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Grief


Hugh Thesz
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I lived with my ex partner, Aileen  We had dated from 1999 to 2005 and always remained as friends.  When a landlord decided to increase an already high rent in 2011 I moved into her spare room and have did so since.  We were close as siblings and loved one another.

She was a survivor of breast cancer in the mid nineties shortly before we met.  It was a battle which involved the removal of a lump then a course of both radiotherapy and chemotherapy.  Although I didn't know her then I was always told how she coped with this with a positive outlook and humour.  When she developed a blood clot in her lung in 2015 then, when being investigated as to why a woman in her mid fifties developed this; finding out she had Ovarian Cancer I witnessed her resolve first hand.  A hysterectomy, four doses of radiotherapy  and a lengthy course to deal with the blood clot followed.  Although as positive as ever Aileen became tired easily after the blood clot and cancer treatment.

She became quite lethargic just before Christmas and was checked out by her GP who thought it was a variant of the flu virus but was booked into a blood test early on Wednesday, 17th January.

When we arrived at the building she grabbed me and said she was having difficulty breathing.  I called for a medic and a wheelchair and I helped her up to her GP surgery where she was placed on oxygen and an ambulance was called.  The paramedics put her onto a nebuliser and then I travelled with her to Hairmyers hospital.  The paramedics asked me to book Aileen into AandE, so I left the ambulance; said that I loved her and that I would see her soon.

Within fifteen minutes I was called then taken into a side room where I was told that she was incredibly ill.  This information quickly became that she had had a cardiac arrest and that they were working to save her life.  I called her Brother so he and his wife arrived separately but at the same time by which point I was told that it was unlikely that she would survive the day.  Over the next hour it was clear that she was too weak to even be transferred up to the Intensive Care Unit.  The, amazing AndE GP informed us that although this was as serious as it gets she was being transferred to ICU which all gave us silent hope.

When the three of us arrived in ICU we were told that there was nothing else that could be done.  A huge pulmonary embolism had been discovered; which caused all the cardiac arrests and her brain would have been starved of oxygen and that the monitor restarting her heart had been removed.  This gave her Brother, his wife and I the chance to say goodbye and we all said how much she meant to us and so many people.  Similarly I was able to say a couple of promises.  She quickly passed away in front of three people who loved her in what was a beautiful and peaceful moment.  She was only 59.

At least this all happened in hospital so she was given every chance possible.  I have had CPR training and the nurses always make it very clear that only around ten percent of people who are given defibrillator treatment in hospital survive, never mind those who need it in public. 

Aileen's celebration of life service is at 12:30 on Friday and her family and I have asked that people wear colour and not to wear black ties.  I have bought a beautiful dark blue suit with a pink tie and hanky to go with it.

I am living myself in her house now; which I will get to later, and although coping am having a couple of drinks each night.

It still, despite being two weeks ago, feels unreal.  Friday will bring a happy, positive end to that I 'm sure.  I am handing a few items, pictures and a valentine card into the undertaker tomorrow to be placed with her for the cremation.

I am proud of myself as I have been keeping busy and looking after my health - which is one of the things I promised her.  

To be honest I knew 2018 was going to be a huge year for me but not like this.

My best friend; the warmest, kindest, most insanely generous person I have ever had the fortune of meeting has died.  I have only three options about where I stay next - albeit her family has made it clear this isn't a problem - and one of them is homelessness.  If the second of these options doesn't happen then I will be unable to look after her and our cats so will have the heartbreaking job of finding a home for the two gorgeous nine year old female sisters. My job working with kids in Social Care has been cut to eighteen hours a week which leaves me on a basic wage of £640 which is not survivable for a 44 year old guy.  Because my health has been shit again I only worked October and November since August.  Because of that my bosses are unhappy at my attendance record - understandably.  In late November, a couple of days before my latest hospital stay this time due to a bout of DKA, I tried to help a guy I know who was staying at Lindsay House; the local homeless shelter.  He became aggressive and I responded, he stole my bag containing all my medication so I chased him to his shelter, he squared up to me and the police arrived.  They said I should't have chased him so charged me with a section 38 affray which, though I am positive about being able to dismiss, could cost me my job; just like my attendance record. 

Simply put; as positive as I am, as I like to be, as has been noticed by kids and parents in the job which I love, this all makes me unsure where to turn so I am taking things day to day just now.

All advice; even harsh will be appreciated.

Thanks folks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Damn, that's horrible, Shug. So sorry for your loss; I can't begin to fathom what you must going through right now. Can't believe the police did that, that's ridiculous. With regard to your job, you should be able to make a good case that you had good reason to give chase, as you were concerned that the medication stolen would be at best abused and at worst sold to others who would abuse it.

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That’s probably the most difficult post I’ve ever read on this forum and there’s nothing that I or anyone else can say that will come close to helping with its magnitude. I don’t think I can comprehend the sheer impact of ever losing my partner. I’ve had a close call with her (she was one of 5 survivors of the tube carriage that was destroyed in the London attacks), and I’ve lost 12 friends over the years (all separate from each other and all were under 30 at the time). Losing anyone close is horrific but as I say, I’m very lucky and incredibly privileged.

I would suggest linking in with a grief counsellor as soon as you can. Even if you are holding it together now, they can assist you with the stages that might follow.

I guess you already are, but if not and when ready, start linking in/supporting a charity associated with her illness. It may help with closure and you might find and link in with others who have gone through similar.

I truly hope everything works out for you and your accommodation. 

Thank you for sharing this. Don’t hesitate to PM if you want to unload/rant to a stranger.

Edited by Kaz Hayashi
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That post is heartbreaking to read. Sorry sorry for all of this happening to you so soon. The only thing I would say about your loving arrangements is to go and speak to your local council and see if there is any help they can offer. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Also try and get refered to a counciler. There is often a waiting list (it obviously various region to region), but any support will I'm sure be beneficial for you.

As for the cats, there maybe someone who can look after them temporarily. Here is one in Scotland http://www.pfss.org.uk/

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Downvoting posts in a thread like this is fucking abhorrent. You should be ashamed of yourself. 

***

I lost my mum a few years back. It took me about three weeks to start crying and grieve. It's a very unpredictable process. 

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Very sad post mate. But it was wonderfully typed up, and it's clear that you're a good and thoughtful person.

Good for you for posting it and being brave enough to talk about things and ask for advice.

2017 was my worst year, with a marriage break up and depression. I eventually spoke to a doctor, he was great. Doctors don't just subscribe pills, they can point you to the right people to speak to for counselling and other support. I got sent to a Community Supporter, they help with all types of worry including loss and financial support. Don't know if they have that service everywhere, but would certainly be an option to you.

I can only talk from my experience that even when problems seem totally overwhelming you do move on. Life is shit and cruel at times but there's always things that make you smile and chuckle and it will happen again. That's all I can really think to say, but if u do ever need a chat feel free to PM me.

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Can’t pretend to say I know how you feel buddy as I’ve been blessed not to be in that position.  Completely gutted for you, and hope things go as well as they can for you at this truly horrible time.

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Essentially, there are no words that can be of comfort for what you're going through.  Just know that there are many people both in your life and on here that care about you and please use this place if only to vent frustrations.  My thoughts are with you.

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Having lost mum just before Christmas, this resonates so hard with me. Only advice I can give is, with regards to any housing worries you have, make sure you open a file with your local council housing department. I can't take over her tenancy, so had to register as officially homeless, despite being "left in possession". Slightly different scenario, but they should be able to advise you on options, and by putting it in their hands, takes one thing off your shoulders. 

As for dealing with the grief, deal with it as best you can, whether it's throwing yourself into a passion or hobby, something to occupy your mind without being overwhelming.

All the best to you, and I hope you find solace and closure soon.

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I'm so sorry to hear about this and echo the sentiments of people above in that I can't imagine what all of this has been like over the past few months. 

I think it's incredibly impressive that you are managing to keep reasonably busy and have your health in check. Neither can be at all easy with what you've been through, but it sounds like it is what Aileen would have wanted you to do. I know it's a pretence, but it does make a difference taking care of yourself, however small at this point in time.

I would agree with bigfoote above; get on to the council housing department when you feel up to it. They may well be pretty useless, but it makes sense to at least have a file open. I would also say it is worth getting down to the local Citizens Advice Bureau if you can and explaining what the situation is. I had a friend with, unfortunately, a quite comparable situation a few years back, and the CAB were a real help in laying out options in terms of housing and doing a bit of lobbying on their behalf.

Thoughts with you man, and I hope that Friday goes as well as these things can. 

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I lost a very close friend between Christmas and New Year, very unexpectedly, and am only just starting to come to terms with him not being there any more. But still every day I find myself feeling worn down just thinking about what his girlfriend must be going through, after 25 years together.

I don't know what to say - I can't imagine being in your situation. But with what happened to my friend, all I can say is to be open and honest with people around you, with people at work, don't try and bottle it up; people will be understanding, and they'll give you the space, and the time, you need.

The funeral, or celebration of life, will be a struggle, but it will bring something like closure. You'll get to look around at a room full of people to whom she meant something, and that helps.

 

Keep yourself busy, but not so much that it burns you out. Take time to let it sink in, a little bit at a time. Spend time with people who knew her, and will be experiencing similar feelings to you, but also recognise when it's healthier to take some time away from them - sometimes what can help is, if there is anyone, to spend time with someone who you're reasonably close with, and can speak to emotionally, but who doesn't know or have an emotional connection with her; that way you can let it all out without feeling like you're stepping on toes or affecting their own grieving process.

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