Facing bereavement before a Marathon

In the last four weeks leading up to the Robin Hood Marathon, I’ve faced injuries and I’ve faced bereavement.

The mental strain is incredibly immense. And my running has taken the brunt of it, as I’m in a state of mourning.

When someone you love dies, I found that they don’t dissipate out of your life at once, small parts of them gradually get lost over a long period of time. 

I’ve had days were a particular missing part of that person reveals itself. Either a direct reminder or something innocuous like a song lyric. The effect is overwhelming and I acknowledge that this is final, and they aren’t coming back.

“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.”

Alphonse de Lamartine, Méditations Poétiques

You’ve probably heard of the five stages of mourning. Anger was prevalent as I ran my faster sessions, and helped me achieve a half marathon PB of 1:37. But despite this achievement, fighting grieve with anger doesn’t work. 

When sadness does come, you have to let it out. And like all challenges in life, face it head on, by not dealing with it you hurt yourself in the long run. 

“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

Thankfully because of my marathon goals I have, this has allowed me to maintain physical activity, get plenty of sleep, eat healthily and not drink.

I’ve been able to express myself, I wrote you a letter and that helped take much of the pain off my shoulders in a healthy way. I’ve also been able to talk about it with those close to me.

My only regret is not taking more time off work to grieve you. I tried to stay ‘busy’ which was an epic fail. Also being a marathon runner, I feel that in tough times my default is to keep going forward but I’ve learned, that to pause and reflect is also forward motion.

I’ll never forget you, you’re always in my heart. This weeks marathon is dedicated to you xxx


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