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Grief 101: How to deal with it and cope.

The title of this blog is something that I wish I had. I wish I had a guide that told me in black and white terms how this should go. I am the type of person that need lists and steps and order. I need to know what I am meant to do and how I am meant to do it because I don’t read social cues well and instead of coping I tend to curl up in a ball and stay there until somebody tells me what to do. Fight of flight is not an instinct I have, fight or paralyzing fear seems to be my go to.

So what is leading me to writing this post, this blog has not been a priority and I can’t remember the last time I blogged. But I’m writing now because I have so much to say and I can’t organise the thoughts in my head. This is my attempt to bring order to the chaos that is surrounding our lives at the moment. I am going to be brutally honest, prepare for some cursing, cheesy cliches and babbling. I may leave this post up forever or I may delete it after a few hours. This is the chaos, feel free to read.

Shes gone. Leona is gone. I feel as if I need to write that because it is something I’m trying to get my head around. I still don’t believe it and it does not feel real. She went to bed catching up on her soaps and the next morning she was dead. We spent the last 10 days in China and she was fine. There wasn’t anything wrong with her. We went to Shanghai Disneyland and she had a ball, she loved Disney nearly as much as me. We sat beside each other on the flight home and talked about our plans for the dance team for the next year. What we were going to work on and how good it was going to be. We said goodbye at the airport and our last conversations was me: “have all the kids got parents here for them?” her:” yeah they do I’m going as well” me:”no bother see you during the week” and that was it the last time I’d speak to her.

When we got the phone call I told mam that she was wrong. That it wasn’t Leona they’d made a mistake, it had to be somebody related to Leona, they’d given the wrong name, it just couldn’t be true she was fine yesterday. Leona was like a daughter to my mam, she was part of the family. I can’t ever remember a time when she wasn’t around. I remember when I was 8 and we were in Florida. I had hair so long I could sit on it and I’d been swimming, there were knots upon knots and Leona was the one who sat there for hours to get them out with spray conditioner and a brush. Now don’t get me wrong she tore the head off me and I cried but she was patient and persistent and she let me play with her new Mickey Mouse watch she had bought in Atlanta airport to take my mind off it. Patient and persistent are two words that described her and made her a great dance teacher. She never ever gave up on a kid and she pushed them even when they wanted to give up on themselves. She is loved by so many people and I can’t really believe that this is happening. She would always kick your ass when you needed it but then came over to make sure you were ok afterwards. She had a heart of gold and would do anything for anybody who needed it and that’s not even an exaggeration she was selfless. There have been so many tears shed and when the kids ask me why it happened I wish I had another fucking reason other than I don’t know.

It is something that we can’t make sense of. Her dying is fucking unfair and shocking and every time I think about it I feel like I can’t breathe. Even these words don’t seem fitting to how we are all feeling. We are all leaning on each other and putting on a brave front especially for the younger ones who look to us for their cue on how to deal with it. But I am angry and heartbroken and I want to scream and punch something and at the same time I want to stop and curl up and do nothing and I don’t know what to do or how to deal with it and I want a 5 step plan as to how to cope with it. I want her not to be dead. She was too young to die. I can’t stop thinking about her family. Her poor mam I can’t even imagine how they are feeling. I want to do something to help them but in reality there’s nothing I can do. I am working on a slideshow of her for her funeral but I can’t stop crying long enough to get it together but I will. I tried to edit the video footage I took in china but when I saw her on video singing the rattlin’ bog on the bus looking so happy and so full of life I literally thought my heart was going to explode and I couldn’t breathe and I had to shut it.

This is the last photo we took together in Disneyland. It’s badly lit and not exactly our best angle and the girl beside us is clearly photobombing but it was a day where we were both so happy and I am thankful I took it. I don’t know how we will get over this. If anybody has a guide can you let me know?

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2 thoughts on “Grief 101: How to deal with it and cope.

  1. Oh, Deb….. I am so, so sorry…. she was/is your sister.
    A year ago I hung up with my super healthy, funny, kind brother who I loved so much, with a “see ya later” and love ya.
    The next morning I got the call that he was dead.
    I cannot simply say that I know how you feel. I can say you may feel like you can’t breathe— and you must. It doesn’t get easier. It’s not supposed to. The smiles will return, and meantime, sweet girl, keep breathing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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