Lidia from The Grief Girl talks about the fear that can creep in with grief.
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” I remember seeing this quote online after countless hours of scrolling through my phone- trying to find grief support the day after my dad died. I must admit: at first, I had no idea what that meant. What did C.S Lewis mean?
My dad passed away two years ago from aggressive cancer that had spread all over his body. It was such a shock. He was diagnosed with stage four cancer just a week before his death and once he had died I was in complete disbelief. Since I was little, my dad was always at battle with ill health. Nevertheless, when he passed away it was still a massive shock.
As time passed by, I started to realise the meaning of that quote: fear played a big part in my grief. After my dad died, I felt lonely and lost in the world: I was so close to my dad and him not being here really scared me. I was on the phone to my brother the other day, and he said something that really resonated with me: “When dad died, we didn’t just lose a dad. We lost a best friend.” Initially when he first passed away, when I was feeling really low and distraught, something in the back of my mind said: “Tell dad- he’ll know what to do.” It was almost like a reflex! I would always confide in my dad: he always seemed to know what to do in any situation. My brother made me realise that I actually depended on my dad more than I thought. Still to this day, whenever I have a stressful day or I have argued with someone and I need someone to talk to, there’s still that little voice in the back of my head.
Knowing that he won’t be here for the good and bad moments and that he won’t be here to guide me through my life scares me. That feeling of fear eats me up every time I need him to be here and he isn’t. I feel that flutter of fear in my stomach when I think of him not being there for the little and monumental things such as my birthdays or walking down the aisle one day.
Grief unleashes so many uncontrollable emotions, but I had no idea that one of them would be fear. Grief makes you feel vulnerable and fearful, not only because of the absence of your loved one and the many moments that could’ve been. After losing a loved one, the world can feel so unpredictable and death becomes something that you are more aware and fearful of. With grief comes the fear of losing another important person you love, fear of expressing your feelings or the fear of letting go. Despite all of the fear, I have come to feel secure in my grief with the notion that it’s okay to be afraid. Being brave is not living life without fear- it’s being accepting of your fears and deciding which ones guide you and which ones you leave behind, and sometimes fear can be a good thing. It can push you to take risks and most of all, it shows you that you care deeply.
My name is Lidia Goonatilaka. I am a student living in London and I work part-time in a pretty little bookshop which feeds my passion for English Literature. I also write a grief and lifestyle blog called ‘Grief Girl’ which is another one of my great passions and I am a bit of a crazy cat lady and a huge fan of massive mugs of tea.
You can find Lidia here on instagram @thegriefgirlonline