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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hello everyone...

Oks, well, I've had some bad news and thought I would post on here for advice on alternative therapies.

I've had a look through the existing threads (nice search system Malcolm!!) but didn't find what I was looking for, so I hope this is ok.


So then...

Just over a month ago my mother turned yellow.
It was two days before my parents were due to go on holiday, and instead she ended up in hospital.

They discovered it was a blockage near her bile duct, and after sticking a camera down her throat, found out she had a tumour on her pancreas.

She was eventually sent home for a few weeks to recuperate, then brought back in for an operation last Friday.

We discovered then that the tumour on her pancreas is too big - 6 cms - to operate on, and parts of it have spread to nearby glands.

The prognosis isn't good. They've told her between 6 months and a year, but any reseach I've done shows people with pancreatic cancer lasting between 4 - 6 months.

Our family is coping well, considering, so far.

(Personally, I feel like I'm constantly going to cry.
I try not to think about her leaving us as much as possible. My mother is the strongest person in the world... She is kind and lovely and despite having pissed me off often, has done a splendid job and has had a splendid life (she's travelled all over the place - took a boat to Australia from Ireland 40 years ago to work as a nanny on a cattle ranch!! She came home, by boat, via NZ, Fiji and the Panama Canal - in a time when tourism wasn't Lonely Planet travel-by-numbers).

At the minute, I'm coping. I'm finding myself running about my parent's house 'doing stuff' for them while also trying to keep a performance business afloat. That's been a barrel of laughs in itself... anyone setting up a business in the arts - prepare yourself now for the bitchiness, competition, jealousy and lack of support.

My deepest apologies to m'lovely friends on here if I haven't responded to your PMs or calls recently - thanks BamBam and Fluff x).

Jesus... that was a bitter and twisted rant... humblest apologies for that... redface

Anyways... I have posted this for a reason rolleyes smile

The doctors are still deciding whether mum should have chemo.
None of us are very happy with that idea... don't want her last few months to be spent throwing up.

She's got a very strong Christian faith, which keeps her bouncing through each day (lol, and she keeps emotionally blackmailing me to convert!!! Lol... I've told her it won't happen, but thanks anyway smile )

But I want info on alternative therapies... things that might reduce it, or just prolong her life for a bit. Does anyone here have any advice on where I could look?

I know not to accept intershnet advice as gospel, but it's good to get a guideline - or a point in the right direction.

Electro-magnetic therapy? Acupuncture? Organic foods and no tap water?!!

Does anyone here have any helpful hints?

Thanks so much for your time... and go home tonight and give your parents a hug... they could be gone much sooner than you think.

Love and hugs to you alll
Clare xx


Getting to the other side smile

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:wave



Hey there m'lovelies...



Sorry I haven't been around much... just haven't felt like posting, or dealing with anything, really.



I'm not sad, exactly... (perhaps I dealt with all the sadness in April and May?) but just numb. A bit hollow...



So, then.



Just to complete this thread...



In the days after Mum's death, Dad, my brother and I spent alot of time making arrangements and dealing with the hundreds of calls and visitors.



Dad and Colin did most of the visitor thing - I wasn't really in the mood to be telling the story over and over again.



Dad kept himself very busy 'doing stuff'.



The funeral was on Tuesday 10th July.

It was a very religious, Presbyterian service (mum finally got to preach to us from beyond the grave!! smile ). She would have liked it... and there were many, many people there.



We had tea and buns before heading up to the crematorium.



I was blessed to have lots of my friends come to be with me. It was such a relief to have them there. Some travelled up from Dublin, and England and Germany!



After the crematorium the family went back to my parents house for more tea (I have actually started drinking tea for the first time!!). After that, I left Dad and my brother to go back to my house where all my friends were waiting.



We ate food and played giant frisbee at the back of my house til late. Twas good.



After the funeral some friends stayed for a bit... and Andy Haus is still here (thankfully smile )



We did a little fireburn for Maddi on Thursday night...

Mum hasn't really visited me again (although I thought I felt her with us on the beach on Monday night)... but I do feel that she is looking after and protecting Maddi.



We buried Mum's ashes under a tree in the local cemetary on Saturday morning. We all left some flowers... but Dad will be back up regularly to bring his gardening know-how to the base of the tree.



Mum is always in my mind, but I try not to think about the fact that she's actually gone... cos that comes by itself every now and again. You wouldn't believe the huge amount of references to death, cancer and mums that go on in everyday life!



I'm sad (of course) when I think about her... and when it comes to the 'death' part, it changes to panic, so I start thinking about something else instead. It's ok, for now.



Ronan came up to visit us on Monday (visited the beach on Monday night), and we took a trip to the Giant's Causeway yesterday to see one of the most beautiful sunsets ever. Twas a nice day.



And so now I am back in work... trying to get money to pay rent... trying to figure out my many, many different thoughts about Play and trying to rebuild my business.



I don't have any real feelings for anything as such.

Every day I seem to be reminded that we must all deal with life's adventures alone.



The process of removing my reliance/expectation/hope/dependence on anyone but myself continues... it's rather bitter... but I'm sure some good will come of it in the end.



Andy has been very good, amazing actually, helping me clean my parent's house... cook good food for me... and has dealt really well with the one emotion that has manifested most often - anger.



Sometimes I get feelings of intense anger... I want to hurt things... physically. I don't, of course, and won't... but I'm just trying to find a way to get the anger and pain out of me. It's very frustrating.



So... I'm just going to keep bimbling along... and hopefully, one day, things will be ok again.



I am constantly worried about Dad... wondering how he will cope in the coming days, weeks and months. I can only do so much, call round so often. He needs to deal with it himself... and I hope he'll be ok.



So then... one day I'll put together a wee list of things I've learned from the last year about dealing with death, and particularly, cancer and the death of your mum. Might be helpful?



In the meantime... massive amounts of love and hugs to those who have radiated warmth and feeling towards me and my family.



Looking back over the lovely things people have said in recent weeks will keep me going for months... and I thank you very much for it.



With respect

Clare xx









Btw, Play festival is something that has been in my mind lots.

I agree very much with the cave image Wild Child suggested (although Andy thinks it's more like the well from The Ring eek)



Pros:

Seeing everyone again

Lots of cool workshops

Being 'at Play'

Seeing everyone again

Spinning in a field for 5 days



Cons:

Having to get MUCH stuff organised and sorted in just a few days

(and what that will mean missing out on, ie. time with Dad, learning to cook etc)

Missing more time at work (hard to pay rent)

Being in massive amounts of company when all I might want is silence (because it's not possible to avoid people at these things smile )

Being relatively angry in company that doesn't need to deal with it.

Feeling guilty for enjoying myself so soon after (inevitable)





Hmmm.



grouphug

EDITED_BY: _Clare_ (1184785000)


Getting to the other side smile

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darkness-before
darkness-before

Rock is dead, long live paper and scissors
Location: The sea
Member Since: 24th Apr 2007
Total posts: 197
Posted:Massive hug for clare



smile


Eagles may soar but weasles don't get sucked into jet engines.

Telepath wanted, you know where to apply.

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Skulduggery
Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales
Member Since: 12th Aug 2004
Total posts: 8428
Posted:Anger is something I went through too hug It's kind of hard at the time to realise it's ok to be angry. I now look back on that anger and laugh at how I ended up expressing it.

My dad hated piercings, so because I was so mad at him for dying I went and got my ears pierced ubblol How silly can you get, but the anger at the time made me do it.

The anger will pass hun, hug and until it does, don't worry too much about it. Just remember not to do anything too rash in the name of anger. Just do something silly like I did.

Much love still coming your way from Jon and I kiss


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:hug
Right, let's get these out the way wink
~Having to get MUCH stuff organised and sorted in just a few days
Tent? Check. Toys? Check. Routine (You're still on the billing wink ). Check...ish. Meh, blag it wink

~Missing more time at work (hard to pay rent)
Work sucks, Play doesn't.

Being in massive amounts of company when all I might want is silence (because it's not possible to avoid people at these things )
~ Yes it is, it's the countryside. Or just don't wash, people will avoid you after a few days...

~Being relatively angry in company that doesn't need to deal with it.
Anger isn't actually allowed at Play. Repeat offenders will be evicted wink

~ Feeling guilty for enjoying myself so soon after
Why should you feel guilty? You've got to start enjoying yourself sooner or later. Surely sooner is better...


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:hug hug hug
ditto what Durbs said!! smile

No guilt Clare. spank Life is too short to spend any time thinking you need to be sad and being guilty because you're having fun. Surely the best way to honour your mum is to have as full and as happy a life as you can?? Would she have wanted you to feel sad for ever/at all? Didn't she tell you something like that? You don't have to "stop" to remember your Mum - as you say, she is always there. And what's the bet - the more you have fun, the more you will remember the good times with her. What better way to remember her?

hug (always sending you hug)


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hmmm..

Skully... we're going to come up with some kindof way to get rid of the anger... I know it's there... just don't know how to do it. Breaking stuff will only result in stuff being broken... doesn't really fix anything. Might try screaming.

Durbs rolleyes... evict me? Really? tongue
You know very well how much stuff would need arranging... And until you actually get me some work, mister, I have to keep doing crap jobs to pay rent tongue

George hug Yep, I know... thanks x


Getting to the other side smile

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:"You know very well how much stuff would need arranging"

Not if we can convince you into the Toast way of performing wink


Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: Durbs


Not if we can convince you into the Toast way of performing wink



What, like, running around on meadows and flirting with cows? ubblol

Find out what's best for you, Clare. If it is more stress to hang around people and pretend to be happier than you are, even if you know you don't have put up the smiley face for your friends, and if it's more stress to come back to debts and other things that need sorting out, look after that first. PLAY will be back next year (along with many other festivals). We'd all love to see you there, but if you think it's not the right time for you, then I'm with wild child.

It's your life, and you come first in it, so do what you feel is right - only one thing, if you WANT to enjoy yourself, there's no need whatsoever to feel guilty about it.

You could of course come over for the weekend only and work during the week and make some money, and you wouldn't have to spend all that much time with all the PLAY people, but still get to see them... hug


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Was thinking that Birgit...

And Durbs... Lol, yeah, but I'm not good enough for Toast, am I?!... it's all that organising and non-drug-taking-before-a-show I keep doing... smile


Getting to the other side smile

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Durbs
Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England
Member Since: 23rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 5688
Posted:there's always time to change

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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Glåss
Glåss

The Ministry of Manipulation
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 8th Nov 2001
Total posts: 2523
Posted:Clare I read your list of Cons: and none of them seemed very important...
and I saw that there were only 5 on the list,
which means that there isn't a 6th reason any more... so that's good too.
I guess that means you're booking your ticket. :hugs:
Drew


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faith enfire
faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin
Member Since: 27th Jan 2006
Total posts: 3556
Posted:anger can be good, it's a motivator, you know when you're angry you want to do *blamk*-like get your ears pierced smile

I thought of it as a sorting mechanism after I got through that stage of grief

so big :hugs: and perhaps you'll use that anger/frustration to discover a new jedi type poi move


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted: Written by: faithinfire

so big :hugs: and perhaps you'll use that anger/frustration to discover a new jedi type poi move


oooooh yes, a new move!! Pleeeasee...

A lot of passion in anger and I always saw the passion in your dance - maybe a new firedance is jsut the ticket for you.
hug


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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mcp
mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.
Member Since: 20th May 2003
Total posts: 5276
Posted:come to play / don't come to play

whatever you choose, MAKE it a good decision.

hug


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Humunguous hug for Clare. Ppl who know you, do understand where your moods do come from. Certainly it's not "have to", but I'm certain they will be happy to help a friend out.

Missing a days work.... money is not relevant and I guess only rock cold ppl would not understand and not give you time.

"it's all that organising and non-drug-taking-before-a-show I keep doing..." This one I can't quite interpret... however, all you need is yourself - the rest (I am again certain) your friends will be happy to provide for you.

Enjoying yourself after such little time only... hmm, this is the tricky one. Missing time with your dad... same.

My 0.2 dollars: These are your parents. They love you. In a few periods of time they loved you more than their own lives. They care for you and they care for your well-being more than for their own. They do know that you love them, that you respect them and they do know that you love and respect them many many years after they have already left for other worlds. They live on through you and I guess one thing more difficult for your mum is that she was not to see and hold your child before she went.

Everyone has to take a break some times as everyone has a breaking point and can only take that much. Only because you will smile and maybe a laugh escapes your heart, doesn't mean that you disrespect, or don't love your parents a tiny bit less.

They love you with every beat of their hearts and they would want you to cope the way you can cope with life. I am certain that (any which decision you make) they would want you to take your own decisions now and move on the way you want to.

If your heart tells you to go to Play - why restrain it?
If your heart tells you to stay away - don't keep busy with this thought.

Keep your emotions inside, or let them out - up to you. But there is nothing, and I mean no thing that you would have to feel guilty for, as you have a right to live this life and anything that it holds for you on the entire spectrum of infinite possibilities............. you pick.

hug heart hug maybe even take your dad with you... (excuse me)


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Wild Child
Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire
Member Since: 2nd Sep 2004
Total posts: 1733
Posted:Excellent idea - something that takes you through all the different emotions, something you can pour all the passion into. Much better if it's non-verbal becasue yu don't have to explain it, to yourself or anyone else hug

'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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The Tea Fairy
The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2004
Total posts: 853
Posted:Hi Clare

Just wondered how you're doing, still sending out the hug 's. I hope things are as ok as they can be.


Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Hello beautiful (who probably doesn't feel like that right now) Clare.

The flatness interspersed with panic, anger and guilt are all utterly utterly how it is in grief.



Of course you want to scream and smash things. Our cultural 'British' buttoned up silent way of dealing with grief is utterly unnatural and also unhealthy.



A Suggestion:

Get a plastic tennis raquet or something similar and smash it onto your bed (a good height and soft enough) lots while shouting out anything you want to say. You may well cry a sh*tload whilst doing this and possibly end up with a sore throat but it is better out than in. Elisabeth Kubler Ross advocated rubber hose and telephone books but I find that jarring on the arm. Address a few choice words to your Mum's God too, this is bigger than human...



Re PLAY etc..enjoying things, allowing something else to take precedence over her, can feel like a betrayal.. it goes against our deep deep need to keep the one who has passed over HERE in the centre. So do what you need to, to have her in your mind and life. Put flowers or candles or food or whatever in front of her photo twenty times a day if you want, or sleep with her clothes.. ANYTHING.



People will tell you not to feel guilty but that doesn't work, guilt is the underground river of grief, connected to our feelings of powerlessness and our desire to keep the person present. When you feel guilty, remember that the level of guilt is connected to the level of your love, so as much as possible remember your love and connection in any way you can. Send her light, tell stories, put MORE flowers in front of the picture, whatever. You might cry again but that is more healing than guilt, which tends to go round in unresolved circles, making you sick.



Politely sidestep people who tell you to let go, move on, accept etc. You may do this months or years down the track in your own good time, provided you do enough remembering and honouring (in my grief counselling writings I call it Identifying) now.



And don't be surprised if often you feel nothing at all. Grief is physical as well as mental and emotional. The body protects itself by numbing out, remember.



OOOOH I wish I could be there to tell you it's OK to not want a lot of people around when you're feeling like a piece of velcro with the other half ripped off wink



OK that's enough.

HUGS and all..

Gabe


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Adya Miriyana
Adya Miriyana

*slou?
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 4th Feb 2005
Total posts: 6554
Posted:let your heart choose your path, gorgeous hug
sending a too-big-for-international-post amount of love to that heart heart


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poi_kitty
poi_kitty

Member
Location: Whitburn, South Tyneside
Member Since: 31st Jul 2007
Total posts: 32
Posted:Hi. I am new on this site, and you have no idea who I am, but i was in tears reading through this thread. About the same time your mum was diagnosed, I was dealing with my mum having cancer. Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She was having chemotherapy and had a very bad reaction which resulted in her being pretty much in a coma for weeks. I am an only child and my dad died of lung cancer 5 years ago, so it was pretty hard to deal. At one point I was called into the hospital and told mum only had a couple of hours to live. my family travelled up from Kent that day. I feel so lucky that mum pulled through. She is now home, and recovering well, however she has suffered some brain damage, and is having to learn to walk again. It has been a year since she was at her worst, but the pain of seeing her like that is still there. She isnt the same person as she used to be, so i feel in a way like i have lost her.
I can imagine what you are going through right now, as I went through exactly the same when my dad died. I didnt even really get to say goodbye, we found out about his cancer on the afternoon, was told he had a few weeks, he died 10 hours later, and by the time we got to the hospital it was too late. Even now I still feel the pain of losing him sometimes. The one thing to give me peace was when he visited me a few weeks after his death. I dreamt about him, and woke up, half asleep i looked round and there he was. I thought it was a dream until the next day when both my mum and aunties said the same thing had happened to them the night before too. I believe the spirits of those we love to come back one last time to let us know they are ok. If your mum hasnt done this yet, she will. You may not realise it at first but when you do it will really help you.
It is the hardest thing I know of to lose a parent. I don't take anything for granted now. I was almost an orphan at 22, and the fact that I am not makes me more grateful than i ever thought i could be.
My thoughts are with you at this horrible horrible time. My advice is to take plenty of time for yourself. I didnt after losing my dad, and as a result i am now suffering from depression. Cry as much as you can, go out into the country and scream for as long and as loud as you can, write down everything you remember about your mum, make a scrapbook full of memories, and most important, remember your mum loved you very much, she always will, even if she isnt here in body, she is here in spirit and that will never leave you

*hugs*

Louisa xxxxxxxxx


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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Thanks so much for posting Louisa hug

And for all those who have taken the time and energy to post here grouphug

I'm actually doing ok-ish...

Someday soon I'll make a big post explaining some things that have happened in the last month... but it's not bad, thankfully...

Of course, the expected sadness, but not the horror scenes of grief and despair I had expected (or felt in April/May time).

With love
xx


Getting to the other side smile

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georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:That's good to hear Clare. hug
You know only you can walk the path in front of you and all we can do is offer our support from the sidelines.

Always thinking of you and sending you strength.
hug hug hug


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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PyroWill
PyroWill

HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines
Member Since: 4th Aug 2004
Total posts: 4437
Posted:Clare I've been away from HoP for so long, I'm sorry I havent checked in on you. I loved what your mum said about the otters. I hope she is happy where she is, death is just another stage in our existence and how your family prepared for it was very noble and brave.

All my love to you and your family.

Will hug


An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Thanks Will... good to hear from you, and hopefully see you in Bristol?



It's been a while since I posted here... kept meaning to, and never quite got around to it. (Perhaps because I've been trying to find something to say, which is very hard in itself). This is a very long ramble...



It's been an interesting six and a half weeks...



After she died everything was very blurry and hazy... every day was just getting through things that had to be done.



Despite all our pre-organising, the funeral arrangements still took a while to get sorted, and filling the forms at the Town Hall to register the death took much longer than expected.



The funeral was a fairly good, highly emotional, day.

Lots of my friends came (which was a real blessing), and the church was quite full with other family and friends that I didn't know.



There were a lot of very upset people.



Mum asked for no flowers, just donations, and in the end over 800 was raised for Tear Fund, and 600 for Latin Link... she would have been happy with that (and we were happy that we didn't get 1400 worth of flowers!!)



My friends stayed that night, and we played giant frisbee in car park at the back of my house... that was good.



Andy came over from Germany... bless him. He stayed until last week, and I was so grateful for his company and patience.



We did lots of little missions; Ronan came up from Cork and we went to the Giants Causeway; we went on a magical weekend to Inishfree; saw lots of rainbows; cooked some things, played some guitar; went on a great mission to Tara... but mainly, cleaned things smile



During the time we spent together there wasn't any huge scenes of grief or anguish, like there had been in April and May... I was angry a fair bit, but Andy (being Andy), took it all in his stride, and I was very grateful for that.



I felt a bit numb, a bit sad every now and again, a bit relieved (in a strange way), a bit exhausted, a bit angry, occassionally even quite happy!



Just a rollercoaster, a rainbow of emotion, passing through.



During that time I also did a bit of work with some of my energy-worker friends... that helped a bit, just remembering to recognise these feelings as emotions, so they didn't swamp me.



So Andy left last week, and I'm back to being alone.



I've started to get back into work, sending out quotes, paying people (which took ages!), I'm working lots in the Telegraph, to make sure I've the money to pay rent.



But things are changing... my work arrangements are changing and I'm not sure what path to follow with firepoise... whether I want to keep going, or try something different.



I guess I'll just see what comes (and at the minute, I appear to be going to work in a big US theme park for next april - an uber-cheesy Irish show, but well paid and great experience).



Every now and again I remember that I will never see her again, talk to her, hug her, tell her my news... and I cry for a bit...



Sometimes I feel a bit paniky... but then I remember... she had a good passing, and there's nothing to be scared of, so it smothers the paniked feeling. I hope that, in time, the panic will subside.



As a shamanic friend said... I've lost my mother, but I've gained a friend in the spirit world... and that's a good thing.



I'm spending my time trying to motivate myself to work, to clean, to 'sort stuff out'. But also, to look after Dad. He told me a couple of days ago that he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with depression - my dad! Older generation, not used to talking to anyone... argh frown



So, the doctor put him on anti-depressants for a few months, saying that if that didn't work, he could try counselling (standard practice, according to my pharmacist friend).



It appalled me, but apparently most people over 55 don't like to talk about their problems, so they are recommended drugs first. It has also shocked me to hear how many of my uncles, friends of my parents, etc, are also depressed... Changes in jobs, loss of a partner... it's really terrible to think that so many of our parents generation are suffering so badly.



Anyways, so a few things I've learned from this experience.



1. You will find out who your friends are... people you think are close will run a mile to avoid having to deal with it. It's a bit of a negative cliche, because it doesn't mean that these people aren't your friends... it just means they can't handle what you're going through, for a variety of reasons. This is ok, though... because the experience you have can only ever be your own (no matter how much you wish it otherwise!).



You can do it by yourself... its hard, but you will get through it. You can let the experience crush you, or make you stronger... which it does is up to you (and it's not such an impossible step to make yourself stronger, it just seems that way - your mind will play tricks on you).



2. Prepare yourself for unexpected emotions... and learn how to recognise and handle your emotions, so they don't overwhelm you. Anger, grief, loneliness, abandonment, guilt, fear, despair, rejection, panic... as well as love, happiness and joy - I've felt them all in varying degrees over the past few months... and your emotions will be accentuated because of the brutal reality of the situation.



3. Prepare yourself for the many, many people who will say 'my mother's aunt had cancer once, but she survived... so I know how you feel' (or words to that effect smile ). Many people will want to support you and show emotion or caring, but they don't know how... so they say things like this.



People also say 'I'll be there for you'... which, for the most part, they probably will be... but try to remember, only you can feel the reality of the situation (it's also very difficult, in reality, to call up friends at 3am when you're in a bad place). Concentrate on yourself... do what you need to, to get through it.... try to meditate and take time for yourself, cutting any cords to anyone, and everything, else, during that meditation.



4. Save some money. When the time comes you'll be visiting the hospital lots, and not working so much... Having money to pay the bills, pay the petrol money etc takes a huge weight of your mind...



5. Rely on the support of your family... even if you aren't that close, an experience like this will bring you closer... try not to direct your anger or sadness at them, because they will be feeling their own.



6. If you are granted time before your parent dies, use it. Visit them, ask them questions you think you may want to know in the future. Say the important things while they are still relatively healthy... because when they go, they could go fast. Get some pictures, and having their voice on tape helps. Don't worry about using your time 'well' - because what is 'well'? Just be there. Sit with them, watch a movie, cook food... just be present.



Do arrange the funeral service and arrangements in advance, preferably with the person involved. It's really hard to do, but my god it helped so much to know that mum got the funeral she wanted... It would have been terrible to try to guess it ourselves.



7. Try not to beat yourself up about what you have or haven't done... (The one I am still struggling with). Things are as they are... if you have done your best, with an open heart, then you can't do anymore. Try to take some comfort in this, and be aware of the love that existed between you and your parent...



8. And as with any time of deep sadness... try to do something every day that will push you, or make you smile. Go for a walk, try something new, visit a friend, eat something lovely... whatever it is... try to keep doing stuff.



Hmmm.



So that's it.



Some days I feel mum with me. Sometimes I ask her advice and she answers me... sometimes not.



I think of her and miss her every day. I cry often. I don't really sleep very well.



But it's part of the process... and I'm not going to give up on rebuilding myself.



This time has been very good for me to examine myself and my life.

I went through a bad time in New Zealand in 2003 and I've never really been the same since... but I'm determined to change that... to bring back the happy, confident person I was before it all.



And it's with thanks, in respect, and for... my mother.



With love to everyone who has shared a story, their thoughts, love, blessings and light in this thread....



Clare xx





PS: I found out about the Otters biggrin

My Auntie Ann (mum's sister) got married at the Otter's Inn.. so she was probably remembering that.



grouphug


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:Go Clare! hug

Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

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SpitFire
Mand's Girl....and The Not So Shy One
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2002
Total posts: 2723
Posted:hug

Keep finding that inner strength, Clare.


Solitude sometimes speaks to you, and you should listen.

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Wow, that pushes me to tears again.

Thank you Clare for such a mature, sensible, insightful post. hug You do rock, lady!

My prayers and blessings are with you hug heart hug

As for the rest I am speechless footinmouth


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:Yeep...



Something I'm going to have to clarify from the above post...



"3. Prepare yourself for the many, many people who will say 'my mother's aunt had cancer once, but she survived... so I know how you feel' (or words to that effect ). Many people will want to support you and show emotion or caring, but they don't know how... so they say things like this. "



I should also say there were a number of people who contacted me with much more direct, personal experiences of family members dying from cancer, or other diseases... I'm not referring to them!



These people helped me out massively by relating their experiences, sharing their stories and giving advice... I have thanked them all for that already, previously.



Each experience is different, as each cancer is different.



And each person will respond to dealing with death differently, and will respond to dealing with other people's grief differently.



My point was, it can get frustrating when people try to empathise with you when you don't think they could possibly understand (and many people will use seemingly unrelated experiences to try to form a connection with you)... but that's as much a reflection of yourself and your situation, as the perceived understanding of people.





Anyways, while I'm here... I should mention, again, the incredible support of close friends in Northern Ireland, Lisa, my girlfriends, friends from Dublin and Cork, English friends (Hoppers, and now non-Hoppers), friends from around the world, and all those people who gave time and energy to get me through the darkest times (which, it seems, came before Mum actually died).



You are all very special, wonderful people... and I appreciate it greatly.



Thanks

xx


Getting to the other side smile

Delete

UCOF
UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted: Written by: Clare

my girlfriends



Do you have any video or picture proof of these 'girlfriends'?

biggrin ubbangel


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georgemc
georgemc

Sitting down facing forward . . .
Location: Christchurch
Member Since: 16th Oct 2006
Total posts: 2387
Posted:Skully please keep him "under control"... ubblol

hug Clare hug


Written by: Doc Lightning talking about Marmite in Kichi's Intro thread

I have several large jars of the stuff. I actually like it... a little. And don't tell anyone I admitted to it.
grin

Delete

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