02 October, 2007

Down

Pardon me, but this will be a bit of a gloomy, rambling and probably self-indulgent post.

If you've read my blog recently, you may know that a friend (G) is currently in palliative care and has only weeks to live. I've visited her a couple of times and the last time I saw her, she seemed brighter but drifted in and out of sleep several times during the half hour visit.

I came away from the last visit in two minds. On one side it was good to see her brighter. She'd been able to have a 'bath' of sorts and the staff wheeled her bed outside since it was such a lovely day. Such small things, but they can bring joy.

Then the down side of things... G obviously doesn't have a lot of energy. It was hard seeing her drift in and out of sleep in such a short time. The conversation faltered as she drifted off to sleep and the other visitors (her nephew and his family) and I fell silent. We looked at each other with the sort of half smile you make when you're trying to be cheerful for someone else. Then a few minutes later G would resume the conversation - obviously unaware she'd drifted off.

Then today I received an email from a friend - K (who is more like a second daughter) and she said that when she'd talked to the nurses today, she was told that G wasn't doing too well. K said she'd let me know if it was anything serious and I haven't heard from her, so no news is good news at this stage, I guess.

The fact that G has weeks to live is so strange to me. She's always been so strong, even when she wasn't physically strong. It's like everything's on hold, and we're just waiting. I can't imagine how it must feel for G herself, or her family.

I'm not really that familiar with death either. I've been to a total of 3 funerals in my life - my grandmother about 10 years ago, a work-mate's father's funeral last year and my friend B's earlier this year. I've had other (usually elderly) relatives die but I've not been around before anyone actually died. It's all so... weird. I know this is all very self-indulgent - it must be ten million times harder for G's family. I feel almost guilty for feeling upset that G is going to die soon (god, that's hard to say).

Hey, if you got this far... thanks for reading my ramble. I like that blogging gives me a way to just get some of this out.

12 comments:

Melinda said...

I don't think you should apologize for your feelings. Facing the death of someone you admire, especially when their lives are cut short much too soon, is a shock. It's depressing, scary, and overwhelming to see someone you have always known as vibrant and energetic in such a state of weakness. I could ramble on forever too. :-) Thinking of you and sending big hugs your way!

ken said...

My thoughts are with you. Grief is an awfully complicated thing, as melinda said the last thing you should be doing is apologising for the manner in which you feel. And besides which you're not forcing us to read are you? Take care.

velcro said...

Oh Cara, I'm so sorry for your friend. Like the others said, please don't appologise for any rambling, and there was certainly no selfindulgence there. Death is a hard thing to face for anyone friend or family.

Oh great One said...

Death can bring up a wide range of emotions. Emotions aren't right or wrong. I'm sorry about your friend. Take care of yourself.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Last year my Mom passed away six weeks after finding out she had cancer. Her last two weeks she was home at my sisters house. My sister and I took care of Mom until she died. My entire family was with Mom when she passed away.

It was the hardest time of all our lives. Mom was very strong, outgoing and the best friend, Mom and Grandma to all of us. I had and still do have the same feelings you are having. The best thing you can do for yourself and your friend is just be there and love her and hold her hand.

jen at semantically driven said...

I'm really sorry that your friend is so sick. As the others above said, don't apologise for how you feel and of course you can write what you jolly well like. Thoughts are with you.

Holly & Scolly said...

We are happy to listen anytime ...

precious pink pumps said...

Writing about grief is a perfect way to help you process it. There are many selfish feelings that confront you in grief. But not in a self indulgent way, but a necessary way. You can only truly experience what you are feeling in your heart. YOu can empathise and try to imagine what G and G's family may be feeling, but what is happening to YOU is the only tangible thing you have. Facing death, even as a bystander, is monumental. You will be forever changed. G is on her own journey which evidently, noone else can control. Your journey is what you can see and feel. I am thinking of you.

Stomper Girl said...

Gosh, people have said such wise things here.

Even if what you are going through is not as bad as it is for G and her family, you are obviously still affected by her illness and as such need to work through it in your own way. If blogging about it helps then that is a good thing.

Hugs.

The Phosgene Kid said...

Sad, that is. Goodbyes are tough.

meggie said...

It is so hard to have to watch a loved one, or a friend die. It is sometimes easier to remember them as you knew them, but I am sure it means a lot to your friend that you visit.
Sending hugs & strength.

Zazzy said...

Still thinking about you.