I feel a bit like I exist in a strange little bubble just now. I was doing well, plodding along nicely last year, doing exciting things and feeling happy.There was a dark blot looming on the calendar at the end of the year which covered a few months, but it was ok. The event horizon was far away in the future.

Now, though, I’m in the black hole. It’s a strange time, filled with emotionally big dates. Would have been my sister’s birthday in December. Christmas was pretty hard. New Year celebrations, looking forward to the year, were strange. February contains the date she died, March marks her funeral, and the time between is filled with memories of exceptionally hard days, pressing down on me.

Last year I allowed myself time and space for these things. I knew they would be hard, the first ‘anniversaries’ (there should be a better word than that, it doesn’t suit). As I’ve mentioned before, I found the time after these harder than expected, but I persevered and got things on track.

The black hole is draining. It makes me anxious, sucks up my (already minimal) self-esteem, spews out feelings of guilt, makes me worry constantly about the people I love. Tells me I should feel bad for feeling happy, that I’m ugly when I feel confident, that I’m a talentless hack who should give up her dreams (but hey, that’s a writer thing anyway, huh?). Tells me that I’m annoying people when I say how I feel, that it’s been nearly two years and I should be feeling better now. Tells me that even writing this blog post is an exercise in egotism that nobody wants to read.

Maybe these things are all true, but I don’t think so. I know there is an edge to the darkness, it’s just hard to see from here.

I’m working to fill the black hole with little atoms of happiness, my own personal protons. I’ve tried to improve my diet and have started to exercise in a bid to boost my mood and health. I’ve made more time to do things I love – writing, reading, acting – and tried to ignore the little voice of guilt that tells me I don’t deserve them. I’ve developed a routine to help me sleep well at night, which makes such a difference. I take comfort in knowing that the people I love are safe and happy. I’ve made up a plan for the year for my business and have launched a new venture – more about that in a different post.

I’m even looking forward to Jurassic World.

Concentrating on the positives, making myself feel healthy, enjoying the company of people I love and like, and keeping busy are all good things. They help push the negative feelings away.

As ever it feels a little weird to talk about bereavement on what is otherwise a blog about my creative life. However, I know I’m not alone in what I’m feeling. I know that other people who lost someone they love feel this guilt and confusion. If you are one of them, I say this: we’re allowed to be happy. We are. We’ll get through this.

The event horizon is pretty scary, but even black holes shrink in time.

One thought on “On Looking Ahead

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