On death.

Dec. 15th, 2015 12:09 am
fandrogyne: (reflection)
Had a hard time tonight, finding out that a friend's aunt had passed away. It wasn't unexpected. She'd had two bouts of lung cancer followed by severe COPD, and was on oxygen almost constantly, afraid to leave home in case something happened. She apparently took a bad attack and was rushed to the hospital, where they thought they'd gotten her stabilized and she was recovering, but less than an hour after declaring that, she just took a major downturn and didn't come out of it.

I met her more than a few times. I didn't get to know her particularly well, not like some people, but she was already ready with a hug and fond wishes, even though I was only the friend of her relative. You'd never know it by the way she treated me. Full of kindness, she was.

She loved butterflies.

It's tough. Like I said, it wasn't unexpected. She's never been in the greatest of health, she's never weighed more than 100 pounds, and two bouts with lung cancer is bad for anybody, let alone someone with no reserves. Her lungs were already lousy from a life spent smoking, and then after the cancer came really bad COPD, and she had a hard time dealing with all the setbacks and restrictions that so much illness placed on her. My friend has been half expecting the call for a couple of years now, especially after the cancer came back a second time.

I don't want to say, "It was her time." That makes it all sound preordained, which hurts worse because that means somebody planned all this pain. I don't like thinking of it that way, because even if somebody takes inspiration from what happened and chooses to quit smoking or take better care of themselves or whatever, there are better ways to inspire someone to that than setting someone up to fail so they can be an example to others. Whatever deities I believe in, I don't believe in ones that would be so cruel.

So I won't say that it was her time to go. But I will say that I don't think she had any more in her to give. She went through a lot, more than many, and when it all piles up, sometimes the fight goes out of a person and they have no more reason to keep hanging onto pain just for the sake of life.

So it's a little comfort to know that she's no longer suffering the way she had been. That the ordeal for her is over.

The rest of us? We carry on. I'm not the one in the most pain over her loss. I think that dubious honour goes to her son, who lost his mother before he was even 30 years old. Or her two older sisters, who just lost their youngest sibling.

But I do feel grief and loss over this, and I'm going to allow myself to feel it and not feel bad for mourning someone I wasn't especially close with or related to. I'll do my best to be there for my friend, and I'll grieve in my way, and, callous though it sounds, life will go on, even though it lacks a certain something for some people now.
fandrogyne: (reflection)
Still not exactly dealing well with Albert's death. I keep looking at where his cage was and wanting to cry. Or actually crying. I miss his singing, I miss the way we'd play the bobby-head game and I'd try to get him to imitate chocobo calls, I miss the way he had this stupid ear-piercing tweet that meant, "You're not awake but it's daylight YOU SHOULD WAKE UP NOW!" I miss the way he used to run laps all around the bottom of his cage, and the way he absolutely hated mineral blocks but couldn't get enough of cuttlebones.

I got his ashes back today, from Angel's Haven Pet Cremation. Who are wonderful people, by the way, and I can't recommend them enough. When I tried to find out where they were (they're out of town, and I'd have to walk about an hour and a half to get to them, but I was willing to do it), they sent a guy to pick Albert up instead, hearing that I don't have a car. The guy was a bit pushy trying to sell the handmade urns they also sell for ashes, but I think he understood that the reason I didn't get one was because I couldn't afford it, because when he brought Albert's ashes home today, he handed over an urn that he and his wife picked out, free of charge, because the colours in the urn matched the colour of Albert's feathers, and I just had to take a few minutes to stop sobbing after typing that because I miss him.

Yeah, I am not dealing with this well. He'd been in my life for almost 10 years, and I've gotten so used to him being around that things just feel wrong now. Even when I was in a part of the house where I wouldn't be able to hear him, even when he was asleep and not singing, I'd still know he was there. And now I know he's not anymore, and I remember finding him and holding his tiny little body and knowing that even though he was gone then, I was going to have to say goodbye again when I handed him over to the guy to be cremated, then again when I got the ashes back, and it seems like I've been saying goodbye constantly since he died.

Before that, even. When I thought he might be sick or hurt and I hoped that it wasn't anything serious and that he'd be okay, but I had this sinking feeling that I wanted to deny, and I told him that if he needed to, he could go, he didn't need to stay if he was ready to move on. And he didn't understand me; he was a bird, his primary concerns were seeds and sleep, but I said it, and I needed to say it to make me feel better, but I started saying goodbye at that moment and I feel like I haven't stopped since.

I haven't grieved for a pet in years. I haven't missed it. And he was old, too; I knew the end had to be coming within a year or two. But you're never ready, not really. More ready than you could be, but you're never ready to have it happen, because until it happens it's not final, and that little painful hopeful part of yourself keeps hoping for that miracle that will mean it doesn't have to happen at all.

I've been in a state of 'existing' over the weekend. I've eaten little but junk food, because I just can't be bothered to care to properly take care of myself. I slept too much. I made myself shower. To do laundry.

I'm making a chili in the slow cooker right now. I'm going to spend some time playing video games tonight, to distract myself and to do something enjoyable. To go through the routines of life even when they're hard and I just want to go numb and not care. I know the grief will fade over time. I know I can work through it. It's just that right now things are so new, so raw, that it hurts to breathe because at any moment I could think about how I'll never get a chance to hear him sing again and I want to bawl my eyes out.

I've cried enough for now. I need to go do something else to distract me from it all for a little while.

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fandrogyne

December 2015

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