Paint in Pastel

That last post was a hard one, to write and probably to read as well. It is by no means perfect and is more of an assembled mess of so many things I want to say but don’t know how to approach. Death is such an unspoken word that it’s difficult to raise the subject and to also acknowledge that we can’t paint everything in pastel and call it perfect. There is no easy way to say goodbye, but there is a way in which the person can be treated as such that they don’t have to suffer. It would be ridiculous to assume we are all entitled to or will be allowed peace in our passing, but when an opportunity is missed for reasons unknown or unjustifiable reasons, then maybe it’s time to call out those services who fail on their most distinct promises. This is a subject I know I will broach again in the future and wish to do so in a matter that isn’t seething but constructive so that as a community we can move forward and find better ways in which we can support those facing the difficult journey in their lung disease. It may be daft to say it is ‘easy’ for me as I have walked the path of death already and now can call it an old friend or foe but if I had been given the chance to know more about the ins and outs of a natural death from respiratory failure, I would have taken it with both hands so I could be better prepared for what did eventually occur. Likewise, I can perfectly understand those who would prefer to keep it at arms length.

I wasn’t sure on whether to touch on this but this is a pretty personal place and I feel I need to be honest to fully portray this path I’m on. For many years I have struggled with depression and anxiety, but caring for my Father found a new inner strength and routine that meant I could battle through. He was my priority. Since he has passed my mental health declined. Grief of course is the biggest issue to confront but feelings of hopelessness, despair and inner turmoil and guilt is something I’ve tried to navigate in the past two months. I have felt tired, drained, exhausted and at a loose end now this routine is gone and it’s become difficult to remain motivated or hopeful to what is ahead. That’s why I took the step to visit my GP who was close to my Father and was of great support. He has since prescribed me sertraline and referred me for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as advised that I join support groups for grief. As he explained, seeking help was a relief and something that can get me through the initial dark days before the medicine begins to take effect.

What has been hardest for me is returning to everyday life. In the initial aftermath of his death there was so much to focus on, the planning of his funeral, his personal affairs and such that I felt like I was coping. But as those around me return to work and to life I am left feeling lonely in this pain. I feel scared of losing him again by not concentrating on his memory and I feel guilt that I should be moving on without him here. These thoughts have plagued me and it has been a struggle to concentrate and instead I have been finding it much easier to succumb and become angry, irritated and withdrawn.

But in truth it’s probably because there are many things I need or want to say and don’t know how. Or that I feel so overwhelmed I don’t know where to begin. I mostly feel positive now I know I’m on the right path to recovery but it is about finding myself, accepting I can’t fix anything just yet and that it will never be an straight line to feeling good or happy again. I wish it was easier. But losing a loved one, your best friend, your Father. There is no such thing as a quick resolution to grief.

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