called me 5 times a day - I could never understand what she had to say or talk about at the time. Some days there was nothing left to say and I wouldn't be able to answer. That stings my heart when I pick up my phone now longing her to call me for a minute and to hear her voice again. Or when someone walks past smelling of her perfume - that distinct smell that was so strong you couldn't mistake it - it pangs you back in time to memories you wished sometimes felt more real.

'He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone - all the first order of things gone.

Rev 21:7

Have you ever had a bad case of the blues? Where you so mad you saw red with anger? Have you ever thought that grief looks green?

When I see the word 'Grief' or talk about it, I think of the color green. I can't really explain it, but color plays such an important part in our make up - and it shapes the way we describe our feelings and moods.

Green is supposed to be the color of life, renewal and nature, so I guess it's a random color to associate with grief. Usually when grief stings, the after feeling, for me, tends to be somewhat calm. I get upset and numb and afraid, then strangely calm when I think of my mum, and the renewal she had when she was free of all pain and suffering. When she was at peace. When she wasn't afraid anymore. When she was safe in the arms of Jesus.

'No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

I am not afraid, but the sensation is LIKE being afraid.

The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning.'


Its ok to be afraid, to feel restlessness, to feel the ebb and flow of pain in loss. Its sometimes nice to rest in the calm waters with memories and smells and tangible things, then its equalling ok to feel overwhelmed at the same time.

There are no rules, sometimes it gets easier over time, sometimes it just doesn't.

Some days are better than others, and some years are better than others.

It's ok to feel a little green.

February is a month of love. We celebrate love with the people close to us, both near and far. Its good to remember, its good to cry, and on those difficult days its good to try to swim on through.

The Nook


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