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> Someone To Run To., Incl:loneliness,illness,family,friends
Hobbes
post May 24 2005, 09:25 PM
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Advice for the young at heart
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I probably visit this area of the forum the least often. Not because I don't care about other people's "personal concerns", but because I usually find it hard to think of something to write in reply. The good advice has usually been already provided by the time I read the original post, and I don't just want to repeat it all - so I don't post.

And I usually don't start a topic because I never feel that my own problems are all that important to shout out about, or I just feel silly complaining when I know other people are much bigger problems.

But today I post.
Indeed, I start a topic.

And purely just to vent.

* / *

As a couple of people here might know, my mum hasn't been well the last two years or so. She was diagnosed with bowel cancer after being very ill for a while, and went through some operations, and then chemotherapy. During the treatments (three series of treatments so far, I think) she hasn't been massively, horribly ill or anything, but has had some days better or worse than others. Sickness mainly, and upsets with the drugs, etc. But nothing considered horribly serious.

She finished her 3rd course of treatment two weeks ago, and then over the weekend didn't feel all that well at all. Last week, at 4am on Tuesday morning, she had a fit, and we ended up at A & E. About two hours later, she was okay again and just felt like she'd slept through it - albeit not feeling 100%. No-one knew what caused it, and a visit to the Doctor the next day didn't really show any insight... but he said he wanted her to have an MRI scan on her head done, to check whether it is to do with her pituitary gland (a benign growth was found on this about four years ago). Anyway, in order to bypass a waiting list (four weeks for an urgent scan), they asked her to come in on Friday night, and stay until Saturday afternoon. Then come in again on Sunday night. This would class her as an "in-patient" rather than an "out-patient", and thus the scan would be on Monday.

So, yesterday she had her scan, and waited for the results which didn't come until this afternoon (so she stayed in overnight on Monday too). I saw my dad at home, where he'd nipped back to pick some stuff up to take back to my mum (he's spent much of his time as possible at the hospital), and he said the scan results were fine, nothing to worry about. Then he went back to the hospital.

My sister and I went up to visit her at about 7:30pm today, and when we got there she was sitting up in bed, with one hand to her head, just sitting motionless. My dad said, "She's not well, a doctor is coming." She didn't seem to notice we were then, and I felt that perhaps this was the onset of another fit. We were there for, perhaps 5 minutes, then I saw her hand start shaking, then her head, then her eyes rolled back and she seemed to be looking up. I moved to her, seeing what was happening, as did my dad, and he called out for one of the nurses who rushed in (me and my sister then stepped out to allow access) and set off an alarm - to which about 6 nurses came running down to.

My sister and I stayed in the visitors rooms for about and hour or so, and then my dad came in to say that she had had another fit, and then was coming round, but had a couple more after that. He told us just to go home for now, and he would stay there as long as possible. We saw our mum again, and she was just laying there, with an oxygen mask on, totally unaware of anything - clearly in the afterstages of a fit.

And so we left.


And... I feel worried in so many ways. Worried about my mum, and what these fits mean, and what is happening right now at the hospital - whether she is constantly having them right now, and why. And whether it is just a drug/chemo-related thing, or whether it is something else. And I'm worried about my dad, who always seems so calm, yet I can the worry in his eyes. And he's just looking strong all the time, for everyone else's benefit.

And now I'm back at home, alone at the moment. And I feel very lonely. What I want is a friend, or girlfriend, or someone special to me, to just cuddle up to right now. My sister has her husband, and I know she's trying to look strong all the time too, yet once she gets home and away from us, starts crying to let it all out. And I don't feel I can really just sit with her or anything. And my dad acts strong, and I would be there for him if he needed a shoulder to cry on, but I don't feel I can go to him for that... or that it would be right to. He's trying to keep things together, and the last thing he needs is for me to start blubbering about it - when he's going through all this even more than I am.

And, even though i moved here over two years ago, I have no friends here at all. So I have no one to go to. And I really feel incredibly alone. And then feel guilty for feeling like this, when my mum is going through something so frightening.

The only people I feel like I speak to, that can be almost classed as "friends", is my brother-in-law's daughter, who I occasionally work with. But again, although we often chat about "personal concerns", we aren't really that close. And it would be hugely strange to go to her. And I don't think I could. And then the other is a 13 year old girl - who also works with me about once a week, and is the daughter of a guy that also works with me. And we get on quite well with each other, and have a laugh. But, well, like I say, she's 13. And I'm 22. And it is just weird to try and emotionally release to a 13 year old. Even though she probably would understand, and be supporting. It's just an odd person to turn to.

So...

lonely

Full stop.


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I_am_the_best
post May 24 2005, 09:47 PM
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I'm not great at the whole advice/comfort giving. Also, I've never been in a situation like that so I'm not sure what to say. But I can always offer you a virtual hug to show my sympathy and that I hope all the best for your mother. I guess it's only natural to feel alone in situations like these, I mean, only you can understand what you're feeling. I don't think that you should feel guilty about feeling down even though your mum is going through so much. It's only natural. And also, I think that the reasons you're feeling down is because your mum is unwell and so it's really very kind of you, if that makes any sense to you. I think I worded it badly but I'm not sure how to put it. I really do hope that your mother gets better. Cancer is very scary and a horrible disease, and I give you and your family my wishes. Although you don't really know me, you can always talk to me if you're feeling lonely or sad. I can just listen and sometimes it's best to talk to people you don't know so much because there is no judgement on you.


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Greeneyes
post May 24 2005, 09:54 PM
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Do you meditate? Might help to move yourself away from what's happening for a while.

I can't say I'm awfully good at the advice thing either, but if it's solutions you are looking for, that's the best suggestion I have.

Sorry to hear about your situation.


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Ashbless
post May 25 2005, 07:16 PM
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*hugs Hobbes and holds him as long as he wants to be held*

Do the best you can. Phone friends long distance to talk if you need to. It's very hard to see someone you love fight cancer. Cancer is hateful, rotten and the utter pits.

*Hugs Hobbes again/still*


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Hobbes
post May 26 2005, 10:05 AM
Post #5


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Thanks for your messages (here, and private) of support. I appreciate it. A lot has happened already - yesterday being one of the longest days ever.

My dad called me at 2am (I hadn't been able to get to sleep anyway) to tell me that my mum was really ill, and that my sister would be around to pick me up to take me up to the other hospital they had moved her to in just a few minutes. I dressed, and then just ran to my sister's house (I've never run so fast).

We got there, and found my dad. My mum had not come back into consciousness since we had left the evening before, and had had several more fits. He told us that in her current state, the doctors said she might only have two days left. And they recommend not to resuscitate her because it'll put her through far too much.

We spent a couple of hours there. My mum looked just like she was sleeping heavily, her eyes moving in REM under her lids. My dad said we should go home, as there was nothing we could really 'do'. And so we did, my dad staying there. I stayed at my sister's that night, and slept a little.

My dad came home, and rang up a couple of close friends/family - and told them what was happening. I know he found it really hard.

We went in the next morning, and she had improved slightly. She had been sick in the night, and so the oxygen mask had to be removed. Fortunately, she breathed okay without it, so they left it off. If you touched her hand or head, or if a nurse came in to do something, she opened her eyes for a moment. She looked like she couldn't see anything when she did so. But it was better. They said they would be moving her back to the original hospital. Before I left, she opened her eyes again, and my dad spoke to her, to try and get her to recognise him or something. But she didn't, and that upset him a lot.

After trying to get some food in us for dinner, we went to the hospital again in the evening. My dad said she was much better, moving herself a little bit in bed - obviously uncomfortable with all the wires in her. And she had said "Yes" to a question. We got there, and she was awake, but still not 100% with us and aware. But I asked her if she was okay, and she nodded a little. And she smiled at if something funny was said, every now and again. When we left, I got close to her and said, "Goodbye mum, see you later" and she looked at me a smiled.

So... improvement.

The doctors had said that it wasn't a stroke she'd had, but may have been caused by a liesion on the brain. The scan they had done previously wasn't a great deal of help because they didn't have the originals to compare it to (at another hospital!). So they weren't sure. So it looks like my mum hasn't given up yet!

My dad came home last night, and we both had our first proper sleep in about 48hours. We are going in again later, I think.


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Mata
post May 26 2005, 11:53 AM
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I'm glad that there has been some improvement. At times like this you have to take what small mercies you get.

Being alone at times like that is about as lonely as you can get. I wish you lived nearby, I wanted to go to the pub for a few pints with you for years and I'd be fine with you becoming a big blubbering mess if that would make you feel better (which sometimes it really does).

You're in my thoughts, and sadly that the best I can offer at the moment. I really hope things turn out well. If the doctors are moving her to a lower priority status then they must be very pleased with her progress, and at times like this we've just got to trust them.

I hope your dad understands that he should let the emotions out at some point. It's very last-generation to do the big manly thing and hold it all in, but I guess that's just some people's way of coping.


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depressed lonely...
post May 26 2005, 12:32 PM
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Depressed, Lonely and getting crazier by the day!
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Whats going on is just terrible (as I'm sure you're aware) and you sem to be dealing with it incredably well considering that someone so close to is so ill. Many people couldn't express the way they're feeling as well as you can/have which makes it harder for them when they're away from trustable friends.
I'm sure everyone who reads this is thinking good thoughts for your entire family and wishing they could be there for you (I know I am). Just try to make the best of your situation and keep an eye on your dad just-in-case he starts to loose his grip on things.

*wishing good not-sick thoughts*


PS sorry if this isn't expressed as well as it could be, I mean well.


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Pab
post May 26 2005, 12:45 PM
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Yeah, Hobbes, I really feel for you on this one. I have never had to go through this, and I sincerely wish you didn't have to, but here you are in the very thick of it.

A detestable situation for sure ... So many unknowns and such uncertainty. Such suffering and such powerlessness. All I do know is that this is not a time where you can _do_ anything much, except come to terms with the facts, and even they seem to change daily, adn be there for eachother, in all of your individual ways of coping. I really wish you and your folks the best possible, Hobbes. It's hard enough from over here. Let's be glad these forums are what they are, and that you can vent what you can as you need to. I'll be watching out for you ...


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Ashbless
post May 26 2005, 05:04 PM
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I have had to go through something like this.
My Mom passed away of cancer five years ago. I know how it feels to sit beside a bedside and try to think of what you want to say to someone who may not be around soon to hear it. I spent the last three months of her life at home with her and Dad and have never regretted it.

Hobbes, it's hard. It's okay to feel that it's unfair that this is happening to your Mom. It is unfair.

I hope everything works out the best that it can.
*Hugs Hobbes again*

PM me anytime. I'm pulling for you and your family. If I wasn't here in another country I'd also happily stand you a pint and lend an ear & shoulder.


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It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion, It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed, the hands acquire shaking, the shaking becomes a warning, It is by caffeine alone I set my mind in motion. - SpeakertotheLost
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over_the_aybss
post May 26 2005, 05:13 PM
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I know cancer can be hard, my brother is 18 and was diognosed with cancer about 5 months ago. Chemo's done and such but I am still afraid for his health.

*hugs*

I hope everything turns out as well as possible for you and I am sorry that you have to go throught something like this because I know how much it hurts.



If you ever need to talk or such you can always PM or email. I'm always open eared for you.


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Hobbes
post May 26 2005, 09:21 PM
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So many thanks again to everyone here. I am feeling your kind thoughts.

There is good news today. My sister and I went in to the hospital at about 2:00pm today, and as we went in I saw my mum lying on the bed - staring ahead. I thought perhaps she was out of it again or something. Then she turned around and said, "Hello". And I asked if she was alright, and she said, "Yes." And then told us how the nurses kept coming in this morning, and asking if she was okay, and that she didn't understand why they were asking. She had no recollection of yesterday's events, or that anything had happened.

So, she's talking okay now and everything. She's still not 'all there' yet, as she was getting a bit confused occasionally - and thought she still lived in our old house, but then gave the address of the new one. Plus she found it hard to keep track of extended conversation - just smiled when anyone else did. But the information is all in there, in her mind, it just keeps getting jumbled up.

We went in again this evening, with my brother-in-law. ANd she recognised him, and seemed even more "with it." Although she kept looking for something, but not knowing what she was lookig for, or thinking that my bro-in-law was changing the TV channels - when it was actually her pressing the buttons.

But otherwise, she's a million times better.

I think, mind-wise, it is just a case of having been through a great shock to her system with the fits - and therefore being extremely groggy (I often say non-sensical things when I am half-asleep). Plus, it is even more confusing because she doesn't know anything about what happened.

So, plenty of good news for now. She thinks she might be at home tomorrow, but that is very doubtful. I think she feels there's nothing wrong with her at the moment, not knowing the full story of yesterday's events. But I'm sure she'll be in hospital a few days yet.

Thanks again to everyone posting such kind messages. They help to ease the anguish considerably.


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Mata
post May 26 2005, 09:56 PM
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That's fantastic news. I'm really really pleased for you and your family.

You're probably right. After that kind of day it's only to be expected that there will be some disorientation afterwards. Also, don't forget that you could probably open a pharmacy with all the things floating around in her at the moment and that's bound to leave you a little spaced.

Oh and this settles it. Next London meet up you have to come and join us. You've been lurking in Essex too long!


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Silver Star Ange...
post May 26 2005, 11:22 PM
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*hugs* I hope everything works out for you! My prayers will be with you.

(I'm not too good at advice giving either)


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surewhynot
post May 27 2005, 12:46 AM
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Hey Hobbes. I know what you are kind of going through. My grand dad died of some type of cancer that effects your brain where you can't really think clearly......I mean you can do stuff but when you organize and stuff where you put things dont make since. And it takes a long time before it like really starts to wear you down. Well I will be praying for you and your whole family!!! And if you need to talk to anyone ANYONE just pm me ok?

Keep safe.


And remember to live, laugh, love!!!!


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Hobbes
post May 28 2005, 11:14 PM
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Cheers to all the guys and gals wishing my mother well.

She seemed improved again tonight. There was a moment where she seemed to become highly involved in cleaning her water jug; so I thought perhaps she was hallucinating that it was dirty or something. But aside from that, she seemed more "with it" than yesterday, or the day before.

She's tired and groggy, her body has been through huge shocks, she doesn't really know what exactly happened to her and, as Mata pointed out, "you could probably open a pharmacy with all the things floating around in her at the moment." This is why I am relatively hopeful of a good, if slow, recovery.

She mentioned yesterday that the Doctor had said she could go home on Tuesday. This was confirmed in her notes, we discovered later. Whilst we would love to have her back at home: my dad, my sister, and I really do not think that she is ready - in her current health - to come home. We don't think that we could be able to provide the support she fully requires, at the moment. My mum isn't strong enough to walk about on her own (or at all), so would require my father - mostly - to lift her here and there. But he has a suspected hernia, which causes a lot of pain at the best of time. And that's just trivial issues. There's other problems which we don't think we'd be able to take on sufficiently. And we just don't think, as things stand, that she'd be better off at home.

HOWEVER... today my dad caught the doctor as he was walking to his car, and had a friendly chat with him. And then later a nurse came over and told him the news 'officially'. It seems that two of the doctors are going to do an assessment of my mother, and see how she is. They may keep her where she is, they may send her home, they make bring her in regularly, they may continue her chemotherapy again, and/or they may move her to another hospital (on the opposite end of Essex) into the Neurology department for further tests and/or treatment. We are going to just have to wait and see.

Thanks again to everyone who has passed on their best wishes, and to anyone who is thinking good thoughts and sending good vibes to my family. It is much appreciated, and I hope that one day I can return the favour - only in much better circumstances.


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Mata
post May 29 2005, 09:59 PM
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As always, it's great to hear that she is improving. A slow recovery can be frustrating at times, but the important thing is overall movement in the right direction.

From what you're saying it does seem that it would be best if she can remain on a ward to get the full care that it sounds like she needs. 'Hope they come to the right decision on that one. Oh, I was talking about this with Sues and she sends her love and best wishes too.


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Ashbless
post May 30 2005, 07:11 PM
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I could have written a short novel by this point
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Do you have home health care workers in Essex? They come in to help with bathing,dressing,cooking and cleaning. Could be a big help for your family if your Mom does come home. At least in Canada, the red cross has wheelchairs and bath equipment that it loans out also.
I don't know how/if it works that way in England, but here you contact the regional health authority (or the hospital does it for you) to set up the care.
Home care workers (personal care aids, community support workers) are NOT nurses. They can't administer injections, do enemas, or give medication. They've about the same training as a nursing attendant or orderly in the hospital.

Yes, they exist. It's what I do for a living. tongue.gif

Sending good wishes for you, your Mom and family.


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Hobbes
post May 31 2005, 02:23 PM
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Sadly, my mother passed away at two o'clock yesterday afternoon (the 30th).

She had been tired the evening before, and looked sick - although she said she didn't feel it. The next morning, she had spoken to her nurses, and had been washed by them. By late morning, she had started to suffer breathing problems - taking larger breaths. When my family arrived, she was on oxygen, and breathing heavily... but with difficultly. About three or four hours later, her breathing slowed down and became shallower. Then she slowly, but lightly, passed away.

She was peaceful, and her family was with her.

I would like to thank everyone, once again, for their kind words and good wishes.


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Mata
post May 31 2005, 03:06 PM
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I'm very sorry to hear that, especially when it seems that it's unknown what caused it to happen. This said, a peaceful end with those that we love is as much that any of us can wish for. I really hope that this is of some comfort at what is always going to be a difficult and emotional time.

I'm having real trouble finding the words I want. I just really want to say that I wish you and your family the best in getting through this together.

*hugs*


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believe
post May 31 2005, 04:24 PM
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Wow. This is a bit late, I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for your loss. >_< No words will ever be adequate for something like this. I'm praying for you and your family.


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Pab
post May 31 2005, 04:45 PM
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I'm really .. distressed and full of sorrow to hear that, Hobbes. I wish I could impart some big shpeel that would help, but honestly I cannot. I am sure there is a fair amount of stressed compassion on the boards, as we have followed the evolution of this final stretch. I just know it hurts, and I'm guessing you know that already.

A word, though, for your dad. I am a dad, and a husband, though I still can't relate to this one. I would say, however, that he has likely been aware of each fact as the doctors informed him of them. He has been there every minute, because what _else_ can he do? He informed you lot as needed, possibly no more, because what _else_ can he do? He has to be ringleader to this ... end ... of this whole vast chapter of their lives. What can you do? Do you buy a book? Do you check Google? You just ... sit and manage. You dont break down, cos .. HOW? That guy has had one of the worst times a husband can have. I dunno ... I dont want to jump my guns here, but I just feel it good to mention that if he was aware of it all, and didnt necessarily give you guys the full and absolute story, it would most likely be because he couldnt imagine that putting you lot through what he was going through could be a good thing. And if this _was_ the case, I dont think he was wrong. To him, it would seem like inflicting his suffering on you, and parents dont do that. They can't. He knows you have your own suffering. He isnt going to add to it.

And so we are back to each person handling things their own way. And you are all going to feel very sad and lonely and utterly shat upon for some time, I am sure. This, at least, is where people around you _can_ help, or be of use.

So plod on, Hobbes, and buy your dad a pint when you can.


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Hobbes
post May 31 2005, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE (Pab @ May 31 2005, 05:45 PM)
A word, though, for your dad... if he didnt necessarily give you guys the full and absolute story, it would most likely be because he couldnt imagine that putting you lot through what he was going through could be a good thing.
*


I completely agree with you. I know for certain that my parents didn't tell me everything they were told. And I do not resent that at all. My father did his job as a father, and protected me from what he felt was unnecessary pain. And I thank him, and my mother, for that. It would have been ever harder to go through the two or three years of my mother's illness, had I known the prognosis and all the facts (many of which, I still don't know now). Both my sister and I feel that my dad has done a wonderful job in an alien, heart-wrenching and confusing period of his life.

So don't worry... I don't feel anything bad about my dad keeping certain details from me: I thank him for it.

QUOTE (Pab @ May 31 2005, 05:45 PM)
So plod on, Hobbes, and buy your dad a pint when you can.
*


Before he took his early retirement, my father worked for a brewery for many years. Ironically, he doesn't drink smile.gif So a pint of coke it'll be.


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oxym0ronical
post May 31 2005, 11:19 PM
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My thoughts are with you and your family. I know it's hard, but I am glad for her sake that she passed peacefully, and with her family present. If you need anything.. please feel free to get in touch.
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CrazyFooIAintGet...
post Jun 1 2005, 11:32 AM
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I don't usually post here either, in fact I dont think I have ever. I really do not know what to say, except it really upset me to hear that. My mum died a year and a half ago, so I sort of know how you feel. (Not good, yes?)

I've been staring blankly at the screen trying to think of something to say, but I can't. What is there to say besides "I'm so sorry" or "at least you're coping well"?

*hugs*

sad.gif


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Hobbes
post Jun 1 2005, 07:21 PM
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Once again, thanks for all your kind thoughts.

At the moment, much of the funeral has been organised (next Thursday). My dad has got onto everything so quickly, it is unbelievable. He's cancelling things here, moving things there, arranging other things elsewhere. I know why this is: because he wants, nay, needs, to keep busy. Whenever he has a moment to just sit back, he feels himself getting upset - so he's up and at it again. This is how my father is, and I don't mind that at all. I just hope he doesn't suddenly crash down after the funeral, when everything is over.

My own feelings are mixed and confused. I know that everyone has their own way of getting through bereavement, and nobody copes the same way. Yet it is still difficult to understand how I feel. I cried a lot when I saw my mum in hospital on her last day, breathing with the mask on. And I cried a lot after she took her final breath. But I've not cried since we left the hospital. I've occasionally felt like it, but haven't. And I've just... got on with life.

I feel bad for doing so. Guilty, I suppose. I'll watch some comedy on television, or eat a lot, or feel like playing squash, etc. Just the usual stuff. I feel like I should be sitting in one place, eating nothing, going nowhere, and crying all day. But I don't. Perhaps I am the same as my father... just get on with things.

When my grandfather died, I didn't feel anything at all really until the end of the funeral. Then I cried. (I wasn't with him when he died)

The thing is, I know what people will say about this. They'll say, "Everyone grieves differently, and everyone has their own way of coping. This is how you do." And I believe them, I really do...



But it doesn't make me feel better for not feeling worse.


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