Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Great Grief Wave

I have been in Toronto for the last 8 days visiting family. It has been a great relief to escape from the Groundhog Day that I experience back in England. Waking up in our home alone. Looking over when I wake up to 2 gorgeous little shih tsu's but nothing else. I miss making Katie breakfast and kissing and hugging her goodbye as I go off to work. I miss only dressing in my knee and arm warmers and nothing else before I go out cycling and proudly asking her how I look as she laughs at how ridiculous I am.

Friends and family are wonderful and try to be helpful. It is hard to explain to people that the very things they offer as help serve only as a reminder that Katie is absent. "Come over for dinner?" The most obvious and popular. But sitting with other couples only accentuates the loss. Sitting with family without Katie feels wrong. I went to the cinema with a great friend a few weeks ago and my immediate reaction when I left was to call Katie and tell her I was on my way home. Two days ago I visited Niagara Falls, Katie and I had wanted to go together but I knew that I must still go. I didn't tell anyone who I was with about this until afterwards as I didn't want to be treated differently throughout the course of the day. I wanted to cry when I looked upon the falls but refrained. Ithey were so beautiful and powerful just like Katie. But the falls are also permanent, they have been there for thousands of years and will continue for thousands more. Katie is not. But I along with others can keep her alive, we can make her permanent by sharing her memory, her accomplishments, by honouring her and her values.

These are all everyday events that somehow I wander through and cope with(some better than others!) but these are not The Great Grief Wave. These are just matters of endurance.

It comes from nowhere, with little warning and can last for hours or days. The pain is so deep and pronounced I am not sure that i can endure it or even that it will end.

Yesterday was a great day with my cousin Simon, we  hiked around Scarborough Bluffs and then went on to an area called the beaches, very quaint and cool and enjoyed a good lunch before heading back to enjoy the hotels spa facilities.

Once we were back on the terrace of my room(still in spa gowns) I picked up my phone and checked Facebook. Someone had posted a picture of Katie from some years ago giggling in a fit of laughter, and then it came. The realisation that will never happen again. I will never see her again. I will never see that joy emanate from her as it did so often and freely again. The wave has hit and I am sobbing for some time. I get my shit together because Simon is next to me and I find sharing this moment uncomfortable. He asks if I would like to be alone but I say it's fine. I do want to be alone but I am also scared of what I might feel if left and that I won't be able to stop.

We go to visit Simons brother Jared who has just rented a new condo in the city. He is so happy and excited. I am so happy for him also. But I am not truly present. Once back at the hotel, alone finally, it all comes crashing back. I cry, I wail and the last 4 months have been eaten up, they have not happened, the loss of Katie is a real and as painful as it was on April 8th.

I have woken up this morning late, exhausted, an emotional hangover that feels as bad as any chemical one. I forego my morning run, I don't have it in me. I don't want to see anyone today or do anything but I will, I have to.  I have learnt that to endure, to respond positively is the only real answer. Also if I duvet dive and cut myself off, people will know. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by love. You see when people know that I feel this bad I am treated differently, with concern, with worry, with pouty bottom lips and crinkled necks and then I feel like a victim. That to me is far worse. I am no victim. I am enduring and surviving. I am doing my best to live up to Katie's standard. That is how I honour her and how she lives on.

I hope this makes sense to some of you and to those that it doesn't I hope nothing here offends you either. It is not a judgment on anybody just an honest assessment of how I feel.

I have uploaded the picture I mention on my instagram danielcohenforever34. Feel free to check it out.

Love and hugs to you all.



  1. It may not have been intentionally funny but it made me laugh "(I get my shit together because) Simon is next to me and I find sharing this moment uncomfortable."

    Katie's giggle does keep happening. You keep it going, my head keeps it going.

    I wonder often what the lesson is; why was Katie introduced to and enriched our lives and then too quickly ripped from our lives? What were we meant to learn? Why you have to suffer this immense grief? Why her siblings had to grieve 3 members of their family in such a short space of time? Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? We all wish we could take the pain away and help you but we also know we are powerless. It's a process. What a shit process though. I love and miss her; it hurts. It's a drop in the ocean compared to how you feel. But I also laugh to myself. I think of little nuggets of conversations out of the blue and I chuckle to myself out of nowhere.

    Still, the question remains, is it better to have loved and lost? We are all here for you. When you are ready. Much love to you Daniel and thank you so much for sharing your candid and often bloody hilarious thoughts xxx

  2. It makes completed sense and you are a surviour Daniel. I hope that by writing your blogs it is slightly easing your pain.❤❤❤❤

  3. Daniel, You know that I truly understand what you are feeling and going through, having lost my beautiful Mary to Breast Cancer just over 8 1/2 yrs ago. The old saying "oh, it will get easier as time goes by", isn't always true, BUT I think we just learn to handle it different. Even though I have been extremely lucky to find LOVE again with Candy, who is a phenomenal woman and has taken my son to raise as one of her own, I still cry for no reason. We can be watching a TV program together and something hits, and tears well up. I try not to cry, but Candy says, it's OK... go ahead, she will ALWAYS be with you. She is right and as long as they are always with us, then their spirit and vibrancy will live on.

    1. Thank you barry, I really appreciate that Amd know that you understand. I hope all are well with you xxx


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