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The hardest year

Monday, 7 December 2020


Grief

Grief

It’s been so long; I don’t even know where to start with this one. Firstly, a little disclaimer, I know this year has been extremely tough for everyone. So much has changed, so much uncertainty and so much that we just can’t get our heads around, but this is my story. This is my 2020 and my grief, and how I am dealing with everything that has happened this year.

Grief

THE START OF 2020 

Like many other people, I thought this was going to be my year. I started the year with my dream job, with such high expectations. I believed this was the year that things were going my way and I was finally going to feel like everything in my life was falling into place. But as 2020 draws to an end, I can confidently say, this has been the worst year I’ve ever experienced. 

Grief

Covid-19 really shook things up and has brought about so much chaos and heartache that none of us could have ever predicted. 

January feels so long ago now I can’t even remember how I spent New Year’s Eve, but I remember feeling extremely excited and overwhelmed with joy. 

I was working for a celebrity chef doing their social media and marketing and I really thought this would be the place that my career would take off. I made the decision last year that I needed a break from blogging. My passion had gone, and I lacked motivation and felt like I needed a new challenge. I stopped posting on here, I stopped posting on my social media, I stopped making videos and I decided to change the life I knew. But I was happy. 

And I truly was so happy. My boyfriend and I booked our dream holiday to Iceland for Valentine’s day (read here) and had discussed all the other places we wanted to travel to this year. 

Grief

CORONA VIRUS

Shortly after we came back, the whole Corona Virus took a turn for the worst and the country didn’t know what to do. On Mach 10th (my mother’s birthday) I was essentially ‘let go’ from my job as they could no longer afford to pay me. The restaurants were having cancellations left right and centre, and as is always the case, last one in, first one out. 

I was broken. I took it personally, and it really knocked my confidence. It took me a really long time to get back to myself and feel confident about my work. And to be honest, I still feel a lack of confidence. But I’m trying not to take things so personally. 

But these things happen and as the lock down went on, more and more people were being made redundant and losing their jobs. People’s livelihoods have been taken from them and business all over the UK and world have really been struggling. 

I was back to square one. No income, no support from the government, and the emails for my blog had really dried up and I didn’t really have any other options. I decided to try temping again, and managed to do 2 weeks working from home, until that also had to be cancelled as no business knew where they stood. 

So, what was I to do now? I was 27, living at home with no source of income. Me being me, I managed to find the odd jobs here and there to stay afloat, however I still am unable to find something of a career, which is what I truly want. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is why this has been the worst year of my life. September 22nd 2020 is a day I will never forget. 

Grief

THE CALL 

It was the day that everything changed for me and my friends. If you’ve been following me for a while you will have seen that my friendship consists of myself and 5 other amazing women who I have known collectively since I was around 13 years old. 

On August 7th one of my closest friend Zulfiye who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis received the long-awaited call for a double lung and liver transplant. She was so excited; she was so ready of the prospects for a new life. One final facetime of her saying she’ll probably be sent home because it isn’t likely to be a match and next thing we know; she was prepped and is in surgery. 

Weeks went by. We couldn’t go visit her, we couldn’t call her or facetime her. We would send her mother voice notes to play but she couldn’t listen to them, she found it too hard and too sad. Our beautiful bubbly friend was not herself. She was feeling low, and tired and anxiety was taking over her. I can’t even imagine what she was going through, what her parents, sister, boyfriend and family were going through. The pain and suffering we were going through as her friends was enough. But just as we thought things had taken a turn, just as we thought she was recovering, I received a facetime that woke me up that changed all of our lives. 

Grief

THE HEART ACHE 

One of the girls called us and was saying they were going to switch the machines off and they’re giving her 2 hours. 2 hours I thought, 2 hours to breathe without any of the machines I thought, yes, we’re getting our girl back. She’ll be home again soon and we’ll sit outside her door telling her how much we all missed her and bringing her Chinese take away to make sure she’d keeping her weight up.

But how wrong was I. Our beautiful friend had been through so much, her bowels perforated overnight and after they rushed her to surgery, they realised there was nothing else they could do for her. As I type this, it doesn’t feel real. I still can’t believe this. I have never felt such an overwhelming pain come over me. I’ve lost people I loved before, my grandparents, a friend’s mum, but this. This was something else. 

I don’t even know where to go from here. It’s been over 2 months now and it still doesn’t feel real. I still think every time I go to see the girls, or go to her mum’s house I’m going to hear her cheery ‘Hi guys’ or her calling me ‘my baby’. But no. There is only silence. The silence is deafening and the pain. 

The pain is immeasurable. 

She was such a special person who touched so many people. Our group is broken. We are missing a piece in our jigsaw. Nothing is the same, and it never will be. 

Grief

TO MY ZUFFY 

I feel so grateful for knowing you and having so many memories with you, but it doesn’t feel like enough. Every photo I look at I crave more, I wish we had more time to make more memories, I wish every time I saw you, I told you how much I loved you and how special you were. 

You would be so upset seeing us all so broken, but the pain is too much to mask it with a fake smile. You were wonderful at putting your pain at the back of your mind and putting on a brave face and I wish I had your strength. You would always put other people’s feelings first; you’d never miss a special occasion and always did it looking so glamorous no matter what kind of pain you were in. 

I just want to thank you for being my friend. I want to thank you for being the glue and the strength for all of us girls. The loss we feel for you has brought us closer than ever. Whenever we meet up now all we do is talk about you. How much we miss you and reminisce on all the crazy things you would do. 

I miss you so much. Every time I visit your grave, I feel excited that I’m going to see you, then I remember… 

Grief

GRIEIVING 

It’s those moments that are the hardest. It’s when you forget and suddenly remember your loved one is gone that it hits the worst. In the shower, in the car, before bed. When you’re alone. When everyone thinks you are coping better and ‘getting over it’. It’s not that you’re getting over it, more so that you’re learning to hide it better. Just like Zuf. She suffered with so much pain throughout her entire life, she became a pro at hiding her pain, I guess we have learnt from the best. 

And that’s exactly what grief is. It’s not something that can be measured, it doesn’t have a time scale and you can’t compare the way people grieve. No one’s pain is more than the others. Grief is such a personal thing, it’s so relative and loosing someone like Zuf, a person who touched so many people, made each and every conversation count and showed everyone the same amount of love, respect and compassion, has left so many people feeling so empty. 

Grief

Covid took so much from us this year, but most importantly, it took time away from us. All those months we couldn’t come and see you. Those 2 months we couldn’t visit you in hospital is the hardest. Knowing what could have been but will not be is heart-breaking. 

One thing I am certain of is that one day our children will know their Zuf Deyze and love her as much as we do. Your memory lives on inside us forever. You taught us so much and in passing you have given us strength we didn’t know we had. 

Going through such a loss is so hard, I am forever grateful for my friends, for being my rock, my family for supporting me, and my boyfriend for being there when I need a shoulder to cry on. If it wasn’t for the support around me, I really don’t think I would have been able to do this. 

Grief

Every day is a struggle and I know every day hereafter will also be a struggle. I miss you and love you. If you are also grieving the loss of someone, please don’t suffer alone. 

There are so many different support groups out there. Some of my favourite grieving Instagram accounts to follow are @Untanglegrief @thatgoodgrief @thegriefcase. 

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TERAL ATILAN

TERAL ATILAN