I came across an interesting site last month. One that I found fascinating not just from an emotional perspective but also because he’s doing all the right things for the audience of his site; people who have also suffered a loss of someone they love and need to share their feelings of grief, anger, confusion.
The site is by Ben Dutton, who lost his wife wife Desreen Brooks in a tragic accident on 10th November 2012 when a car mounted the pavement, smashing into her and another girl – leaving him a young widower and his little boy with no Mother.
He’s been brave enough to write a blog about grief and coping with tragedy from his own perspective.
He says, “I decided I’d open up about how it feels to become a widower at a young age with a small child (or rather how it feels for me and my son). My pure intention was to try to encourage other men to open up; for them to know that it was okay to not to always have to ‘be strong’ as we are so often told to be; to challenge perceptions of male grief and to attempt to force reappraisal of the stiff upper lip being a badge of honour when it comes to loss.”
Anyway, the site got me thinking about grief, and loss, and love, and how different people process it.
Everyone seems to be different – and depending on the type of person you are and the qualities you admire in people you might think one way is better than another. I bet you anything you like that you can’t predict your reaction if something happens in your life like this. Personally, I greatly admire anyone who is able to talk about how they feel, and still basically get on with the task of living the rest of the time.
One of the things he does is write poetry as part of that grieving process, which appeals to me. Here’s one of his poems from March: http://lifeasawidower.com/2013/03/24/half-man/
I can’t possibly know what it would be like to be him, but I know that writing poetry has always helped me to deal with extreme emotions, whether that is anger or grief, love or melancholy. So I can identify with that need to create something that expresses how I feel, in a way that packages it up into a thing that is greater than the sum of its parts.
When I think about grief, I often summon memories with songs, so this one’s for Ben.
Life’s ambition occupies my time
Priorities confuse the mind
Happiness one step behind
This inner peace I’ve yet to find
Rivers flow into the sea
Yet even the sea is not so full of me
If I’m not blind why can’t I see
That a circle can’t fit
Where a square should be
There’s a hole in my heart
That can only be filled by you
And this hole in my heart
Can’t be filled with the things I do
Lyrics by Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone (Extreme)
Follow me on http://www.thisismyjam.com/AliceWTMatter if you’d like to listen to some of these lyrics being sung…