Wednesday 20 December 2023

Loss and grief

This a deeply personal post. It's taken a long time to write. Although I have talked about it face to face and have started to come to terms with my loss. I needed to also write about my thoughts and feelings. It is what this blog has evolved into afterall. And as I have hoped in the past; it may help others. 

I wrote this using the terms us and we. I can't in reality know what Marcia was thinking. We did talk a little, but she wanted to keep her thoughts to herself, and I respected that.

She had Multiple Sclerosis for nearly the whole time I knew her. It's affects took many years to manifest themselves. That was the first loss and grief we experienced. We had lost part of what Marcia had been. She didn't let it affect her everyday life. Despite the limitations that had been imposed.

Over the years the progression took more, adaption and to an extent an acceptance allowed us to get by. 

Then the diagnosis of cancer landed on us. Again a certain amount of acceptance and resignation overtook us.

It's been a rollercoaster of emotions. At first the outlook was better than expected. But there were consequences. Marcia couldn't support herself to sit up, and her hands and arms were almost completely immobilised. Assistance with eating and drinking was required. I ensured I visited for at least one meal time each day.

Various infections would come and go, causing temporary escalations in symptoms.

At the beginning of December a move to a care home for rehabilitation seemed to be a positive step forward. But after a week Marcia started to feel very unwell. A trip to A&E followed.

Then the news confirming what we had both worried about. The cancer had returned, spread extensively and was now untreatable.

After this it was back to dealing with the everyday stuff. Making sure she was comfortable and being as normal as possible. 

I found myself looking forward to the new year. As is normal during December. That's when it really hit; I'd not have Marcia with me. We were married for 26 years, and had been a couple for a few more previously.

It's okay to have shed some tears while reading this, I did while writing.

Please take away from this some thoughts:

Don't let anger or resentment of others control you. Or take up your time; it's too precious and fleeting.

Laugh more.

Talk more. Incredible people in our lives meant so much to us. And still do to me. I could not have coped without them. 

Don't always take life too seriously.

Don't waste time and energy competing with and comparing yourself to others over houses, cars, holidays and money.

Cherish the people in your lives.

I feel very raw and in pain at the moment. But I know this will pass. Eventually I will be able to focus on the joy having Marcia in my life brought me. And the memories we created between us and with others.

I will always love Marcia; not having her physically with me won't change that.

Thank you to everyone who improved our lives by being part of it.