September 5, 2018

The process of death

Considering what my girl has been going through since last Friday, it’s got me thinking about the whole process of death, dying and what happens after. My own knowledge of it is more traditional, since I’ve endured four close deaths in my family (and several not so close) been involved in the planning, aftermath and details, so I, like most people have a fairly good understanding of what’s all involved in the process. Certainly not enough to be considered an expert mind you, but a sufficient amount to be able to guide a novice through the ebbs and flows, tribulations and pitfalls of it all.  Mostly.  Seeing it through her eyes is giving me a different perspective of what I’ve known and understood.

A lot has been written about ‘The Stages of Grief’, what they are, how to cope and so on, so I’m not going to touch upon them here.

When my parents died, I had a fair amount of support from my family to deal with the aftermath.  What I’m seeing in my girl’s family is quite the opposite.  There’s a lot of infighting going on, and very little in the way of ‘coming together‘ and supporting one another.  Each seems to be left to their own devices, and in my girl’s case, she has me (and her poly family), but I’m not physically close by, so all of our contact is somewhat impersonal.  Texts, phone calls and the like.  I can’t take her pulse, as it were, on how she’s doing moment to moment.  I get it in snippets, usually when her thoughts are going back to last week, and when she found out that her baby was gone.  Then a frantic text message, or something notifying me that I need to talk her down from where she’s at mentally. Dealing with that on a day-to-day basis can be very wearing, not just for her, but for myself as well.

We’ve been getting by, day by day.  As with all aftermath of death and dying, time is the great healer.  Too, if one can immerse themselves in something worthwhile (not necessarily work, but it has been known to help) that does make the time go by faster.  Without these things, one tends to get down into the dumps, dwell on what was, what happened and so on.  My girl has been off work since she found out, her workplace has been very understanding, and has been helpful to her in terms of giving her the time off in order to get affairs in order, get her head screwed back on straight so she can return to them better than she was last weekend.

In that vein, with my assistance, she’s set up a GoFundMe campaign.  The end of life costs exceed her budget and I’m only able to provide nominal assistance in this vein, so we’re hoping the kindness of strangers will assist in getting her daughter the rest she deserves, as well as funding some help for the surviving children.  I don’t normally truck with asking for help arbitrarily, but when you’re strapped, one tends to change their outlook a bit for the sake of the situation.

Every day is a new chance to do it right.  We’re making it together, little by little.  I have confidence she’s going to make it through.  Just have to be sure to convince her as well.  But as she has mentioned recently, I’m stubborn.  So we’ll make it through.