“Vertraue auf besser Tage” – Keane

I suffered a severe loss last year. Navigating the expansive, seemingly endless ocean that is the emptiness it left me with has proved to be–putting it quite mildly–a challenge.

Finding ways to cope is not the easiest thing to do. So many people have opinions on how you’re supposed to “get over” a loss, how long you should grieve, the methods you should employ in recovering, and so on. I haven’t done a great job of finding any methods. Honestly, I can say I’ve never wanted to die more than I have since September, 2015, but I know that wouldn’t help anything. In fact, it would just put other people through the horror and turmoil I’m currently experiencing. But that doesn’t help how lost I’ve felt. I’m like a tiny sail boat lost in the middle of the Atlantic. How could you possibly find your way back to shore in that situation?

A couple of things have managed to help me in getting closer to that invisible shore. Driving without a destination and photography are two. Another has been seeking comfort in my Faith. But since I was young, writing has always been my escape and emotional outlet. Admittedly, I’ve lost sight of writing several times over the years, but each time I’m faced with the wrestling match of life and its nature to be overwhelming, I find myself back in front of blank pages, spilling words onto their pristine surfaces. Almost immediately after the loss, I wrote a poem about the simultaneous absence and presence of my father in the city we were both so familiar with. I thought, “Great! At least I still have writing.”

That was all I wrote, though. For months, writing was almost as obviously absent from my life as my father was. I would try to write, try to get my anger and sadness out on the page and end up with nothing, or worse, something whose depth and honesty just wasn’t there and ended up feeling like a sheer mockery of my actual feelings. I knew the only way for me to describe the acute and ironic contrast of both the immense love and the crippling anger that I felt for my dad for leaving me was going to be through writing, yet I simply could not find the words. In fact, I couldn’t find any words.

Something finally gave way and I wrote another poem several months later. Since then, I’ve been using writing prompts to try to bring the medium back into my life. So here I am, trying to find a path of healing through the comfort of writing.

A quick explanation of the name of this blog, as well as its first post. Vertraue auf besser Tage means to have faith in brighter (better) days. It’s derived from the lyrics of one of my favorite songs from the band, Keane. They were kind enough to share with the world their song “You Are Young” and help me–though many more than me, I’m sure–find solace and comfort in its gentle reminder to “have faith in brighter days.” My post title is in German simply because that language is so much deeper than my native English. (Perhaps I just understand it better because of the way it was taught to me.) Either way, I’m staying afloat on this Grief Ocean many ways, but one of them is definitely by having faith in brighter days to come.

If you’ve lost someone close to you, lost your way, lost a part of yourself to depression, disease or addiction, or are struggling to cope with anything that seems like too much to bare, I hope you’ll join me on the road to recovery and the New Normal I aspire to find along the way. Remember to breathe, and have faith in brighter days. We’re stronger than we believe and each of us will get through this.

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5 thoughts on ““Vertraue auf besser Tage” – Keane

  1. It always amazes me that we can have a prescription for so many things, a cure, a treatment, a solution…and yet we still don’t know clinically, emotionally or physically, how to appropriately manage loss. I guess it just illustrates the uniqueness of us all in that it impacts and strikes us in very different ways. I wish sometimes that I could say to someone, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll feel this, this, then this…just like I did, or they did, or they have…’ I think one of the frustrating things for me, having a recent bereavement, is that everyone told me ‘You’ll never be the same again.’ Or ‘Life will never be the same again…’ Who are they to know this? It frustrated me because some days I do feel ‘the same’ and life feels ‘ordinary’ and I think about this and whether there’s something wrong with me because of it. Odd isn’t it. 🙂 ❤

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  2. Firstly, it saddens me very much to hear that you have recently lost someone as well. ((big hug)) Was it a sudden death? I know there’s no preparedness for losing a loved one, but out-of-the-blue, accidental deaths blindside you and can be extremely traumatic. I hope your loss wasn’t such.

    It is quite surprising that we don’t have a universal “cure” for it, huh? It certainly does illustrate our uniqueness!

    The closest I’ve come to finding a “step-by-step” list of what you feel during a bereavement are articles which mention the “stages of grief.”But even those will almost always say, “These stages are not universal and they don’t happen in any particular order.” Which is a bit disheartening because you never really know when, where or why the anguish and grief are going to strike you.

    And yes, I 100% understand what you mean about people saying you’ll never be the same again yet feeling, some days, that you are and some days that you aren’t. I think that has been one of the most shocking things to me so far is how I can wake up some mornings and feel completely normal and like my “old” self. And it isn’t that I’ve forgotten he’s gone, it’s just that I feel overwhelmingly “normal.” I don’t usually stay that way very long, but it does happen.

    One thing I want to say, though, there’s nothing at all wrong with you for feeling “the same” or for life feeling ordinary.” I think it’s very easy for us, as the bereaved, to attempt to fit ourselves into a category with other people because we so desperately want to make sense of what happened or to feel a part of a group in order to deal with it. But I know that feeling something others don’t or not feeling something others do doesn’t indicate there is something wrong with us. ❤ ((hugs to you))

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    1. No, for us it was my Grandad who had fallen Christmas 2015 and had subsequently had a bleed on his brain and needed to be moved from hospital into a nursing home. It was sudden in that he was laughing, talking, happy the morning of…and then died the next day after a delayed time spent on a hospital forecourt, hours waiting for an ambulance and hours more for treatment. It wasn’t meant to -be- like it was, but sadly it happened like that. However, out of the blue it was not as we knew that it would happen sooner rather than later once he had fallen. We were lucky to have the sixteen months that we did actually. Was yours similar or unexpected? I think about grief and how much more it would hurt to have something hit you like that, out of the blue. We grieved like that when my Grandad fell, because it was out of the blue and before that he was self-caring/independent e.t.c. I guess that’s how grief works, little bits at a time here and there. . .

      Somone shared a quote with me a few months ago, which made me feel (temporarily) at more peace… it may help, it may not. 🙂 ” Grief never ends…But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It’s the price of love.” Similar to what you say really, it’s so hard at your worst most desperate time, to remember that there’s nothing wrong with you/me/us isn’t it. It’s nice to be reminded from time to time. And grounded to the moment. 🙂

      I find the things that I struggle with the most now, a few months on, are the most crazy things that trigger despair or sadness. Music, a song, a particular lyric, a memory, a reminder, a similar living person that reminds you of them, an object, a colour….a season! All those things can pop up without a problem and yet on a Tuesday, or next Friday, or whenever, they can cause so much anguish. Do you get that? I don’t know how to stop that just yet, maybe it will ease. 🙂

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      1. Yes, I absolutely do get those moments where the grief doesn’t hit till well after the “cause” of it occurred, or where the cause is really off-the-wall. It’s so odd, but I think one of the hardest hitting moments of grief I’ve had was when I read that Prince had died. He and my father were the same age by a few months and he was one of my dad’s most favorite musicians (definitely his favorite guitarist!) and hearing that he had died just months after my dad was extremely upsetting to me. I don’t even know why but I sat there reading the story and cried. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t going to get to talk to my dad about that. I knew he’d be shocked and saddened and it just… it all felt so wrong. And then when that singer, Christina Grimmie, got murdered in Orlando last week, I cried again because my dad and I had been following her on Youtube almost since she posted her first video years ago. It was very distressing to me that I couldn’t go to him and say, “DID YOU HEAR ABOUT CHRISTINA GRIMMIE?!” because I know he would have been just as shocked and disgusted at how she died as I was. But my dad just wasn’t there. And I think that somehow is when it really, truly hit me that he’s gone for good. Like, something about those particular moments of realization of his absence hit harder than anything since he died. It was weird and I cried for almost an hour both times… 😦

        Wow, I didn’t mean to write so much! I’m sorry… It’s so nice to talk to someone about this, though, so thank you for listening. ❤

        That's a good quote. Here's one that helped me: "Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” –Vicki Harrison

        PS He died very suddenly. He was fine and I remember showing him a funny video on Facebook and we laughed and I told him goodnight around 2am and he died around 9:30 the next morning. Internal bleeding, they said. My brother got the autopsy report but I… I really don't want to read it. I just don't want to know because I feel like it was probably preventable and that just crushes me. So I can't read it.

        Anyway… sorry, I'm definitely being a downer now! *ahem* *sends happy vibes your way* 🙂

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      2. I know what you mean completely. It must be a million times worse because of the suddenness, at least for us we got about a year to gradually get accustomed to not having those same conversations that we used to. It did make it hard when we had the odd glimpse here and there though. Gosh there has been so much trauma lately hasn’t there, I guess so much in half a year for the whole world, that there’s probably hardly anyone existing who can’t relate somehow these days. Don’t apologise, it’s good to write and I wrote loads too, I really don’t mind. You’re not a downer at all. I think it’s good to talk as well. Preventable death is hard to deal with, I’m struggling with that too because my Grandfather’s has gone to Inquest as the Coroner has reason to believe it wasn’t entirely natural. Someone recently told me that you can pile on mountains of guilt and drown yourself in feelings of desperation and despair, but ultimately you weren’t the medical professional in that persons life, you weren’t the last Doctor he saw or the last test result he had. Someone else is there to take on that responsibility so that we don’t have to. I love that Vicki Harrison quote, definitely one that I’m going to keep and remind myself of, thank you. 🙂

        I think it’s horrendous what’s happening in Orlando, I hope that you and your friends and family are safe if that’s your area of Florida. Watching the news unfold here has been painful. Thinking of you! ❤

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