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Forums / Grief and loss / A wee bit lost

Topic: A wee bit lost

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Keeeks84
    Keeeks84 avatar
    9 posts
    12 August 2021

    Hi All,

    I've lost many people in my life. The biggest was my Mum 9 years ago to cancer. I've also lost my 3 Grandparents (my Grandfather passed before I was born) and I lost an Aunty 10 years ago. A work friend was killed by a wreckless driver 3 years ago. So it's been alot.

    In May this year, my other Aunty passed away. My Aunty was 81 and had a lung disease. She wanted to go but that doesn't make it easier.

    In her last 4.5 months, we had a schedule to look after her. She didn't want to be in a nursing home so we respected that. I did alot of work and spent alot of time speaking to doctors and social workers to have this organised. We had training at the hospital on how to get her out of bed, how to change her 'nappy' and give her medication. I did a medication schedule and put up 'how to do' sheets in the house in case her sisters and some of my cousins would forget.

    Then she finally came home. Because I work, I would spend the entire weekend with her alone. My aunties and uncle would take turns doing the week days and my other uncle (we have big family) would do the nights.

    The weekends I spent there were from Saturday morning until Sunday night and it was hard. You're not sleeping because she's not sleeping. You're worrying about her. Even having to watch her while she eats in case she chokes. Changing nappies and giving medication.

    She used to tell me and everyone else that I was 'the best one' which made me feel really good. Looking after her was so hard but it was so worth it. I'm proud of what I could do for her. Something I never thought I could. I wasn't there when she passed. It was the day after Mothers day. I had left that night to go home as I had been there all day. I told my uncle i would stay but he told me to go. I wish I was there but I also know she wouldn't have wanted me to be there when she passed.

    There were things that happened after she passed which I'm not happy about but I will get over that.

    I know this is what she wanted and now she's at peace and I know I did a good job with her but i still get anxious about it...did I do enough? Could I have done more?

    I'm just a little lost. We have a tradition where we have a 40 day mass after the funeral. However, due to covid, we couldn't do that. I feel crap even though i dont have control over it. But she was very traditional and unfortunately we couldn't do what she would have wanted.

  2. jaz28
    Community Champion
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    jaz28 avatar
    204 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to Keeeks84

    Hello,

    I am so sorry for your loss. To me, it seems you did absolutely everything you could and more. You seem like a very caring and selfless family member. I know COVID has ruined a lot of things for us, but I am sure your aunty would understand and is always with you. I am sure she is very thankful for all the love and support you gave her in her final days. It takes a special person to manage their responsibilities and give time to care for someone. I think you have done more than a lot of people would do.

    I am sorry for your loss, again, and there are many helplines to call if you feel more upset - including the BeyondBlue one.

    Stay strong.

  3. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5771 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to Keeeks84

    Hello and welcome.

    Firstly sorry of read about what you had to go through.

    One of my jobs is that of "parish administrator" and one of the functions is to prepare service guides for funerals. Whatever the cause of death there is a great hole (to fill) and sometimes those what if type questions. The way you wrote in your post demonstrated the level of compassion and care you provided and deep down I would think you know that you had done all you could.

    We each reaction differently to the deaths of loved ones and friends. There are many factors that come into play here. And reactions can also be delayed. Regardless of that, how we react and how long it takes to grieve is normal for you. If it takes longer that other like, that is their issue and not yours. Again, this is your experience.

    Covid has caused (?) lots of issues when it comes to funerals and remembering loved ones at significant time. How many people can attend is a big issue.

    Are you Eastern Orthodox?

    Are you religious? If so, has your faith helped you at this time?

    Listening to you

  4. Keeeks84
    Keeeks84 avatar
    9 posts
    12 August 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Thank you,

    We are Catholic. We have the funeral (which we were lucky to have a big funeral) and then 40 days later we have a Mass ago go to the cemetery and have another wake. We were unable to do that unfortunately. Even though I know we have no control over that, I still feel like somethings missing.

    I'm not a religious person myself but my aunty was.

    THe one thing I am really thankful for was the conversations we had when I was with her. We chatted about everything and I will always remember that.

  5. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    5771 posts
    14 August 2021 in reply to Keeeks84

    COVID and it variants has disrupted our lives in many ways - in life and in death.

    Perhaps the ways we have to do things changes as well? When tradition is no longer (being able to meet together for occasions such as you are writing about) what does that mea in our lives and for the person whose life we remember? Or perhaps the start the new of a new tradition?

    I hope you don't mind if I am thinking out loud...

    And if a 40 day mass is not allowed, could you have some sort of memorial service at a later date?

    In the current situation I would think your aunt would be understanding of the difficulty in having an in-person mass and that would not separate her from (her) God.

    I hope you don't mind me asking... how are you feeling about it all? confused? angry? empty? hollow?

    For myself, and I am religious, I would feel angry at everyone / everything including God. Another part of me would say my [someone] is now in a better place. I have no understanding of the afterlife, but for me it would be faith (a belief) that carries me forward in relation to that someone vs ....

    Hope you are doing ok.

  6. Keeeks84
    Keeeks84 avatar
    9 posts
    15 August 2021

    Smallwolf - we will definetly have a very belated 40 day mass at some point when we can.
    One way that I deal with things is writing. I have to be in the mood though. It took me almost 3 months (did it last week) to write about my aunty.

    I guess you could say that I am feeling empty. I feel like the 'process' isn't over yet. Not sure if that makes sense. I guess with us and our traditions, it feels like we can't really close the chapter as such without the 40 day mass. I will always grieve for her in my own time but with the family, it just seems like that chapter is still open..

  7. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5771 posts
    16 August 2021 in reply to Keeeks84

    I am just thinking out loud... I think I understand. I was going to ask a question about.

    From a religious perspective (?) there is no closure as yet. At the same time, the loss you might be feeling is that emptiness you are mentioning. Not sure if I had mentioned this ... except I also work as parish admin at an Anglican church and have to deal with funerals etc. We might not have a 40 day mass, but for the loved ones, their life has changed somewhat and that sense of grief may come back months later. Not saying this will happen to you. People have their own ways of dealing with loss. Some might take a more eastern approach. Whatever way you have or use is right for you.

    Do you have any idea when you will be able to have the 40 day mass?

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