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My name is Helen and I am a Photographer living in England. I started this Blog on the day that my Grandma died, three months after my Father died and several weeks before a third funeral. Initially it was a very personal way to stay connected to the people I'd lost and it helped, it really did. But writing and taking pictures everyday has opened back up a creative side that I had lost during the everyday. A big thank you to my followers, to those who take the time to comment and to new visitors, I hope we will become Blog friends too...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

knocked for six

'And So No More'
when i wrote my first blog yesterday, i knew my grandma was dying. we had been told it was the final few days and i knew that i would be soon grieving for two dear relatives. i hadn't realised it would be the same day i started my blog.
the Macmillan nurse had said it wouldn't be yesterday but finding Suzanna's blog was no coincidence and i kind of knew really in my heart that it would be a very significant and changing day.
it was the cruelest thing to have to go through it twice in 3 months, to watch loved ones waste away in the cruelest of ways, their bodies betraying them, agony to watch, shocking, desperate, awful. today i'm knocked for six.
i was brave with dad, it was parkinson's disease so it had been going on a long time but a sudden turn of events brought about a quicker end than any of us had expected, although the very end wasn't that quick, it took a month and its a heck of a thing to go through.
my grandma was in hospital 11 days with 3 months of illness beforehand and it was the same terrible wait, only this time i knew the ropes.

i not only had to wait for her to die but also had to stand by whilst our closest relatives went through the hospital end process that we had been through 3 months before.
not being able to tell them, or at least choosing not to tell them what would happen felt like a huge burden to bear because how can you cause more pain to them before it has even happened - impossible - but thats what families are for. they endured endless calls from me in dads last few weeks whilst i struggled to come to terms with symtoms and pathway programs and i hope i have been as much support to them.
this time its hit me straight away, because i haven't been so closely involved i suppose or because i've only just been through it, who knows. its better this way, i dont feel like i have to keep strong, i can cry and be sad, where i didn't before.

i was thinking about a wedding we went to last August when i had no idea this was all coming. well of course i knew it would, my father had had the disease for 20 years and my grandma was 89 and had had several heart attacks in those 20 years. so of course i knew i would loose both of them at some point but i didn't know it would be so soon and i didn't know how long, drawn out and torturous it would be for them and all of us.

its a world you don't know is there until you dip into it. normal life is going on all around and then you dip into this alternate universe of suffering, hospitals and death and right now it feels like a place your never free of again, like your touched for life by it, like i'm touched for life, changed by it for the rest of my life.
i have a friend who lost a child this way and i never understood the pain. i thought i could put myself in her shoes, how would it feel if i lost mine, i thought i knew but i hadn't even scratched the surface. its bad enough with adults but that i cannot imagine how you deal with it with a child.
i'll never look at grief or the grieving in the same way again, its far harder than i ever imagined over the last 20 years and i suspect i'm not even close to feeling the fullness of it yet.

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