Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grief and Guilt.
Wow she is going to tackle these huge subjects in one go.!!!!!
Well I am going to give you my spin on them in a way that makes sense to me.

Just to give you something to have as a cuddly to hold onto while we take this ride here is a pic of a couple  of my babies. One was called Ben (as in Ben and Jerry) after the ice cream guys cause he looks so much like chocolate chips ice cream and the other was called Houdini after narrowly escaping the jaws of the Cat when he got out of the pen he was in.

Ben and Houdini

Ok so now we have a cuddly lets get down to brass tacks as they say.

Grief.... goodness most of us have experienced this at one time or another and we know that you go through stages which are clearly defined in the literature even if they are not so clear when we are in the middle of it all. Having guide of definitions that at our fingertips should make the whole process easier. Well that is all good in theory but reality says it doesnt work that way.
I have had time to do a lot of thinking of late. Heck when you cant go to work and even a short walk up and down the stairs to the bathroom knocks you sideways and a shower takes hours to recover from there is not much else to do. Maybe some FB surfing or reading but even that has its limits. 
So I have spent time musing over memories and life events and have come to the conclusion that how we pass through our grief stages is directly related to how much guilt we are carrying about the relationship we are referring to.
Example. My baby bunny Spike. My first ever bunny, was a gift last Christmas, and I was so so happy to have him. He died not three weeks later as he had starved to death due to having gut issues that he was born with. I cried for two days but it was a clean sort of teary eyed time with lots of fun memories of his playing and being petted. Comparing that to the death of my younger brother and they are no where near each other in how I dealt with them.
The relationship I had with my brother was not as close as I would have liked and the circumstances of his passing were also less than ideal. As a result I am still processing grief associated with that some 19 years or more later.
This is the tricky part. How do you even begin to consider processing grief with a person who has yet to pass and you know they are going to if circumstances dont change dramatically? How do you allow someone who you love and care for, and that may be because you are siblings or cousins or people you grew up with and spent time with, to make their own choices without pushing them to accept what you have to offer? Yes, what you are offering may be a better choice in the scheme of things, but how do you reconcile the guilt of your relationship with them to allow the respect of making the difficult choices without being backed into a corner? Shoved between a rock and a hard place by your offerings?  EVEN if your offer means possible chance at survival for the one you love? 

Hard stuff, difficult calls and very very intense feelings come up. Especially when we use our previous experiences as a back drop and start to allow guilt and grief from other relationships to intrude. 
I am thinking this is something we have all done. It is my understanding that humans as part of their nature use those previous experiences to guide us with the choices and offerings we now give others around us. 
Lets take a quick break ......
Karter Cat, another of my fur babies you may or may not have met.

Ok so now you have another furry cuddle lets continue.

Right now I am making choices that seem at odds with what others would choose to do. My baggage has nearly killed me twice in just the last two weeks. I'll explain as quickly as possible. I was told for all my childhood years that I was a hypochondriac every time I was ill. Unless it was something you could actually see on the outside (and sometimes even then I was making it up), I was told I was making it up for attention. Fast forward to now. I have a diagnosis. AML. Nasty, aggressive and not giving up. Last week I left it a few extra days to get the hospital to have my counts done. I couldnt see anything on the outside. "But you dont look sick" ringing in my ears (even though last week I had panda eyes and looked like I have been 15 rounds in the boxing ring with bruises all over my arms and legs ). I went on schedule to see the Haematologist instead of a few days earlier as I probably should have. My counts were Platelets 24,000, WBC, 1.1 (not so bad in the scheme of things really) and RBC were 2.2. (ok really). At 20,000 count for platelets you bleed spontaneously. The counts I had done only 8 days before were are 35,000 (oh for the good old days)  and so I didnt expect them to be so bad so fast. 
So I had platelets and blood. I have an appointment for 3rd Dec to go back. 

Fast forward to yesterday. Well yesterday I actually looked more well than in a long time. Mind you I had slept the best past of 6 days so that is not hard to do when you are "rested". Bruises had begun to appear on my legs, arms and body, all by themselves. I am still listening to those kind people who told me..."you are attention seeking, you are making this up, you are a liar." 
At lunch time the Embassy guy rang me. He has been following my case because its part of his job, but also because the Australian government (whilst they cant do much) will keep in touch so my family can be informed if I cant inform them. His words were..."Tanya, go the hospital."
I went. After battling with the staff (again ,and this battle is  old and painful in itself, we will revisit this topic another day when I have energy) I was finally able to see my specialist who got blood work started. 5 hours after I arrived at the hospital I got my results. My, "your problem is not urgent", blood work showed  critical platelet counts of 22,000, critical WBC counts of 0.62 and a Red cell count of 2.6 (surprisingly good LOL) .Now for the blood bank. 
It took til 6am this morning to have everything completed so I could go home. Almost 18 hours.

This long winded story kind of explains my own grieving process and the guilt attached to it all. If I had had a better relationship with my family I am thinking that my grief process would proceed much more smoothly and I wouldnt be doing stupid stuff, like not acting on what is obvious and noticeable to those who are not emotionally attached to the events that are unfolding in my body and my life. I would be treating myself better and looking after basics. Taking care of my health in smaller ways rather than leaving it til the last minute.
Today I have some energy. Today, I once again thank those who gave me a part of themselves (whole blood and platelets) so I can live a little longer. Today I am able to work out this stuff and let it go. Please do not shelve your own shard baggage until a crisis makes you take it down and examine it. Please take some moments each day and look as objectively as you can about why you do the things you do to yourself and others and please, discard those actions that no longer serve you. Its not easy but it is less easy when you are intimately being faced down with it all. 
Thank you for letting me share.
I'll work out the next bit when I am able.
Love and hugs to all
Tanya xxxxxxx


  1. Wow Sweetie. As always I'm with you in spirit, and life you up in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Sharing helps me and I am happy that others want to walk with a little way.Love and hugs

  2. *hugs*
    Have you tried The Work with Byron Katie?
    I'm pretty sure, it could help you.
    (I'm not connected to it, just a user :)

    1. Thanks for the heads up.I will take a peek.Love and hugs to you.

  3. Thanks for sharing and reminding us. I am praying for you.


Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them.Love and hugs to all. Tanya