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Why grief is like a messy kitchen?

Emma Tomes |
March 16, 2022

Grief is hard to define, hard to describe and it’s unique for everyone.

I’ve been thinking, how do you explain what it’s really like? 

And as I sat in my messy kitchen yesterday, I picked up a pen and started to write this little story, I hope it helps. 

Imagine planning an amazing meal for someone special to you. 

You’ve been thinking about it for ages, you’ve even got your outfit sorted. In the morning, you visit your favourite supermarket and pick up the tasty ingredients. 

You spend the rest of the day cooking in the kitchen and making your dining table look welcoming.

You throw your heart and soul into this meal. Your kitchen ends up looking like every pot and utensil have been used. There are even the odd splashes and splatters on the walls, floor, and hob. It’s a mess! The result though is a beautiful dinner served up to your special someone. Your efforts are appreciated. 

As the evening unfolds, the conversation is flowing and you’re enjoying each other’s company. However, out of nowhere, an argument erupts and your special someone storms out. You are left in shock. The most you can do is dump all the dirty plates, glasses, and cutlery in the kitchen. 

You look at the mess and quickly shut the door. Once in bed, you cry about the lovely evening that you’d been looking forward to that’s now ruined, what you could have said and done differently, and then your mind turns to the messy kitchen. 

In the morning, you can’t face the kitchen. It’s too much to deal with. A few days pass. You’re still ignoring the kitchen. It’s starting to fester and smell off. Leaving it undealt with as time passes means it’s still there and in fact it’s getting worse.  It’s stopping you from using your kitchen properly. It’s become a bit overwhelming. 

This is like grief. Loss of hopes, dreams, and expectations when a relationship comes to an end due to death, divorce, and other hurdles in life can leave you feeling overwhelmed and hoping those feelings will go away. 

You can be left wondering what you could or should have said, what you could have done. Time does nothing. It only passes. It’s only actions you take that can help you move beyond the loss.

I found the tools to help me deal with my messy kitchen – the ‘washing up liquid!’ – and now I help others too. 

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