What Led Us Here?

It was Evee who had the idea to create this blog a few months ago. She was unable to sleep one night, her mind whirring with thoughts about Mum and the situation we find ourselves in – two young girls 18 and 23, me a master’s student, Evee fresh out of 6th form, tackling probate, becoming homeowners and grieving. There was no one that we could relate to.

After the loss of our mum, we have tried several times to find information online about people in similar situations – to feel less alone, to get advice, to know that life can continue after all of the trauma. We couldn’t find anyone. So, we decided that we would become those people for others through The Grief Reality.

That’s not to say that we are over it. Personally, I cry every day over the loss of our mum, even 5 months down the line. That’s not to say we are any good at it either. Sometimes I feel as though we are the blind leading the blind. But if anyone can feel less alone by reading our experience, then mission accomplished.

The point is: grief is different for everyone. It is not like the films. There is no “textbook” way to grieve. If you have had all of these chaotic, contrasting feelings, then you can empathise, and if you can’t, that’s okay too. 

Nobody expects someone to write a book the same way, or run the exact same pace in a marathon, or drink the same drinks. Your grief is personal to you, because your relationship with your loved one is and was different to anyone else’s. But we are all going to grow, whether we grow around our grief or with our grief.

We are not sure how long we will be working on this blog – 1 year from now and it might be inactive – but if it can be used as a resource to anyone who is suffering the grief for a loved one, even in 5 years-time, then we are happy with that. 

Katie & Evee

Copyright © 2019 The Grief Reality. All Rights Reserved.

108 thoughts on “What Led Us Here?

  1. Hello, I am so very sorry for your loss, I lost my beloved Mum over 4 years ago, I have written some things in my blog about my situation, you might find it helpful, It’s not that it gets easier so much as it gets more bearable, I am lucky as I feel my Mum is always around me, I feel she watches over me and I am happy to feel that. You have a journey through grief to go through, You are very lucky to have each other for support, I have my wonderful husband. I don’t doubt you will gather a lot of followers, I have found people on this site to be so lovely. Please contact me if you want to talk more. Lilly x

  2. Thank you. You’re right that we all grieve in our own ways, though you also have expressed so much which I appreciate, and share. Cancer took my father five years ago. He was so vigorous, so cheerful, and entirely too young (as though there were a “good” time for it to happen) and then…he was gone. It still upsets me, always will, but the years also bring nostalgia and, strangely, optimism. Thanks you for explaining how you feel, which in many ways is how I do too.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry that you have gone through something similart, but I’m grateful that we can bring you some solace. There is no need to thank us

      1. Give my regards to Devon (where I presume you are) — I used to live in a village near Ottery St. Mary, and later Chagford, have family down in the South Hams.

  3. It is obvious to me from the few posts i have read on your blog that your combined intelligence will get both of you ‘through’ the hard times you have endured and those that may still be yet to come.

    None of us can all that easily control our emotions – particularly those concerning the loss of a loved one and as you pointed out each of us deals with them in different ways – there is no one ‘right’ way. All of us may need some help to keep our spirit strong to get us past the deep despair or sense of uncertainty about the future.

    By doing what you are doing you are helping each other, but also helping the many others who find some relief from the understanding that it’s not just them suffering through a difficult period in their life. You are giving hope to those desperately seeking it. Hopefully you can find the same from some of their blogs. (If you ever need reminding that there is still a lot of simple beauty in the world, or there is some humour also, and for this life is always worth living, i do what little i am able to in this regard on my blog!) 🙂

    I lost my father to lung cancer for which he was treated with radiation and chemo therapy, but which then turned to brain cancer (He had been a smoker for 40 years before giving it up) when i was 40. Fortunately it was comparatively quick (and pain free for him) so Mum and i really only had to handle the loss. I could say i understand what you are having to deal with, but no one could fully understand it.

    If either of you have any questions, bearing in mind i live on the other side of the world, i am quite a good researcher and may be able to offer advice or find answers if you wish?

    My best wishes for the path ahead – I am sure it will be a long, but fulfilling and successful one for you both. 🙂

    1. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. We didn’t expect to feel so supported by everyone who is commenting. In just a week since we first posted, i’ve realised just how many people are affected by grief. It blows my mind how nobody really talks about it openly. Hopefully more and more people can read about our experiences and feel less alone, just as we have felt by reading everyone’s comments.

      1. That’s the truly great thing about blogging… it is easier to express the grief one feels (and EVERYONE has/will experience it in one form and degree) and you will likely very soon find others in similar situations, or who will offer their support in whatever way they feel able or is appropriate.

        The wordpress communities are amazing. 🙂

        Hope you find the experience rewarding. 🙂

  4. So sorry to see when the loss was for you all. Her age is what we would class as young and it’s horrible to be taken from you at such an age. Cancer is cruel and doesn’t care who you are.

    You are right that for your situation there is anything to go by to help, so to create a blog at such a difficult time, that I hope you find it all helps you in some way to write it out, as well as finding that your blog helps others too.

  5. Love to you both. I found you because you found my blog article. Despite lots of blog posts I’ve written I still find wordpress a bit clumsy to navigate so it’s good to follow a response. I nearly laughed at your comment about asking if someone had found your mum after they had asked if you had ‘lost’ her. There are so many expressions folk use to describe that people they love have died. Over the years with loved ones dying, and especially my husband having died in 2018 I’ve managed to accept that’s how people express things. Sometimes the things said are astonishing, I guess some people, even though meaning kindness, just don’t realise what the impact of their words are. I’m going to risk jumping in with an observation. Your mum’s legacy is her daughters and from what I see from what you’ve written is is a legacy to be proud of.

  6. I’m so sorry for Your loss. You speak with such wisdom when You say/know that everyone grieves in their own way. That’s a tremendous gift to give Yourselves. It’s so very true. This blog is beautiful. What sweet hearts You have. 🙂

  7. I’m terribly sorry for the loss of your mother–and you are doing a very good and brave thing to open your hearts to others in this way, as it will encourage many. Something to remember is this: not everyone has a loving mother to remember, so although your hearts are aching, you have the proof in loving memories that some of us do not have. I was not loved, and therefore I have no grief–I would trade places with you in a heartbeat <3 Keeping you both in my prayers, that God will heal the pain.

    1. Thank you for your comment❤️ This pain is a sign that we had a strong bond, but it doesn’t make it any easier to remember that somedays. As always the support we are receiving is incredible 🙂 thank you

  8. I could not even begin to imagine what you guys are going through. Just know that you two are going to help alot of people along the way. Good luck on your blogging journey, it really is a beautiful thing. <3

    1. When we created this blog we wanted to help others, but we had no idea how much we would help ourselves. Your support means the world, and that’s the most beautiful thing ❤️

  9. Reblogged this on Aún sigo vivo and commented:
    The Grief Reality is the path through loss of these two young girls in the form of a well-thought, inspiring and profound blog. If there’s anything we can learn from them is how love creates an unbreakable bond. With their strong and individual voices, Katie and Evee let us into their minds to understand grief in a way that many of us are grateful for: with smart, and even funny, posts about their thoughts and memories. I wish you the best!!

  10. Superb! I am glad that you have the courage to move on in life despite demise of your mother a few months back.
    All i can say is-Take life as it come to you,not as it should come.

  11. Such a sad reason to start a blog but such an inspiring one, which will help many others. You’re right, people don’t talk about grief and I’m not sure why as it’s a part of life in whatever form.

    I to lost my mother to cancer and although we weren’t very close, it still affected me deeply. Unlike your mother, my mother refused all treatment and pain killers due to her fundamental beliefs as a Naturopath – an extremely difficult road for everyone.

    Many thanks for stopping by my Travel and Photography blog.

  12. I think you are brave and that you will also help others by sharing your journey; I read a comment by a psychiatrist recently who said our brains are “wired to connect” and I agree so much. It’s like God made us for relationship more than anything else, so I suppose that’s why it hurts so much when one we love is gone. My daughter helped me understand grieving by sharing her feelings so honestly when she lost her first baby just a couple of months into the pregnancy. She was already bonding with that little one she longed to keep …but she said things like this: losing him was like being in a tunnel, where others could just look at her through windows and reach in and hold her hand every now and then, but no one could really come inside, and see the long dark days ahead of her when time seemed like her enemy…and yet she did regain her joy and hope. That maybe was the one common thread in talking to others about grieving–that somehow, with support and honesty and friends and faith, hope returns. Blessings to you and thank you for sharing.

    1. This is one of the most powerful expressions of how it feels to grieve. Grief takes you to a foreign land others don’t often understand which is what makes grieving all the more painful. I really relate to this comment and your expression is very articulate and beautiful. <3 I am so sorry for your daughter's loss.

  13. My first loss was of my grandfather when I was only one year old, then at 23 my father died of cancer. I started my blog back in 2013 to deal with recovery from addiction issues but underlying it was really grief. I lost my sister two years later on 20 April and my Mum on 12 Dec 2017. I can only say grieving is a process and it helps to talk about it. It rises up like a tide or wave at times and like you say every process is unique but the comments here just show what a Universal experience it is. I want to get trained to be a grief counsellor. My grief over my father only emerged after I was sober for 6 years… and I still grieve him at every other funeral of a male I attend. I have learned these important things. Grief is a sign of your love so you should honour it…. you never ‘get over’ the loss of a love one but you can ‘get through it’ but for this you need those willing to acknowledge it and allow you your process. Sending you love and encouragement for your new blog. Deborah

  14. Hi girls,
    I was 8 years old when my mother died of cancer. I was the 2nd youngest of 10 children. Out father was no help to anyone as he claimed proudly to be the meanest bastard in the world. He beat at least one someone daily, usually me. He sexually assaulted my sisters, though this I did not know until years later. Life with no mother was terrorizing.
    That was 60 years ago. My father, if you can call him that, died 15 years later. No one mourned his death. Four of my 6 brothers have also died. Luckily we do not seem to be a long-lived family. The family was dysfunctional, and all of the kids have or had mental or spiritual scars.
    BUT DO NOT MOURN FOR US! We all survived in our own ways, and had decent lives, at least for a while. HAPPINESS IS ALWAYS AVAILABLE. LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT!

    I do not write this comment seeking sympathy. While it is a true story, it is a story of survival. None of us let life defeat us. We all won in our own ways.
    And I am sure you will win in yours. My oldest brothers were 22 and 20 when our mother died, just starting their own lives. They had decent support systems just being built. My sisters were 18, 12, and 10. I think they had the hardest times. Mothers are important to all children, but girls lose more than boys, generally speaking. However girls also generally seem to be more resilient, in my experience. I myself didn’t fully understand what was happening, nor did my younger brother who was born with Down Syndrome. We were told she went on a long trip to see god. They allowed us to think she would be coming back… How my other brothers, 19, 15, and 14, at the time, survived, I do not know, but they did.

    I wish you both well in your journeys. Keep each other close if you can. Help each other through the sad times, and share your happy times. Grieve, but please don’t allow yourselves to get stuck in the processes. Your paths are long ahead of you, with wondrous good things to come. Enjoy them as best you can. If and when you become mothers, honour your children the way your mother honoured you. Pass her love forward.

  15. I am so sorry that you lost your mom at such a young age. I lost my mom unexpectedly 4 years ago. I had no support afterwards. I looked online for support but couldn’t find any so I am glad you started your blog. I will look at more of your posts.
    I started a cooking blog to keep my mom’s memory alive. I make yogurt to keep her yogurt culture alive and that helps me.

    1. Thank you for your comment, I’m sorry for your loss too. I hope you can take something away from our blog. It’s great that you’ve started your own! I’m glad it helps you 🙂 Katie

      1. Thank you. I am travelling in Ireland right now. A holiday and collecting material for my blog. I will be looking at your posts whenever I have a stop with WiFi. I appreciate your help. Also thanks for following my blog. ☺

  16. I’m sorry for your loss. So sad and she was too young. I am glad you girls have one another. I pray that God brings you comfort. Thank you for sharing your grief journey with us.

  17. An enlightening blog to say the least. With your sort of writing coming form your heart, I am sure, you will do wonders. Remain blessed.

  18. I am so very sorry for your loss! It appears there are a lot of people out here who are able to connect with you and provide some advice, and, hopefully, comfort! My wife works for our church, and we have a grief group for those who have experienced loss. It is very well received, so perhaps that’s an option. God bless you both, and I wish the very best for you as well!

  19. Very sorry for your loss. Condoléances. Mi pésame. There are many words in any language. None can fill the void. 54 is a young age to go away. And you are both very young, but clearly strong. Now Death is a dirty thief. Not only does it rob you of the ones you love, it may hit you on the back of the head. Crash your immune system. That should get back up soon.
    Meanwhile? You have each other. Your friends. You will make new. And little by little, sometimes very slowly, you will start to see the summer light in the tree leaves. Or you will be able to remember your mom with a smile and not a tear. It may take longer for some, or less time. Every one is different.
    Just keep walking. 🙂
    Take care
    Brian

  20. So sorry to hear about the loss of your mum. There is very little support available but I think its hard as everyone is different and there is no ‘fit all’ mould for the death of a loved one. I like you started my blog to support others through their loss and show the changes in life, but most importantly similar to yourselves that you will grow from the grief and do your best to carry on with things in life as best you can.

    https://akidneystory.wordpress.com/

  21. “We bumped into a friends who asked if we had lost our mum, and we have had to fight down the urge to say “why, have you found her?!” ” actually, i find this to be a great answer depending on how you say it to the person as it shows, to me, a step in healing. dont get me wrong, the process your mom went through to die is no joke and the same for how you are feeling. i am not trying to be insensitive to your situation.

    i find it strange you could not find any support and what you have here is a great step for you and others to cope with loss.

    if you think i have not experienced loss, i have. i was in combat as a medical corpsman attached to a u.s.marine company. i lost several marines in which i struggled to try and save. my dad died from cancer. my best friend died of a gastrointestinal bleed and not to mention way too many animals that were pets.

    there is no one way for people to cope with death. for those needing support, your blog is a good place to be.

  22. Bless you all for doing this! Yes, life does go on and we never forget the loss. We move forward with it and carry our loved ones with us on the journey to keep their memory alive. I pray in time you find comfort and peace. Your testimonies are sure to help others.

  23. Hélas, chaque famille, doit compter et vivre, à un moment ou à un autre, avec son lot de peines et de souffrances physiques ou morales.
    C’est notre condition tout simplement humaine qui nous tient ou pas debout et courageux face à l’adversité.

    Joyeux Noël pour vous mes jeunes amies… malgré les vicissitudes de la vie et la disparition de votre chère Maman !
    Bisous amicaux de France.
    https://lewisfoxyonehome.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/light-peace-and-love-1.gif

  24. Hey, sorry for your loss. I agree, there’s different ways of grieving, all down to the individual in how it’s ‘best’ to cope. I can relate to this, I’ve lost a few very close relatives over the years. There is help out there, whether it’s online or organisations, I’m sure you know. And thanks for checking out my writing, much appreciated!

  25. I’m so sorry for your loss. Something quite similar happened to me too. Take Care, Reach out for any help. Keep spreading awareness like you’re doing! All the best 🙂

  26. A loss of someone close is always a pain. The loss of a mother is a greater pain. I lost my mother 22 years ago, but every day her memory comes naturally associated with something.
    Now without pain and with immense tenderness!

  27. Found your blog through your guest post on Gary’s site! Im sorry for the loss of your mother at such a young age. It’s great that your sharing you’re experiences here. I’m currently experiencing the loss of a friend that is hitting me quite harder than expected. I appreciate what you and your sister are doing here! 😊

  28. I am happy to see this post. I am sorry for the lost of your mom. I can’t even try to imagine how I would feel if that should happen to me. I thank God for your faithfulness to start this blog to write this I hope the Lord Jesus will help you to sustain it, you will never know where this will lead you and your sister.
    The part that really please me to write this is the fact that sometime after 3 am I decided to watch a YouTube video I was going to watch but I had delayed it. At this moment I am going to look for it and send it to you in this posting. It is an interview of young lady who lost both parents. She and her two sisters had gone through some really horrible situation, even facing rejection from family members, it was the Church that stood up to help them. The person who was conducting the interview cried because of the pain she heard from the young lady been interviewed and her sister went through.
    Here is the YouTube link to the video I watched https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cSbR38OQ9o
    Remember God is bigger than all our problem and even though He is everywhere His guiding hands are with hurting people.
    May Jesus Christ give all the comfort and show the reason for all that goes on and lead you into His part.

  29. Excellent heartfelt effort and legacy to your Mum! This action over inaction or perhaps waiting for someone out in the world to give you the answers you seek is the most beautiful thing! As you move forward in this fashion I believe you have maintained a grounded view of reality, that you are helping to create as well, even creating answers to your own questions and reason for suffering here on earth, that are ideally suited to you because they are pouring from your own heart and soul which is absolutely still connected to your Mum through the Holy Spirit of God! I can tell you without any doubt in my mind/heart it is so, and I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t know firsthand what I’m talking about. I had the same crushing sadness and overwhelming feeling of loss when I lost my Dad, and even though I was able to seek solace in some writing or conversation with others, in my case faith in God and my asking Him for anything He wanted to send my way directly, to just help me get a grip and understand what I need to and I’ll be so appreciative of anything in that regard! I had immediately gotten home the evening my Dad passed; my sister told me later on as soon as I walked out of the hospital room he took his very last breath, but I got home and went to my Bible, not that I was constantly reading Scripture either but I have maintained a core of faith that I know has served me well in so many difficulties and even big troubles. When I picked up my Bible the tears that I had held back trying to be the man my Dad always was my entire life, the flood gate opened and I balled my heart out like a baby, but in my weeping I asked God to please help me know everything is going to be fine and just help me get through this earth shattering point in my life as my Dad was the best man I ever knew and a great father and even my best friend who always listened to me even for hours when I had so much to ask or talk about, being a long winded guy that I am. I looked down to my Bible at that moment as I just allowed my hands to freely let it to open and it did open to “The Book of John” and my eyes immediately focused on “verse 14,”right there where it opened to, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” John 14. As I read I was awe struck and still crying I began to gain strength along with a “JOY, now not crying in grief but in a joyous celebration of a life well lived in serving our Lord,” as I said, “oh God you are so good to me you just told me my Dad is in the place he always wanted to end up, and through his beautiful strong abiding faith in You; and You had prepared it for him long ago!” After this experience I was becoming so calm and sure that things are at least going in the right direction and I also knew what mattered most was that my Dad was so closely connected to me but to God first and foremost, so I can’t question God but should continue to allow Him to work through us the living here in the flesh to serve His will and purposes! I won’t go into more now but I actually received a confirmation a short number of days later that was miraculous and healed my heart of any wound or residual trauma. Now I will say, I have times when I think of my Dad and I get teary eyed and feel the love still growing but these tears aren’t sad but only those of joy and love in my heart, I’m a better person because of this outcome and God has given me a gift which I must foster and carry forward doing His will until He doesn’t need me here anymore, then I can leave here and join Dad and all my departed loved ones in heaven. God bless you and yours and I know you will be fine; you did more than I did to search for answers and you show character and faith which is all you need, in order to be just who God intended you to be! Thank you for this great effort and useful tool for others to gain solace and strength like we are doing here now! Amen.
    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence

  30. Any loss is difficult to overcome, any. Most people experience that in the course of their life. It’s simply more difficult for you because you’re still very young.
    Every person grieves also on their own way.
    I personally never could stand people reminding me about the loss or even saying they were sorry because I don’t think anybody can possibly understand that pain.
    It goes away, but never completely.
    It’s great to recall good memories.
    The only thing one shouldn’t do is start feeling like a victim of life and, thus, being in a less fortunate position. You should also never try to build something up based on that grief. Being sad and crying is normal. Getting used to loss is painful and we all need some self-work.
    It gets easier with every year. Life isn’t spent grieving and as new things come and happen, the feeling of loss becomes less acute.
    Some people build their blogs and their life on a disease, grief or trouble.
    I hope you can focus eventually on life, future, things which need to be done. Grief belongs to destructive emotions and if you let it run your life, nothing good comes out of it.
    Stay safe!

  31. This is perfectly perfect. Recently, I’ve been saying that the only people who can understand how it feels to lose a parent are those who have lost a parent. Sending you light, love, and healing ❤

  32. We really liked your focus on helping others and becoming the change you wanted to see. We would like to feature you in our next issue of “This Just In…Tears Bloom.”

      1. Wonderful. We are so glad to have the two of you in our feature. We will send you the link to the video you will be featured in as soon as the issue is out :). Our condolences on the lost of your mother. Our hearts go out to you.

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