Updated: Feb 13
As I come towards the end of my trip I'm reflecting on lessons learned and what I have gained from time away and pressing pause.
I thought long and hard about what to share and what to hold as my own.
If sharing some pieces of my journey helps others then I'm Daring Greatly as Brené Brown says. Being vulnerable and putting myself out there. Because when we show our vulnerability we are ultimately being human and open up to connection.
By sitting here with the pause, with time and space I don't mind admitting its been incredibly uncomfortable at times. Space means time to think and time to think means thoughts creep in. Often those difficult ones surrounding loss.
Bereavement and loss can encompass much more than the death of those we love. It can be loss of relationships, jobs, homes, dreams we had or future expectations.
I'm human too and grief wellied me smack in the chops during week 3.
When my body and mind connected and I literally fell to my knees.
I had a minor fall, tripping on a grass verge, catching my ankle and tumbling to all fours. As I sat there on my knees stumbling to get up I felt an overwhelming urge to cry. I hadn't hurt myself badly but I felt childlike vulnerable and in need. In that moment the loss of a mother, my mother came flooding back. I was a 6 year old again wanting to be scooped up and told all would be ok. Or even a 'Don't be dramatic get up' would have sufficed.
I actually stayed there on that grass verge on all fours for a few minutes contemplating remaining there all day! The child in me did not want to adult and haul her backside back up to standing. Emotionally it all felt too hard. And staying on the ground was far more appealing.
But pride took over and I staggered to my feet and continued the walk to the beach.
Yes I did Call a friend and stammered down the phone dramatically that I'd had a fall. God knows what I thought they could do over 4000 miles away. But a familiar voice was all that was needed.
As I walked I asked myself
'What do you need Becky'?
I needed my book and my bottom firmly on the ground! And that's exactly what I did. I sat on the beach and I read and I cried on and off. Because grief often knocks us off our feet when we least expect it.
My bereavement was almost 6 years ago and as the anniversary creeps up I feel the stirrings of emotions swell to the surface as they do annually. Allowing them to wash over me helps, fighting them doesn't.
Grief doesn't get easier it gets softer.
More manageable more containable somehow. But it never goes. It's when I fall, emotionally or physically that the grief steps in. A reminder that she isnt there, even to phone and laugh at the ridiculousness of being on all fours at the edge of a dusty busy road. She would have gasped then laughed and said something funny and all would be ok again.
How easily we are soothed by the familiar.
As for my OTHER fall. Well she would have laughed hysterically and retold that tale to all of her friends. My other fall you see.........
Was me elegantly walking out of the sea Bond esq like in my minds eye. Only to be thumped in the back by a strong wave which forced me to my knees. In order to not look utterly incapable I decided to flip over and pretend to be sitting in the water looking out to sea.
Yep you guessed it, the next wave totally engulfed me. But this time it was so strong it scooped my legs up from under me, literally flipping them over my head.
Oh THE SHOCK. The Shame, the hilarity!
Worse was to come, as the wave retreated it yanked me back to a stunned sitting position. Just as I thought it couldn't get any worse the wave retreated so swiftly with such force it took my bikini bottoms down with it!
In full view of all the locals adorning the beach on a bank holiday weekend. Talk about feeling naked and vulnerable. It was hysterical. .
The best part was, as I rescued my pants, made myself decent and finally staggered to my feet i looked up to see that the entire time my friend had had her back to me whilst rescuing a poor soggy Bumble Bee into a nearby tree.
As I staggered towards her she turned around and I swear it could have been a scene out of Ab Fab. Me as Patsy stumbling, hair on end completely disheveled stating 'It's time to go'. All that was missing was a smudge of bright red lipstick!
Needless to say when I explained the trauma of the rampaging waves my friend laughed hysterically and uncontrollably.
I'm still laughing now days later each time I replay that memory.
So sometimes we fall and we laugh sometimes we fall and it's a struggle emotionally to get back up.
But in the end we all pull up those big girl pants and carry on. We learn, we grow and we are often just a little bit more self aware as we continue to navigate life's bumpy path.