Letting go of loved ones.
I haven’t written a post in over three months. That’s pretty poor, considering that my aim was to post something at least weekly. But as so often happens, and as I have repeatedly expressed, life has a habit of getting in the way.
The last few months of 2015 were pretty similar to trying to walk through a lake of shit with lead boots, to put it bluntly. I started out well enough; the shingles subsided, my training was back on track and my strength returned across the board in a heartbeat…. And then, quite simply, everything went wrong.
My Nana -who had been suffering from a resurgence of breast cancer for some years and with whom I had a very close relationship- seemed suddenly to be losing her battle at an alarming rate. Treatments stopped working, and deterioration was fast. I was going home most weekends to visit her.
As anyone who has been around a dying person knows, all time is precious. You are surgically attached to your phone, sick to your stomach every minute of every day waiting for news of the inevitable. This was made worse for most of the members of my family who had been through something incredibly similar with the death of my step-dad a year previously… and the wound was still fresh. It still hurt every time any of us thought of him, and I felt as though I would fall apart at the seams at the prospect of losing another person so dear to me.
Around this time I fractured my finger at work. I was distracted, walking around in a haze most days, and a workout bench closed on my finger at high velocity, smashing the end of it and bursting the side. As a result I had to sign off work for a week. It can’t have been more than a couple of days later that I got ‘the call’- ‘Nana’s in the Hospice, it’s best you come home’.
Its funny how fate can work out that way sometimes, and I remember thinking ‘at least I already booked time off work’.
My Nana passed away not long after I came home. I couldn’t tell you the day of the week, the date.. those things have been lost in the cataclysm of emotion that came with her death. After all these years since I first experienced it, and after all the unfortunate experience we’ve since had as a family, I can conclusively say that there is no way to prepare for the death of someone you love. No deathbed dignified enough, no goodbye satisfying enough. I didn’t let go of her for some time, and I still carry her with me every day.
After my finger recovered and came out of the splint, I resumed my training. In January I went on holiday around Rome, Florence and Venice with my sisters and my mums (my own mum and Sarah, my step mum or ‘Mummy 2’). It was incredible, and during our time in Venice I remembered the time I had spent with my Nana there ten years previously, and that’s where I managed to let her go. Acceptance doesn’t mean you’re no longer grieving, but its an important stage in the process, and it felt right to leave part of her memory in the city we both loved.
Fast forward two months and my business is back on track. I am stronger than I have ever been, physically. And emotionally, I’m on my way; I am off my anti-depressants. Although the loss of her, and of my step-dad (needless to say he has also been on my mind constantly of late), breaks my heart every day I cannot let myself be broken by grief. I have to be kind to myself. I have to look after myself. I have to learn to love myself. Maybe that’s a selfish way to end this blog, but I know they’d be happy to hear me say it.
So, in the long term, all my avid readers can look forward to a lot more blogs, articles and general matters of interest.. and most of it will be to do with health, mental health or fitness.
Most of it, anyway. After all its my blog, and I can do what I want.
Take care of yourselves.
Thank you for reading. This particular blog is dedicated to Ford Kenyon and Margaret Mitchell, two of the most inspirational people I’ve ever had the good fortune to call family. I hope you’re resting well.