I’d been told early in that people would judge how I grieve, whether I like it or not, so to just do what feels right for me and try to ignore it.

It is a deeply raw pain, this judgement by a loved one. It hit me like a truck, triggering another tsunami wave of grief itself. 

I was told I was not being real in my grief. I was annoying by pretending to be ok, “with a big fake smile”. 

Well here’s my reality. 

This grief is not yours to judge. It’s my grief and my pain. I choose how I cope with it. 

Everyone grieves differently. I have witnessed how many people suppress their grief for fear of upsetting others or seeming too wounded. Supressed grief is linked to depression, addiction, and other nasties.

I choose to honour Michael (and our joint approach to life) by trying to keep going and find any, tiny amount of positivity in the world around me to cherish and appreciate.

So I choose to smile. Despite the sometimes horrid physical pain of Grief. 

Because after loss of your life partner and everything you’ve dreamed of doing, the monumental effort of a smile and a simple connection with another human is worth it. Some days it’s as close as I can feel to wanting to stay alive myself and not wish I went with him.

When I feel able to, I choose to try not to stay in bed /at home feeling shit or walk around with a tonne of sadness on my face. Some days I succeed, sometimes I fail. 

Michael and I chose to live a positive life every day and shun negativity because we knew life was short and that finding that attitude in each other was a unique gift; I want to keep doing the same. 

I chose to turn my face to the sun and smile in its warmth. 

I choose to try. 

If that offends you, find another friend to judge.