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Why? Who? What's this blog about? It's about MEEEE!

Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow

Astrocytoma

About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk
 

Grief or sick?

15 December 2011

I am a little over 6 months and I have noticed something rather odd lately. I have gone back to looking at info about brain tumours, reading about cancers, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, Astrocytomas, life expectancy etc. Like I used to do when Jane was still alive. I have also started listening to the music we played at Jane's funeral again, specifically BECAUSE it was played then. It does not make me any more sad, nor am I trying to make myself cry. I don't really know why I am doing this or what purpose it serves.

In some weird, sick way, I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that life was incredibly hectic in Jane's last 5 months and since then, emotionally at least, it seems to have just... well...stopped. Could it be that I am trying to regain some of the feeling of 'excitement'? Am I trying to recreate the state of heightened mental alertness or something, like adrenalin junkies do?

Not sure if this is related but as someone with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), I function quite well when I am in a state of permanent alert. Which of course I was with Jane. Always on my toes, always aware of the need to care for her, always making sure everything was fine. Bot mentally and physically, I am was constantly responsible for something.

I would have thought I would want to forget the period of Jane's illness as soon as possible, or at least deal with the emotions from that period and move on. Instead I find myself re-living parts of it. Not in an obsessive way or in a way that is upsetting or traumatic. But in what way exactly I don't know. I know it is not 'reliving' in the sense that people say they do after an accident or when they have nightmares about something that has happened to them.

I just think about it a lot. Does that mean I wish I could have those days back? Those days of illness, sadness, fear and pain? Those days of feeling almost one with the person I love most. The days when everything I did, I did for her, out of love for someone who needed me. Is that what I miss? It is all of it and more.

But I am confused by this. If I am not reliving this period in order to feel upset and work through my tears, why would I want to do it? Could it be as simple as 'it is an activity I used to do a lot and suddenly that activity has stopped and just like with anything that was a huge thing in your life, you have to wean yourself off it somehow?

It would make more sense to me if this need to re-visit was somehow driving me to get active in the fight against brain tumours or something. But that is not it. It never was back then for Jane and me and it isn't for me now.

Am I some sick person who thrives on other people's terminal illness because it is 'exciting'?

What the fuck is going on here?

Update: After a bit of thinking and discussing this with my Facebook friends, I have gained a little more insight in this, I think. I have realised I have not really described properly what I am feeling.

The time of Jane's illness was so hectic and I was always on the go. I love being like that. Now everything is calm and quiet and I feel flat and uninspired. Does that make sense? What I miss is not the time Jane was ill but the fact that I had a single purpose in life and felt in a mode of 'hyper focus'. It just happened to be caused by Jane's illness. I guess I thrive best on drama, whatever kind it is.

Although of course I did not want Jane to be ill, her last 10 months were also the most touching and loving time I have ever spent with anyone or ever could have hope to spend with anyone...such conflicting emotions.

6 comments:

annie said...

I don't know if you know many small children, but they have a habit of watching the same videos a thousand times before they move on to something else. Part of it is they enjoy it, but some of it stems from how we learn. Seeing/doing things over and over is a way of imprinting information until it is rote.

It's kind of the same thing with revisiting the last months, days or the weeks after. It's a way to reinforce that it did happen, it was real and that's why you are where you are now. The fact that rationally you aren't confused about your circumstances doesn't mean that you won't do this. To one extent or another, we all does this, and it happens at intervals before eventually stopping.

You are not sick. You are perfectly normal. If it bothers you, I would suggest looking for another outlet to distract you from it or taking what you know and writing a FAQ's for others who will one day face this disease.

terryd said...

I agree with annie.

Anonymous said...

I'm hardly one to talk, since I continue reading your blog more than a year after my father died from a glioblastoma. And I haven't really figured out why I keep doing it either - other than wanting to see how it all turns out, I guess.

milenanik3 said...

Well,I have never seen a blog like Your's before.I do admire Your way of love.There is nothing exite about terminal illness.It is simple another way of living.I can understand it perfectly.
You did all You could,You stayed around Your love till the end that is the most You could do.She was a lucky one to have You beside Her,trust me,I know the feeling to be all anlone in illness.
So now,You have to let it go,not to forget,just You need to go on.You need to go living,to be happie,for Her sake and for Yourself.
God sleed,I wish You all the Love and joy in the rest of Your life.

Anonymous said...

I empathise with you. I took care of my mom who slowly died from cancer. Simutaneously, I also took care of two of my close friends as well, who had cancer. I was running at 900 rpm. for 2 years, morning and evening.
All 3 died within 6 months of each other. Nevertheless, I was like a freight train on a runaway. I could not slow down. My next obstacle was when I woke up with bell's palsy. I thought I had a stroke. This, to me, was my warning sign. I began to drink to slow myself down.
I made it through...fortunately. I had to go through stages of drunkeness in order to do so. Not that it is the right thing to do, however, I had to hit bottom, to get back up. It is difficult to stand on your own two feet while you are falling. I was so far down, that I had to pray to get back up. That was all I had left. I invited death to my door. I continued to bury my pain.

Every one falls at different depths. Some never hit the bottom, they die in the process. I am not a holy roller by any means, but when you are empty, all you have to do is ask ..... - Just some guy.

Dutchcloggie said...

Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate hearing about other people's experiences, be they similar or completely different. Sending you all supportive hugs & vibes. May Christmas be as peaceful as it can be.

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