How? How do you transition from the death of a loved one, celebrate the beginning of new lives together two days after that, and then ultimately lay to rest a great man four days later? Such a myriad of emotion all rooted in one cause: Love. I went through, and am still going through innumerable emotions. I couldn’t sleep the night preceding Bryan’s grandfather’s death. I stayed up until 01:40 not really wanting to go to bed, sensing something from deep within. I eventually relented and slid into bed, completely uncomfortable and unable to fully relax. Thirty minutes later, he was gone. Harried footsteps alerted my brother-in-law downstairs (where we all were too), and he quietly gathered his siblings.
Two days later, I am standing outside the place where he is to be married, knowing grandpa could full-well be in attendance. In fact, it would have been the only way he could have attended, and I think he knew that. Despite the quiet solemnity of the days before, and the further planning and organising needed, the family bore up amazingly well. There wasn’t any sadness looming over the wedding at all, it was completely a happy occasion.
The funeral was beautiful, his casket something he might have fashioned by his own hands himself. Bryan had organised a local piper to be there to play a short melody of Danny Boy and Amazing Grace as he approached the graveside. He paused for the military recognition and then walked off into the distance playing a beautiful song, Coming Home.
Coming home myself, I fully planned to walk back in to life, to record my thoughts as they occurred, and catch up with dear friends. I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed time for myself. The day after Bryan’s grandpa died and incidentally, the day before the wedding, I went to my former OB/GYN and spoke to an associate there. I explained how I felt, what changes I had noted in myself emotionally and physically, and how although I didn’t feel unwell, I certainly knew something wasn’t quite right. She scheduled blood work to be performed, one test being duplicated from my previous blood work, and ordered more than my other visit to the CNM here in Montana. I had my TSH, T3 and T4 levels checked (all thyroid), my glucose, iron and insulin levels and a few others.
I had felt disappointed and frustrated as I explained my concerns with the nurse midwife (I had to see her, remember my doctor died the night before? Yeah.) and I was met with, “you need to take time each morning and write daily affirmations on your mirror.” That’s not what I needed to hear. In fact, I felt like she wasn’t listening at all. Although I felt discouraged, I knew I didn’t have to settle for a half-diagnosis; to be told I was fine and sent on my merry way, so I took my health into my own hands and sought out the second opinion. I have since been referred to an Endocrinologist and am trying to glean as much information about the three available doctors here in the area that I can.
I didn’t realise how heavily everything was weighing on my mind and took the three days I would have been blogging last week to just take time for myself. I’ve used the word broken before, but that’s how I’ve felt. I’m not quite my whole self, but I am definitely headed in the right direction.
And as for death and the transition of life, it is part and parcel of life and I accepted that a very long time ago. What has been most difficult for me is coming to terms with loved ones dying. It is never easy whether someone is taken from us suddenly or an illness is drawn out — it’s difficult to see people you love go through it and know there is little you can do, if anything. All you can do is love.
If I have learned anything this week, is it that love really does — and should — encompass life, and that the support and tenderness of those close to us should be magnified.