Thursday, 31 July 2014

Grief ' n things.....

Today, I had a conversation with someone in the village.
On the surface it was a chat about the aches and pains and hospital appointments that go hand in hand with old age
But essentially it was an honest declaration of grief.
Grief for a life which is now very different to what it once was.
I heard about a clinic visit.
A blood test.
About " one thing after another"
The strangulation of an active life by physical infirmity and deterioration of the senses
There was just a little of justifiable self pity in the conversation.
But the overwhelming sense I got, was a sense of sadness.

Grief often rears it's head before you lose something dear to you.  We have all experienced it in one way or another. A elderly grandmother  with cognitive problems, a brother with motor neurone disease, a dead relationship months before a divorce, a job redundancy.........whatever the reason, grief can strike at anytime and it's not at all about a death......

it's just more common in the old..
Auntie Glad is the lucky one ..... She always says " My health is my wealth"
She's oh so right...

Hey ho...I'll leave you on a lighter note
Old people as they should be

66 comments:

  1. As age increasingly tightens its grip, I find it very awkward rolling out of the bed e'ry morn. Those first seconds, I hobble around like I'm caught in a sticker patch. Once balance and walking is reestablished, another few seconds to knock the cobwebs out of my head.

    As far as grief - I find myself looking back to those more athletic days. The rodeos. The 'round robin' softball matches, that lasted all day. The stamina has packed it in..

    A quick slap to the face has me back to reality and trudging along, once again.

    I'm exhausted and in need of a nap.

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    1. Yes ... I think the only answer is from you and Pat ( weaver of grass)
      Get on with it....

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  2. Sometimes the very best thing one can do is listen; thank you for doing so (in case the person you were listening to forgot to say it). You are a caring soul.

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    1. We all need to give someone our shit from time to time

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  3. Wise words. Long before my old mother died she would often say "Growing old is no fun. I wouldn't wish it on anyone". If only we could all grow old sitting in rocking chairs - looking out to the setting sun as we happily recall the course of our lives, moving comfortably and inevitably to death's door.

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    1. Oh lord..... I feel thoroughly depressed now lol x

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  4. You are right to say that grief is not always about death or dying, it can be about anything lost or in the process of being lost...

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    1. I was given a leaflet from a friend the other day about a phone line for people suffering from pet bereavement
      At least almost everything is out in the open nowadays eh?

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  5. My late mother used to tell me that Shakespeare said that life is tragedy. A district nurse once said to me that our generation have the profound sadness. We know that we will probably die of a terminal illness like the big C. It's good that we have people like you who always seem to find positive things to say.

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    1. Wow that's a heavy one dave

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  6. I seem to experience more grief as I get older ...or is that just due to circumstances conspiring...

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    1. Yes
      .......perhaps we can't or won't face things more when we are younger?

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  7. we have 2 choices as we age (says the 60 year old):

    sit on your arse and die a little each day (like my MIL)
    get up and dance and LIVE MORE each day (like me)

    there was an article in my newspaper about 2 weeks ago about a lawyer who is 103; he still goes into work 2-3 days a week, although he has someone drive him now (he gave up driving at age 100). I WANNA BE LIKE HIM!

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    1. AM a good point well told

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  8. Age and illness can force us to slow down and pet the bulldogs, take time to appreciate the wonders of the world and to concentrate on the most what we feel is most important. I read a piece recently that suggested that grumpy older people are grumpy, because they have reached the point in life where they don't have to please other people. Will I be a grumpy old man someday?

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    1. Don't be... There is nothing more unattractive than a crabby old fart!

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  9. As we age we metamorphose from the active to the inactive. Nothing can be done to stop this process. For some, understanding and dealing with this is a terrible challenge. Things will never be the way they were. You can waste energy by being sad about this, or you can move on. Too many dwell upon the past and because of this their days will darken around them. For me, it's all about the future. I would like to be alive when mankind finally lands on Mars (though unless they get their asses in gear that may not happen).

    You only got one life, so don't waste your senior years pissing and moaning about how sad it is. When it's over.. well, it's over, so you might as well take full advantage of the time, even if you're doing it from a rocking chair.

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    1. I think that's a great attitude
      But the journey from grief to acceptance is not always as simple or easy .....perhaps all we can wish for is a quick transition

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  10. It is not comfortable growing older, but how lucky some of us are to experience these years. Many don't have the opportunity. I believe in keeping busy, enjoying the good times, and hoping for the best.

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  11. Just as an example (no self pity) I've had to grieve for lost expectations. Its been a real hurt in my life that i have to shake myself out of frequently when we meet new difficulties. I have an autistic child which i love very much but his life is not what i imagined for my child and therefore me. At age 2 i took out a scholarship fund thinking he would be going to University and that i would be prepared financially. He didnt finish school, he may never marry, or leave home, and i may never have a grandchild to love. This grief is sometimes crippling but he is well and high functioning and is capable of loving me in return (sometimes). Life is good. I hesitate to press publish, will you understand what im trying to convey?

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    1. Lynda... Like I said in my previous comment reply
      I think the most important thing is the transition from grief to some sort of acceptance and peace..... Being stuck in grief must be a nightmare beyond anything we have known about before .
      Thank you for sharing this..it couldn't have been easy

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  12. Keep laughing, otherwise you die miserable.

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    1. Simple and to the point

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  13. while ever we have anything meaningful we have the potential for loss and it is deeply disconcerting when it happens!
    i am right now watching my mum losing physical abilities pretty much every day, currently made worse with a broken wrist. i wouldnt say she complains but she is certainly not anything close to gracious.
    i inherit the disorder she has so watching her i see my own future and grieve quietly, knowing that i will find it hard to adjust as i decline. i just hope i remember to be gracious

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    1. Good grace lubricates the smooth running of the world

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  14. You're right...grief is not necessarily about death...it is about loss. It can be overwhelming at times but it helps to talk to a good listener. That would be you John.

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  15. I love Julie Walters, she's excellent and does a really good impression of so many old people I know. The prawns get me every time x

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  16. Hello Everybody. I'm happy. Hello John xx

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  17. My dear mother has dementia, must live in a nursing facility (wonderful and close by) due to a fall last year...I spend hours with her before work each day...we walk(she in her wheelchair) around the facility inside and out...checking on the flowers, tomatoes, bird bath and feeders...I bring fabric so she can help me roll strips for rag rugs, plan on quilts we'll make...she grieves when she remembers her husband of 65 years passed away last year...a new experience for her each time...she grieves the loss of being in her home...I grieve the loss of her a little each day...we experience the grief and move on...talking of living in the moment and enjoying what is...

    Thank you for being you and listening...sometimes being able to put it in to words and know someone hears you helps the grief float away a little bit...

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    1. Beautifully told......and I do understand

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  18. I'm looking forward to having the time to notice "one thing after another." Hopefully they will smite at the same time and lay me low.

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  19. I always said I would never be the old gal talking about her aches and pains...........I've started earlier than I thought, I'm only 59!
    I love listening to the old folk on the bus, a lot like listening to your sketch on this post lol!

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  20. You never think it'll happen to you but when grief comes a calling it doesn't matter who you are or what sort of life you've led, it doesn't care for those things and how you cope with it is sometimes completely out of your hands. A perceived strong person may crumble before it whilst a person thought weak may be the tower of strength whilst all around is laid to ruin. I'm afraid I fell into the crumbling pile when it struck me..... If it wasn't for a kindly soul who listened to me then I may never have started the haul to standing upon my own two feet.... Which is still a long way away. I guess I'm just trying to say John that folk need good souls like you to help lift the burden of whatever grief haunts them.

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    1. We all should be a little more supportive to one another where loss is concerned...after all loss is something we all experience eh john?
      Ps we have woodwork class in our flower show?
      Didn't you do woodwork? Make walking sticks?

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  21. Speaking as one who is classed as 'elderly' John, I would say that yes, aches and pains, disability, weariness etc. do catch up with us. But my feeling is that we have to rise above it. Alright, I have a disability badge for my car now and I walk with a stick so that I can keep my balance - but I still have a huge circle of friends (not all of a similar age), a husband considerably younger than me who is as agile as a two year old, my blog and above all a sense of humour.

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    1. Friends are vital
      I think they give a person energy

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  22. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened. (Cora Harvey Armstrong)

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  23. I see 70 coming up the block, but hey, it's ok. Yeah, I can't dunk a basketball anymore, and I've finally realized I'm never going to be a major league pitcher, but I no longer have to put a stethoscope around my neck and be on rounds at 7am. I can say anything that pops into my little mind, and if it moves me to go fishing, off I go.
    Could be worse.

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    1. Lol..........we all need a dose of perspective eh..

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  24. As others have mentioned, grief for me is realising and being sad about a loss of some kind.

    One of my older friends and i were discussing different stages of life. He said that he's learning how to navigate with his reduced energy. He's not happy about it, but otoh, he's doing what he can to make the most of the energy he has. He said he's not sure how much of it is due to his heart problem and how much is just plain ageing.

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    1. " reduced energy" a gentle way of putting things

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  25. We can both identify with this post, I think it was Bette Davis who said
    'Old age ain't no place for sissies' and she had that about right.
    Acceptance is the key, and laughter, but not too fierce or you might rick something. lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. A cracking line........

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  26. My ma and pa are not the parents I have known all my life....they are old and forgetful and a bit doddery and sometimes a bit challenging to spend a lot of time with......and they are looking so very old just lately.... I feel like I've lost them already...does that make me selfish and sad? a little...but just like me looking through photos of my kids when they were little and missing those little people....even though the grown ups kids are still here..... I miss those people....I miss my mum and dad....even though they are still here.....does that make any sense?

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    1. It makes perfect sense to me..
      When my grandmother started to fail, I remember as a 20 year old thinking that how weird it was that I grieved for the old gran before she died....

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    2. Libby,

      I know exactly what you mean...you love the person they are today..but miss the one you knew

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  27. My Darling Dad was only 54 when he was struck down by the stroke that claimed him 24 hours later. I have 6 years on him right now at my age and so I feel very blessed to be here (paternal Grandparents were 50 and 57 when they were 'taken'). My Mother is 83 and still driving herself around in her little car and volunteering for Oxfam once a week as well as keeping up with her excellent dressmaking skills.For that, we're thankful. I think Briony is right - it's all about acceptance and laughter - long may it last. x

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  28. Thank you for being you. And allowing people around you the space to grieve.

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  29. Working at the charity shop I meet many bereaved customers donating loved ones belongings.
    I had a customer recently who was very defencive - wouldn't make eye contact & seemed anxious. I hope I served her well

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    1. I guess bringing the belongings in was one step in her grieving?

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  30. So wise...the grieving begins long before the loss and continues past. My own experience.

    Thanks for the cafe line. I am probably one of the slow customers holding up the line.

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    1. It always makes me laugh....I have seen it 100s of times too

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  31. A good post. I have been selfishly grieving for my lost life ever since I properly realised it would go, which I think happened when I was five and a classmate died suddenly before she even made it through Primary 1. That still affects me (self-centredly). Then another girl from the same class made it all the way through school and university with me, only to die in a car crash a few weeks after qualifying as a doctor. Damn... Memories... Then... Ach no, enough. (I didn't look at the film clip. Not in the mood for a laugh right now).

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    1. Funny (not) how we are often haunted by things others would shake off....
      And strange and how awful that they follow us always

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  32. A touching post and a happy video. Thanks for both.

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  33. I grieve the loss of the person I used to be, and the death of my family. I find joy in the person I am now, and the new people I meet.

    Love,
    Janie

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  34. Growing old sucks.

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  35. Someone once said; "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live"

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  36. As my dear OH says as he struggles to put his socks on 'I'd rather grow old than the alternative'.

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