Grief resonates with me. I read of loss, and I understand, though no-one experiences loss in exactly the same way, or so I imagine. I wrote my ‘About Me’ section when we did the redesign and domain changes for Sand has no home, and I mentioned nothing about grief. A few days ago, after reading a thread on a Facebook group called Blog Chicks, I realised that something needed to be added, and it was this

Reading through, you may come across some posts about grief. An even longer time ago than my abandoned uni days, on one terrible day when I was almost 19, I saw my father and my older brother drown in an irrigation channel in Central Victoria. Of course such an experience shapes you to some degree, entangles and intertwines into all that you are and all you become, and so my writing is coloured and washed by my grief, though I am not defined by it. 

My perception of things is washed by that grief. I remember my father and brother almost every day. Sometimes, almost 22 years on, I have a tiny cry because they are not here. I had one of those today. It inspires this post. I was reading this excellent post on Edenland, and I commented

” This is so beautiful. That is such a noble and worthy fate for those gorgeous t shirts.

I lost my big brother too. It was a long time ago, in 1993. I was almost 19, he was 25 and a stunning man. I didn’t know how young 25 was then. My dad died the same day, he was 45. I thought that was quite old. Eden, I still miss them fucking madly, and in different ways again than I used to. But I love them madly too. They are still present and vibrant within me.
It’s funny, reading this post today, as it was just yesterday that I was thinking of t shirts and my brother, and I hadn’t remembered this for years and years. My brother drowned,so he took off his t shirt just before he entered the water. I claimed that t shirt as mine afterwards, and I used to sleep with it, smell it, hold onto it as though it was him, and you know, it was the last physical vestige of him that anyone could hold, so I was right. I kept that Tintin t shirt for a very long time, long after it had yellowed and lost his vital scent. Long after. It doesn’t matter anymore, that t shirt, and I must have parted with it some time, though I don’t recall when. It mattered a lot back then though, it was all that I had, before I relinquished the corporeal for the ever lasting, never yellowing memory of him.
Dani from Sand Has No Home xx”

As I was typing the words, those tiny tears arrived unbidden, a small bleeding of my heart flowered again, because my brother, his name was Grant, he was stunning, and we loved him, and no matter how many years pass, yet still it hurts that he was cut down that day. I was just starting to get to know him.

Grief seeps into your bones, and that is ok. I was not ruined by grief, not conquered, not weakened, not defined. I was not made stronger, either, you just survive it, and you are made different. I am more afraid because of grief, I am more cautious of the world, I know how quickly and how easily everything can change. I don’t require or need or want anyone’s condolences, I feel as though I need to say this afresh each time that I write about my grief, I am ok, it is just, as Richard Flanagan, ever eloquent, wrote in Death of a River Guide

There remains in my soul a barren patch of ground upon which nothing will grow.

Linking up with #IBOT over at Essentially