Happy Birthday in Heaven
Today would have been my nan’s birthday. She passed away a little over a year ago after she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s. Grieving the loss of a loved one has been hard.
Grieving the loss of a loved one
Today would have been my nan’s birthday. She passed away a little over a year ago after she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s. Losing her was hard.
Until she died, I didn’t know that Alzheimer’s could actually lead to someone’s death. It had been 11 years since my grandad passed away in Nevis. The professionals say the shock of losing him suddenly, led her to develop Alzheimer’s. The disease is the most common cause of dementia. The symptoms include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving or language (Alzheimer’s Society). All things my nan went through over the years.
People in Nevis tell me stories about how nice and caring she was. One lady told me that my nan was always trying to give her something to the point where she started hiding. My nan would see her anyway and tell her to stop by. Another lady said she used to help my nan out as a teen, in the house and the shop beneath, when she used to cook and sell convenience items.
When you love someone, there is never a good time to say goodbye. When you lose someone, they don’t just die. Your family goes through turmoil, loving each other and feelings of hating each other, in the lead up to the funeral. After the person has been laid to rest, the turmoil continues, family members support and neglect one another.
As an individual, you have to find a ‘new normal’. Although you want the world to pause, and just take a moment with you to reflect that your loved one didn’t wake up this morning…life continues to move on.
Today is one of those days. Whilst everyday it hurts, I remember my nan’s last birthday. My aunt organised a barbecue. We couldn’t get my nan to take off my little cousin’s cap, but we have a video where she danced away whilst holding onto my cousin’s dress. A memory that family members will cherish forever.
So whilst this is the beginning of a new month, it is also another reminder that she’s no longer here. Although she’s missing, she lives on in me. Experiencing bereavement changed my outlook on life. It’s definitely for living.
If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, get support. I have used the following support over the past twenty months:
- Talk to someone – this person doesn’t need to experience what you are going through. Everyone’s pain is different. Even members of family will cope in different ways. Sometimes talking to someone about how you are feeling helps, either it is to listen to the way you feel or to distract you for a short time.
- Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) – most employers have an EAP, which allows staff to access resources including counselling. It is normally free of charge for a set number of sessions.
Support in England:
- Cruse Bereavement Care – my experience of working with my counsellor helped me to heal. She was very gentle and allowed me to internalise my emotions of needing to ‘reset’.
- IAPT – most local authorities have an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service which people can self refer online or via Google IAPT and your local authority.
If you have any other support, please list in the comments below and read the previous related post.
Happy Birthday in Heaven