Grief: No fantasy fairy tale

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away there lived a woman. She had so many dreams and hopes.

These dreams and hopes had come true when a baby grew in her belly. But one day, the woman became very sick. The baby had to be born too early. The woman recovered quickly. The baby fought so hard, the Force was strong within him.

But even the Force, and all the love in the world was not enough to keep the baby with the woman. The baby died.

The woman was sad. So, so sad. She cried rivers full of tears.

Sometimes she was angry, very angry. She would channel Daenerys Targaryen, who also lost her baby boy. This woman lacked dragons, which was a great shame because she too wanted to lay waste to their cities and burn them to the ground.

Who is ‘they’? Well, everyone. Those who do not understand grief. Those who utter well-meaning platitudes.

There were times when she harboured resentment against those with living babies. She wished them no harm, wanted to protect them, but it caused her great pain.

On her worst days, the woman feels like a Dementor. The life, the joy is sucked out of so much. She worries that people feel the joy sucked out of them when she passes by. But she is not the harbinger of death.

There are some who would avoid her. They do not know the correct spells to say. Some say the wrong spells and run the risk of her wrath.

Sometimes the wrong spells just make her feel very, very sad and alone. Tired, tired of being a Dementor.

She fears going to large gatherings because she knows that there are people who do not like Dementors, and do not know what to say to them. She is invited, people have not forgotten her, she should be grateful. But the burden of being a Dementor is heavy. What if people say the wrong spells? What if she has to say avada kedavra to someone in a fit of rage?

It can be easier to stay away. A self-imposed exile.

There are many others who know to say the right spells. It calms her down. The hood of the Dementor’s cloak is removed, she thaws. She even smiles, and brings joy. She laughs, a sense of humour returned.

People look at her like she is Harry Potter, even though she does not have a lightning scar on her forehead. She is not brave or remarkable, or have any more answers than Harry. She is surviving.

She sees Catelyn Stark, a fierce mummy wolf wanting to do anything to protect her babies. Wanting to be kind, soft, understanding. Succeeding sometimes. A leader, maybe. Reluctant. Forced into battle because of forces beyond her control.

Sometimes she is Katniss Everdeen, with a huge chip on her shoulder. She is angry with the world, and just wants to be left in peace. She wants revolution, for things to change, for no one else to have suffered as she has in the HELLP syndrome, baby loss District 12.

Grief is no fantasy fairy tale.

No one lived happily ever after.

4 thoughts on “Grief: No fantasy fairy tale

  1. Ginny Williams says:

    I remember feeling like the angel of death after Ben died, when most of my group of women friends were pregnant, or getting pregnant. The elephant in the room. I distinctly remember watching the Harry Potter film a few months after Ben died–thinking it wouldn’t trigger any sorrow–where Harry discovers the Mirror of Erised and he stands in front of it for hours because he can see his parents standing next to him. And my husband said to me, “He’s a boy without parents, and we’re parents without a boy.”

    Sending love & hugs & understanding, and sorrowing with you. And if you’re interested, way back in 2008, I wrote a post titled “This is Not a Fairy Tale” on my blog about Ben’s death: http://landofbrokenhearts.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/this-is-not-fairy-tale.html

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