My beloved husband, Kent, died in January 2012, 3 years after diagnosis of a brain tumour. Our son was 2 1/2 and our daughter 3 months old. He and I were far too young. I am now hurtling through the black space of life without him.

Friday, 13 April 2012

In Deep

Lots of people like to give an analogy of grief or some kind of image of what it looks like. Many years ago I was told that it is like a big black circle that takes up the whole circle of your life. There is no room for life, because it is full of the circle of grief. Eventually it changes. No, the circle of grief doesn't get any smaller, but the circle of life gets bigger. It grows around the grief, it learns how to live with the big black circle.

I think I like this. It seems impossible that the grief could get smaller, because that would be like suggesting that what has happened will one day be more acceptable. But life, well, life just can't go on living when it is filled to the edges with grief. I remember standing outside the hospice and thinking somehow, somehow I would have to make room in my life for this massive, awful pain, because it felt like it was going to swallow me whole.

To me, grief is like a narrow, deep, black hole, or a pool of water. You can skirt around the edges, aware of its presence and in danger of falling in. You can paddle around the top. But you also have to plumb the depths and spend time at the bottom of the very dark pit. Just try to keep breathing and make sure you get out again. You will get out again. You will be back there before long.


  1. Grief can be very quiet. I remember running the same thoughts over and over until they lost their sadness and became comforting. Grief is to be held onto rather than avoided.

    There is no need to rush, you'll appreciate later the time you have taken to gasp, sob and mourn. Your grief is as strong as your love.

    There are days ahead when life will be bigger than your grief. They will come. - MB

  2. I've mentioned this image to people a few times since you first talked about it. Very helpful I think. I'm looking forward to looking back and seeing that the circle has got bigger.