Friday, January 18, 2013

A Month of Sorrow

The title of my blog post says it all. December was really a sorrowful month for our family. On December 19th my dear mother passed away. And, on December 30th, my Aunt (Mom's big sis) passed away. Mom's death wasn't totally unexpected. I suppose at 97 it never is, but she had been doing very well up until a few weeks before her death when she had a small stroke. She really went downhill after that. My Aunt, too, had been pretty healthy. In fact, at 99, she really had no chronic health problems. But, she developed pneumonia a week before Mom passed. And, while she was back at the nursing home and well enough to attend the funeral, she ended up hospitalized again the day after. She spent Christmas in the hospital, went back to the nursing home on Hospice care the Friday after, and passed away just a few days later. I'm so blessed that my job is at a funeral home. I'm even more thankful that I had the foresight, several years ago, to switch both my mother's and my aunt's funeral policies to the funeral home that I work. They really took care of my family and made a difficult time so much easier to handle.

I am spending a lot of time going through their things. It's time consuming, but it needs to be done. It's good for me, too, as I'm finding all sorts of interesting things. Pictures, letters, mementos...all sorts of things that we all will leave behind. I find myself wishing I could ask where something came from, who is in a particular picture, but, of course, I can't. I cried the first few days after each of their deaths, but I don't cry much now. Instead, I just have this profound sense of sadness and loss. I have days where I have to push myself to get anything done. Some days I feel as if I'm in a dream. I know I'm not  though. Speaking of dreams, nearly every night, I dream about my Mother and/or Aunt. Mostly, these dreams are comforting to me because I feel as if I'm getting a little more time with them. 

I was concerned about how my body would hold up through all of this. I think pure adrenaline kept me going the first several weeks after each of their deaths. Now, everything seems to be catching up with me. I'm having more partial dislocations, more weakness and more pain. I'm sure some of it is because I'm pushing myself to go through their things in addition to going about everyday life. I've been missing out on my daily naps and not always getting a good nights sleep on top of things. And, my diet hasn't been too healthy. All of these things combined are making things worse for me physically and mentally.  

In trying to get back to a new normal, I've decided to go ahead and with my plans to get the house up for sale. That means more work, of course. Also, I'm for real, seriously going to start a diet again this time. My youngest, who is nearly 20,  made me pinkie promise. I had forgotten all about the pinkie promise and ate a bunch of bad things yesterday. When she got home from school, she asked me if I'd remembered the promise. Eh, No!  Busted! So, I think we are going to take a picture of our pinkie promise and put it on the fridge (and anywhere else there is food...maybe the baking cabinet...yummy chocolate chips!) so I won't forget.

This year I'm going to incorporate more links to articles, websites and other blogs in my postings. I want to try to share some of what I'm learning not just about EDS, but about chronic illnesses in general. I still want to share about my daily life with EDS, but I want to expand outside my little world. Maybe this will be a start to my patient advocacy plan. Yes, I'm still thinking about that. 

Here's to a Happy New Year to all. 

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