The journey of grief

Grief is a funny thing. Some people think it follows the pattern of acceptance by Kubler-Ross. That pattern was actually developed about acceptance of a coming death. In my mind grief is different. Having run two years of grief support group and feeling my own grief I think it is much more erratic. It comes and goes like the waves of the ocean. I am certainly feeling that. I can go along just fine and then suddenly something will trigger tears.

We can’t run away from grief. Instead we have to go through it. We have to experience it. Hiding from it or trying to deny it doesn’t work. It can take a long time. Sometimes people have no idea what to say to us when we have a loss. Some comments can be upsetting but we just have to understand that most are well meaning.

It has been and will continue to be particularly hard due to the circumstances we all find ourselves in. Covid doesn’t allow us to do normal things that help us accept a death. Funerals are done with few people or put off until later.

In my case there is also moving to another city away from longtime friends. Being with family has helped but I am not in my long-term home and things are not as usual. I reach out by phone and electronics but it is not the same. I am lonely and missing my place in things. It will get better when we can be with people but for now it is hard.

My faith helps and I find myself leaning on God for support more than usual. I guess loss makes us reach out and understand what is important to us. God is my rock that I stand on.

We all grieve in our own way and I will move through this and find new friends and people to do things with. Being able to go to church will help. Life does go on.

Panicky days

The last two days have tested my ability to cope and pushed me as hard as I can be pushed. I have had to rely on just asking God to be in charge as I was in overload. This request put me in the right place with reliance on God changing my focus completely.

Yesterday my daughter told me that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately she does not have the aggressive version so the doctors feel there is reason to expect a good outcome.

Today the physical therapists came to see my husband and wrap his swollen legs. They told me after seeing him that one leg was infected, he had a fever, very low blood pressure and probably needed to see the doctor. Shortly after that the primary nurse called and said she was coming to check. It turns out his leg is fine, he has no fever and there is no issue. Problem solved. I am so glad that she determined all of that and cleared everything up.

For me getting the fact helps me to get things into focus. It is so easy to have events shake us up and send us into a tailspin. It is best to let yourself feel those moments but let them sink in and wait for the panic to subside and reality to push itself forward. The unknown is the most frightening. If we can hold off until there is time to absorb and get settled then being able to cope can arise and put your mind into a much better place.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we work our way through all of this.

Peace, Suzanne

Just some thoughts

Christmas is coming. Do you believe it? Maybe this year we will be forced to think about what it means instead of stressing out about details. We never seem to get our priorities right. I just can’t get started. Today I realized I have not even heard a Christmas carol. I usually hear them riding in the car to shop or visit but I haven’t been anywhere.

Sometimes I wonder what we will talk about when this disease is relegated to the back pages. I guess we will reminisce about the year 2020.

Hang in there . “This too shall pass.”

Tired, sad, and hopeful

This is the first night that I have attempted to write anything. Having lived for almost a month in chaos has me really drained. We are finally able to feel as if we live in our apartment. It is a very quiet and tree filled area. It is, however, much different than living in a neighborhood where everyone smiled and waved to each other. It feels emotionally cold although I am sure that is just me adjusting to a different world.

Right now it is hard. My family is mostly busy during the week with work and school even though available for help and ememrgencies if needed. It feels very lonely although in truth no different than our former home during covid. Getting out is the same and it was lonely at home too. It just feels different in a different space. I know these feelings will pass and some of it is homesickness but at the moment it makes me sad.

Sometimes waiting is so hard. All of us waiting for a vaccine and for something to change. In lots of ways putting life on hold. We have to find ways to continue to live even if in a different way.

I am holding on to that hope for now and managing.

I am sorry to have missed so many blogs and so many of you on wordpress and on facebook. I will try to get back to my former pattern so that I can reconnect.

In this week coming up to Thanksgiving in the US I will be counting my blessings and they are many. Peace, Suzanne

Is this going to be over?

Today has been chaos. Part of my family has been here deconstructing my house. They are taking pieces of furniture that they want and some other things. I have fled to my office to get away from it all. I am going to be living in the strangest house until we get all things packed up. Things that were in drawers are on the floor since the drawer(s) are gone. I can’t pack them until my other child arrives to decide what she wants. Very confusing but hopefully soon over.

If we are lucky the dogs won’t get packed

Our apartment is ready for us. It just needs us and some furniture which we will get soon enough. In a short while we will move into a VRBO that my best friend is loaning to us. It will be a wonderful retreat from the mess.

This has been interesting, challenging, freeing and I’m sure I could find other adjectives to fit. Keep us in your thoughts are prayers for the next few weeks. It will help me stay sane.

Ask for help

Yesterday I realized that I was doing too much. The amount of paperwork involved in this move has been totally overwhelming. I was trying so hard to do everything that I was stressing myself beyond my ability to function. So I did the smart thing. I asked for help.

It is not unusual for any of us to think that we can take care of everything and that we don’t need help. “I can handle it!” We don’t want to feel weak or needy but each of us has a limit. We don’t want to ask for help but most of the time it is there if we ask.

My children willing pitched in and took a few of the tasks away and the relief was enormous. Just having a few things gone made a big difference.

We never want to ask for help. We want to be so independent but it is good to ask for help. People are usually very willing to do what they can. I know that I will help wherever I can and most people are the same. Don’t wait until you are at the end of the rope. Call for help and let someone pull you in.

All will be well

Today has been trying. I had to be at the eye center early for surgery to remove some cloudiness behind the lens. I used to be a morning person and I still get up early but I can’t get going easily. I just need some alone time in the morning to get my mind going. When I have to get going early I don’t sleep well the night before. So I didn’t sleep well. The bad part is that we have to drive to the Mayo Clinic for a check up tomorrow. Three hours there and three hours back. I’m not looking forward to that. Once we get going I will be fine. At least the drive is time to think.

This waiting to move is so hard. I feel as if I am living in a time warp. I know it will be past soon and I am looking forward to that. And “all will be well.”

A real stormy day

We have had rain every day for the last week. Not just a little bit of rain but heavy downpours. Today, as I started writing, we are having a major storm with heavy rain and strong winds. I have not heard anything about a tornado but some of the blasts have pulled limbs from trees. The rain has blown all the way up to the porch windows and I can’t really see out.

the blurry parts are where it is blowing rain against the window.

Before all this started we got more stuff checked off our to-do list. Flu shots and the last of the shingrix (?) Vac. I have been working on the Christmas presents that I am knitting/crocheting trying to get them done. Then I can shop in Austin. All in all progress has been made. Fortunately this month is not as busy with Dr visits as last month so maybe there is some time to breathe.

I can really see the benefit of going through everything you own. It makes you clear out things that you have saved for no reason at all. Bags of trash are going out of this house. Some things will go to charity and some will be sold. I find myself not horribly sad about this. Things are not as important to me as people and it is interesting to see what I couldn’t/didn’t throw away before this. This is a good feeling.

The help for illness muddle

It is always said that nurses and doctors are the worst patients. They are also the worst when tending for a family member. My husband is receiving IV infusion at home and it has been challenging. The supplier of the drug is a different entity than the nurses who visit and oversee. Not every city has a drug supplier and therefore some of the drugs come from the nearest place…in my case 2 1/2 hrs away. This has presented some problems for me and the supplier.

Naturally the insurance companies get in the middle of the whole thing and create problems for everyone. They will not send one extra dose of medicine nor will they send it one day earlier so they don’t have to pay for medicine that might not get used. So at this point I sit here at 5 pm with one dose of medicine left for tonight and more on the way?? There are also components that this kind of care requires and some of those are not here also.

Because of us being in a position where the insurance companies write the rules proper care is put on the sidelines. I ran into this my whole career as a nurse and somehow there has to be a better system. I have not been quiet about this as have many others but I’m sure our voices fall into the void. I have even made suggestions for how the current system could work better ….also fallen into the void.

Ask the workers

I feel that you shouldn’t complain about a problem without offering suggestions for improvement. Some of them quite simple but as with any other entity (corporations, government etc.) no one ask the workers how to fix things. I wonder how much money could be saved if that happened.

Blowing up and moving on

The stress of the last few months caused me to finally have a melt down. I was suddenly afraid that I will not be able to keep my husband and I from contracting covid. He is due home tomorrow and covid would be a disaster for him.

I realized that this falling apart was due to the extreme stress that has been happening and that I was due to crash at some point. You might say I was entitled to break down. the good part is that with medication and my daughter being here I have recovered and am again moving on.

moving on

There becomes a point when things compile for such a long time that just letting all the anxiety out helps you to free yourself. I am getting stronger again day by day. This long situation with covid has strained all of us. For me it was on top of struggling so hard to find out what was actually wrong with my husband and being able to do something about it.

When things bottle up for too long we will explode like a volcano. The pressure can just be too be too much. My daughter pointed out that having someone here made it possible for me to feel safe letting go.

Now I will be able to focus on helping my husband recover and get us both through this irritating crisis. Life will be good again. Different but good.