© Copyright 2019 Grief Probate Journey Blog *PLEASE NOTE THIS INFORMATION IS SOURCED FROM UK and AMERICAN WEBSITES* It is also based on our own experience. *We are not experts in this field, we are speaking purely on our own experience with information sought from the internet to give further examples. *
Please see: Grief Bubble – Time Warp: Guest Blogging for the Grave Woman which covers:
- Guest Blogging – The Gravewoman
- Introduction/our story
- Grief Bubble/Time Warp and Illustrative Example
- Mourning Someone who is still alive/ Coping with Grief and quotes
- Children and Grief and quotes
- Our Final thoughts and YouTube video
1. Guest Blogging – The Gravewoman
We have the honour of being asked to write a guest blog for the Gravewoman. We are extremely thankful, grateful, and excited about this opportunity. We have been fortunate to have guest features on our page, and now it is our turn to have that same type of honour. It truly is a great feeling.
Please see description of The Gravewoman:
“The Grave Woman™️
Funeral Service & Cemetery
I help families to peacefully plan and prepare for the passing of loved ones – both financially and fundamentally”.
2. Introduction/Our Story
Throughout our journey we have been living life in “bubbles”
These “bubbles “happened without us even realising, but they soon became the norm and part of our everyday life.
The first unexpected bubble was the “hospital bubble”
Little did we know what was facing us as a family on the day our Dad was rushed and admitted to hospital on 5th September 2016.
As bad as our Dad was when he was found at home, as he had regained consciousness before getting into the ambulance, and because once we arrived, despite the pain he said he was experiencing he was as normal as could be considering the circumstances, we were not prepared for what was to come.
He was talking, responding normally, telling us stories. He was hungry, so we had gone to get him something to eat. So as far as we were aware, things were OK as could be.
That all changed in what felt like the blink of an eye. Our Dad needed various tests done. We were told he would be admitted to a short stay ward after this and we would be able to visit him there. (He had been in the A&E upon his admission).
Once we went to see our Dad in the short-stay ward EVERYTHING had changed. Our Dad was not the same person and we could not work out why, and what could have caused this drastic change in such a short space of time.
- He was not making sense
- He kept repeating something that we did not understand
- He grabbed hold of my nephew and was staring at us all in a way that cannot be explained it is like he was holding on for dear life. Like he was really scared and trying to save himself.
It was the saddest, scariest, worrying thing to witness and experience.
All whilst this was going on, we were explaining our worries and fears to the hospital staff. But we were being told visiting hours were over and we had to leave.
We were not given any explanation or reassurance of our concerns. We had to leave and were given a card with the ward details so that we could call and check his progress once we got home.
We honestly felt like that was possibly the last time we would see our Dad alive. It was the WORST feeling ever.
This was the start of our “hospital life bubble”
This was our life for the next three months until it was time for our Dad to be discharged to home. This was yet another distressing experience for all of us. Many meetings were held with the various staff members of our Dads Medical team to discuss the feasibility of our Dad’s care package. None the less despite our concerns, our Dad was discharged to home in December 2016.
This was the start of a new bubble. “Our Dad no longer in hospital”
- Our Dad on a care package
- Our New Dad who can no longer see or walk.
Sadly, all our concerns about the care package came to light. Due to insufficient equipment being delivered to our Dad’s home, he developed complications and in January 2017, he was readmitted back to the hospital.
This was the start of another bubble “Our Dad back in the hospital”.
Sadly, our Dad never made it back home. In March 2017 he passed away.
We then catapulted into a new bubble. “life without our Dad” and what a bubble this is.
But in honesty because of the nature of circumstances, we have been in many different bubbles since our Dad sadly passed away.
One which took up a great big deal of our time was the “Probate bubble” we never saw this and everything that was involved in it coming. This took its toll on us in many ways. Traumatic, soul-destroying, overwhelming is just a small few words to describe.
We have also been in a “hospital complaint bubble” this is one we are constantly tapped in and out of, but it’s always there in our subconscious along with everything else.
Our reality is for the past four years we have been coinciding with life, whilst living in our bubbles, and each time trying our best to get through each task making the best and right decisions.
Now like most people around the world we are in a pandemic bubble. Adjusting to this new way of life. From self-isolating to adjusting to wearing face masks and gloves when out doing shopping. There is also those who have sadly lost their loved ones, those whose wedding plans and other big events have had to be postponed. Those who have not been able to visit loved ones in hospital because of the pandemic. The list of how this pandemic has touched and affected lives worldwide is exhaustive. We surely are living in trying and challenging times.
We were given the opportunity to take part in a live Instagram interview by Greg at the colorofgrief: Interview with the Color of Grief: Who we are. Our journey, and how we got into the world of blogging – Tuesday 14th April 2020. In this interview I think we touched on the fact that wearing protective clothing brings us back to the days of visiting our Dad in the hospital. Our Dad contracted many infections due to the main condition he had been diagnosed with: Infective Endocartidis (This is hyperlinked to our topic on this).
It really changed how things were when visiting our Dad:
- Not being able to enter the room without first washing our hands and putting the protective clothing on
- Putting our outside coat, bags, into bags before entering the room
- Not being able to touch him directly with our hands unless we had gloves on
- Not being able to hug him
This was such a lengthy, draining and really not a nice experience. It’s hard to put into words how this made us feel.
We had to condition our mind that we had a “new Dad” the Dad that we knew when admitted to hospital was not the same anymore. But what made this so much more difficult to comprehend this, is despite all the infections, moments of delirium, the loss of sight and mobility, our Dad’s inner self was still there:
- His humour
- His belief in his religion
- His humility
- His dignity and pride
- His positivity
- His memory
- His intellect
All of this still remained, and this is what we as a family would often point out to the hospital staff. Our Dad needed mental and physical attention and treatment, as well as medical treatment to get better, he was such an active and independent person before he was admitted to the hospital, this was so unknown for him, it was the longest time he had ever been out of his home, and the longest time he had ever been in hospital in his whole entire life. I actually remember something my Dad said to me after he had burnt his feet (due to loss of feeling as a symptom of diabetes). He said:
- “Imagine, I’ve gone my whole life without being in hospital, and look at how things are now”.
Then when he was an in-patient in the hospital, something he said to me was:
- “I had my whole life with sight and being mobile, I could have been born like this”.
I could not believe how selfless and positive my Dad still was with everything he was going through.
The best way to describe it other than feeling as though we are living life in a bubble is, that we are living in a time warp. Time stopped on 5th September 2016 and we are coinciding along everything whizzing on by before us since that time. I also think we are in a time warp because we haven’t acknowledged or accepted what happened to our Dad, therefore we are delayed in our grieving.
Had circumstances surrounding our Dad passing been different maybe we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now. Maybe we would have been in a place of “more reality”. But the truth is, there isn’t much point of thinking such things, as we will never know. We will never know because this is how things happened. For us, there was life before 5th September 2016, and life after. Life has never been the same since, we are not the same since. However, we have to deal with our situation and our reality as best as we possibly can. The following quote below gives a good description of how we feel.
Part of what is keeping us going is the complaint we are making against the hospital in which our Dad was a patient. We say this fairly frequently, our reality is that had we not tried to pursue this, we do not know how we would have been able to function in everyday life. No matter how much impact the enormity of what we are doing might be, it far out ways us not trying. It is something that just had to be and has to be done. We remain determined and have hope that we will be successful in gaining the rightful justice our Dad deserves.
This blog addresses how my sister and I feel about our loss, we share stories of situations or health issues our Dad suffered from. We are also aware it is not just our loss, it a loss for:
- His friends
- My sisters Son’s
We have stated fairly frequently that my eldest nephew had a unique bond with our Dad. We do not really know what it is like for him, as all of a sudden, his Grandad is no longer around.
In the earlier days when our Dad passed away, my eldest nephew would randomly start crying, and when asked what was wrong, he would say that he wants Grandad. It is heart wrenching hearing this, but to be the parent this is being said to, I do not know how my sister coped.
Tanya has also told me they both say they wish Grandad were here and that he could come down from heaven. These comments, there are no words really. We try our best to be as encouraging as can be in these moments.
Please see a picture below with our Dad and his Grandchildren. (these pictures are also featured in our topic: Background Story:
When thinking about this, we did a topic on: Children and Grief/Children Grief Awareness. We did this as we wanted to address the greater loss that occurred when our Dad sadly passed away. We speak about our Dad often with them, and my eldest nephew still to this day expresses many of our Dad’s mannerisms which we let him know of, they go with us to the cemetery and are aware that our Dad is in heaven, but none the less, we cannot truly know how they feel.
When doing research for this topic, it has guides for children who have lost someone special, and we have decided to include it in the topic. We have also included information about mourning someone who is still alive, as this was also part of our experience.
Please see Grief Bubble – Time Warp: Guest Blogging for the Grave Woman
3. Grief Bubble/Time Warp
“22 Sep 2015 – Grief is a strange thing. Sometimes it hides and other times it totally dominates our thoughts feelings and emotions. It can take considerable” …
“Life in a Bubble With Pain and Grief”.
“Traveling to the past in the days and weeks leading up to the anniversary of death is a way to move forward towards a future”.
“2 Mar 2015 – Who has time to grieve? Can we even conceive of grieving the loss of someone we love and be back to functioning normally in 3 days?”
4. Mourning Someone who is still alive/ Coping with Grief
4.1 Mourning Someone who is still alive
“While the grief you might feel for someone still alive can be painful and isolating, remember that this is a process that will take time and patience. Some days may be harder than others. We encourage you to give yourself time and space to feel whatever emotions come your way”.
“Tips for Managing Your Grief“
- “Feel your grief“.
- “Hold your memories close”.
- “Accept the new normal”.
- “Practice self-care”.
- “Seek support”. (19 Dec 2019)
In our case, with our experience in the hospital, we didnt really even have time to recognise or acknowledge this is what we were experiencing and going through, because on a daily basis, minute by minute things moved so fast and there was always something to deal with.
“Mourning someone who is still alive is a very cruel circumstance. It can eat your soul alive. I am sorry for your pain! I know it may not feel true” (20 Mar 2016) .
In our case within this article, the following applied to us:
“A loved one battles debilitating mental illness, severe depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s, or a loved one goes through the longterm effects of a traumatic brain injury or serious injury— and these circumstances completely change the dynamics of the relationship”.
Whenever visiting our Dad in hospital, once we had our protective clothing on, the next thing we would do is peek through the room window to see if our Dad was talking to himself. (He had to be barrier protected in his own room due to his infections) If he was talking to himself, right away we would know he was in delirium. Unfortunately for our Dad, upon his readmission to hospital in January 2017, he experienced Delirium fairly frequently. This was never easy to deal with and witness. Extremely trying times. We also have a topic on Delirium and Delirium Awareness.
Coping with Grief
“For most people, a transition to integrated grief occurs within 6-12 months of the death (there is still some disagreement in the literature about exact timeframe)”. (23 Apr 2015).
This article touches on terms such as complicated grief, delayed grief, traumatic grief. My sister and I feel we can relate to all of these terms, and this is why we are in the situation we are. Feeling as though everything is still so fresh and new, still feeling in a state of disbelief that this is real and happened.
“Grief is a natural response to losing someone or something that’s important to you. You may feel a variety of emotions, like sadness or loneliness. And you might experience it for a number of different reasons. Maybe a loved one died, a relationship ended, or you lost your job. Other life changes, like chronic illness or a move to a new home, can also lead to grief”.
“You might do it after three months, six months, a year, three years or more. You may never do it, because having your friend or relative’s belongings around you is a comfort to you. Everyone is different and all of these are normal”.
“How to determine if grief is normal or if professional grief counselling is needed. … We have spent plenty of time assuring the thousands of people out there who are … at his house (which sits in a time warp) and long to see him step out the door”.
This article lists so many of the feelings my sister and I feel and experience fairly regularly, this is why we believe we are experiencing complicated grief, which has impacted how we feel as in being in a time warp/ bubble and as though time has stopped for us since the day our Dad was hospitalised in September 2016.
“27 Dec 2018 – To show this, Twitter user Lauren Herschel shared an analogy that explains how grief changes over time and why it can still bubble up”…
5. Children and grief
“The death of a family member, friend or other significant person is a lifelong loss for children. It is normal for children to miss the person who died and to”…
“Your child, as well as you and other family members, may be grieving because of: the death of someone in the family, like a parent, grandparent or sibling”
“Grief is what we experience after loss & it can cause significant upset in people of all ages. Learn about the stages and get advice for coping with grief”.
“7 Dec 2018 – When your child loses someone or something close to them it can be a challenging time. We’ve got some tips to help”.
“The Grief Bubble is a special workbook for children ages 6 and older who have experienced the death of someone special. The interactive format invites them to find expression for their thoughts and feelings, encouraging the exploration of their grief”.
“Bereaved children and teenagers will need ongoing attention, reassurance and support. It is not unusual for grief to resurface later on, even well after the death”.
“Helping Children, Helping the Family. The death of a loved one is difficult for everyone. Children feel the loss strongly. Parents are coping with their own grief”.
6. Our final thoughts and YouTube Video
This year, for us, we wanted it to be the start of trying to get back to ourselves.
- To try and start reorganising ourselves,
- Getting more accustomed to our new way of life
Move forward positively while still being aware of matters that we hadn’t fully addressed. We started making plans which we were actually executing in February 2020, and then things changed.
2020 so far for us in summary has been:
- March 2020: The anniversary of our Dad’s passing
- Coronavirus Pandemic and Lockdown
- April 2020: The anniversary of laying our Dad to rest
- June 2020:
- Submitting crucial information for our Complaint against the hospital in which our Dad was an inpatient
- Father’s Day
- Our Dad’s birthday
- Grief probate Journey reaching 12 months old. (Grief Probate Journey is 12 months old)
With all of these things combined, it has been quite a reflective and hard times for us. (Our topic before this was: Reflecting on the past year: June 2019 – June 2020).
We often feel moments of feeling extreme sadness, however, we have also had moments of bittersweet. For example, for Fathers day we had the honour of being part of a project. This opportunity was given to us by Randi Pearlman Wolfson: griefandgrits. The purpose of the project was to show and share support for those who have lost their Dad. Turning this moment of a potential sad day into something so positive made us feel good.
Please see the project below:
Also, for our Dad’s birthday as lockdown measures had reduced we spent the day together and had home cooked food in honour and celebration of our Dad.
In our reflection of these moments, we take pride in being able to stop and realise what we have achieved. We are so glad that we managed to bring our story to a platform, we are even more overwhelmed, grateful and feel truly blessed to have accomplished this. Moving forward, we are doing so in a positive manner, believing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel both for our situation and the complaint we are pursuing, and also worldwide and coming back from this pandemic.
We would once again like to thank thegravewoman for this opportunity. Please click here to see our feature on her page. When we were tagged in her story to promote our topic, the overwhelming feeling of joy we felt was such a great experience.
We wish anyone who reads this a blessed day, week, and weekend.
Grief Probate Journey