15 September 2012

Are you ok? The question that I am learning to dislike

Thought I would give an update as I am not blogging as much as I am not reading as I would like.

Grief is a hard process that I honestly didn't understand before. I guess I was naive to think that because mum had been in the nursing home almost 4 years and the fact I had been a carer basically for around 15 years I thought it would be easier as she would no longer be suffering and it would be a relief. Well I was so wrong. Yes she is no longer suffering and I am really happy for that. Mum is where she wants to be in heaven with Jesus and reunited with dad. She has wanted to go home for about 6 or 7 years or more well before she went to the nursing home. I do not miss that mum, that mum was very self centred and at times hurtful in what she would say to me. More than one time I would go out and chop wood to get rid of some of the hurt and frustration. That wasn't the mum I grew up with but I know as some people age and there world becomes smaller they become self centred. 

I remember times going to visit another lady who lived close by when things got tough often with the pretext I will just take this up to Joan and then we would chat and it felt so good. Its sad both Mum and Joan have passed away this year and I miss them both. What I am missing is the mum of years ago who use to cook and leave me some dough to eat as she knew how much I loved it, the one who made treats just for me like at Easter when she made her buns would make one round with no spice at all on them just so I would have some to enjoy. The mum who left a couple of cherries in the pack for me or the can of condensed milk to clean out. The little things that let you know you are special. 

I have never been one who likes to be hugged, occasionally its ok but I really don't feel comfortable with a lot of hugs. I have found people need to hug at this time. Even when I have said please don't hug me I really don't like it they ignore me and make comments like oh you will let me, or you really do need one. (NO I don't). Many of these people are people I know but are not close friends they are people I chat to when shopping etc but are not people I would ring up or visit. I am told its cos they are not sure what to do or say. A few have patted me on an arm and I can handle that much better.  Now for the heading Are you ok? I am doing ok. NO how are you really? This is one thing that can sometimes almost tip me over the edge. I have found that if I don't want to talk I will say I am ok and leave it at that some times so so or hanging in there. I say this often as I really haven't the energy to go though how I am feeling over and over. The How are you really is the one that is hardest. I know the person saying it cares and I do feel for them when I don't want to talk but have also realised I have said this and will now be way more sensitive in future.

Grief is interesting the slightest thing will bring tears to my eyes at times. A card from someone who I didn't expect it from will overwhelm me and I will cry from the thought they care for me, a verse someone wrote to inspire about Death being a reward will trigger tears cos its to raw to read that right now. I know mum is better of and Death isn't the end but reading it now isn't the right time. A memory of what mum meant to someone is so good to read but also beings back the mum I no longer have. I know I will treasure these card and I do look at them when I am able. Writing a thank you card triggered me yesterday. I know I have to travel this path and I know I am not alone and not the first. How I feel is hard to explain, Its partly between lost and empty and alone. (please I know God is always with me so please don't tell me I am not alone) this is a different feeling its like I have lost part of me and there is an empty hole that I am not sure how to fill or what to do.  Sleep is still an issue, I am not getting enough and am so tired which doesn't help. Its now 11 weeks since my health crisis so in all it's been an interesting 2nd half of the year. 

Yesterday I bought some gerbers to plant as a memory of mum. We had some in her floral arrangement and they were so lovely and I know mum would love them. 2 are in the garden 3 in pots that are on the porch and I will enjoy on the warmer days out there reading. 

I am also going to create a memory book of memories from other people. I have been wanting to do this but will hold off for a little while as memories are so raw right now. I think it will also be cathartic to record the memories others have of mum to keep her memory alive. I am not reading as I would like so am way behind in books and reading less than one a week at present. I miss reading and being to tired to read is a real downer but I know I will get though this. I guess like Psalm 23 says "Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me," I know I am in that valley right know and I know I will get through it but at the moment it seems like a really long valley.

Ok enough of this post, this lets you know where I am at and what's happening. I really do appreciate the prayers, cards and support from my online friends it has been a real blessing and I have my gerbers thanks to some of my friends. 


sheri said...

I am laying here in bed at almost 3 a.m. reading this , Jenny. I hope it helps you to write out your feelings. I know it helps me to do that. I pray each day it gets a little better for you and that the memories make you smile and don't hurt so much. You have had a challenging time here lately. You are in my prayers. Love, Sheri

sheri said...

P.S The Gerbera Daisies are beautiful.

Ausjenny said...

Thanks Sheri it does. it gives an outlet and it helps people know where I am at.

Jess said...

Jenny, I loved your post. Grief is such an individual process and everyone gets through it in different ways and at different speeds. I think the memories book is a fantastic idea! Plus those yellow Gerbera's are just so beautiful and it brought a smile to my face just looking at them!

Dawn said...

Jenny speaking from experience, I do understand exactly what you're saying. I also know that people want to try to comfort you and don't understand that you will let some in but push others away. And that you need time. I was 11 when my daddy died. It took me a good 10 years to truly grieve his death. It wasn't that I was just existing and going through motions of living, because I really was trying to be what was normal for a kid. But it was more for me the subconscious not letting go to let God transform me. My high school youth pastor wrote me a letter once and told me he didn't think I'd let go yet. At that time, I really just shrugged it off. You know what did it? Valentine's Day in 1999 my college roommate and I were watching all sorts of chick flicks and the movie One Fine Day was the one that broke the dam and I just sobbed for hours. My roommate was a sweetheart who just held me and loved me. But I will tell you this - I felt free for the first time in years. I'd never realized that I was held captive by my grief until then.

I'm praying that you will grieve well and that you will have those around you who can support you and understand, much like my youth pastor and my college roommate were for me.

Those daisies are beautiful! You're very blessed to be able to grow such beautiful flowers. Me - I typically kill anything that grows, including desert plants like Aloe Vera. *hugs*

Ausjenny said...

thanks Jess and Dawn.
Dawn my dad also died when i was 11 but he had a stroke and changed when I was 8. I remember it was hard and am told I did suffer nightmares for the first year but I don't remember the greif. I do remember the first day or so crying, I was staying with and aunt and uncle and the day after he died was staying with my cousin and her children and when when asked do you have a dad I said yes but it then hit no I don't and the tears came.
This time its more real and I know it takes time and I do cry. I am finding writing is helping as it gets out some of the feelings. Also talking with others who understand. I know I can get free counseling through the Carers association to help if I need it and will if I need to. The song Oh Glorious Day is ministering to me and very helpful.

Laetitia :-) said...

I still have both my parents but remember the grief when I lost my Nana (19 years ago) and Ma (2 years ago). I'm not one for crying in public and, like you, am not hugely fond of those 'cheer-you-up-by-force' hugs (in comparison with 'I'm-going-through-the-same-feelings-and-would-like-some-comfort' hugs).

Part of my grief process for both of my grandmothers was to lie in bed and 'talk to' them. (Don't worry, I knew they couldn't hear or answer me - I suppose it could be described as talking to the memory of them). Another part was to just cry into my pillow at night when I wouldn't be seen or overheard (except by my husband in the recent case).

If you know anyone else who has lost one or both of their parents, they might be a good source of comfort if / when you do want to share your grief with someone.

And I also love the gerberas. :-)

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