Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Struggling with losses

Experiencing a bereavement can be very strange.

My nan died earlier in the week. Before you go "Awww Pete", remember that it's not me who's died, it's my nan. I know I'll feel the loss at some point (I am already) but I'll remember :

The old lady who'd get stuff for the grandkids, even though she couldn't really afford it
How she was a couple of months ago
That the decline was very sudden
And that she'd had a long full 94 years

Any of us will be lucky to see even 90 years. She was tough as old boots my nan. We knew it was coming though, at Xmas I realised that 2012 was probably the last Xmas my nan would see. There's a couple of things I wouldn't wish on anybody :

Sudden loss. I have a very dear colleague who lost her dad in January, suddenly. And that was complicated by the weather conditions. So - sudden loss combined with not being able to close.
Long painful decline. I live with a certain amount of pain but it's controllable. I have my mind still. What I wouldn't wish on anyone is a long slow lingering decline. Better to bow out quickly but quietly.

We saw my nan again last weekend and there wasn't much left there. Recognition that was before instant, would take many seconds and then blink away halfway through the "oh - that's Pete" motion. And that's when she'd recognise us.

The loss is affecting me - not in tears (I don't cry much) but in a feeling of numbness. I'm trying to remember the good and attempting to shut out the bad. I'm picturing the lady who lived rather than the one who died. It's about what we do along the way, not so much what happens at the end.

That said though, I'll be quieter than usual for a little bit.

How about me ?

Oh boy - struggling again. I have a couple of things ganging up on me right now :

Muscle/skeleton stiffness. I almost gave up driving duties on the weekend because my neck decided it hated me. Could barely turn my head to the left. And that's spread into my upper body. Ouch but manageable.

Skin. I think it is improving since I ditched the vitamin pills but that's very slight and very slow and very prone to me damaging it. I'll try getting back in to see the doctor soon for it. There's areas of my skin which are now very sensitive, quite sore but also rather thin. If I poke the soreness, then I damage weak top layers. It's not as bad as 3 months ago though ...

Things are fairly tough at the moment for us living. There's me with my skin, my dad has some internal medical issues that they're figuring out and then there's my mum ... My mum needs an operation soon plus she's also badly broken her elbow. She's getting on with things but it's a handicap. Hopefully she'll get full use of the arm back.

Hopefully I'll get the hardiness of my skin back before the summer.

Yep. Things are tough right now but - life goes on. We'll remember those we lose as how we knew them best. That's what I intend to do :-)

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