The weather in Ireland this past week looked typically what a week in November should look like except that it was exceptionally mild. Sky touching the ground kind of weather that drains the soul. It is normally such a bleak month for most people, especially for those of us grieving. There was a point when I felt like everything was closing in on me when I realised that from last week’s blog I should be practising what I preach. ( Allow ourselves to grieve ). This weather whilst mirroring my grief feels like it is giving me permission to grieve and is so much better than a long Summer evening when there is an expectation to be out and about enjoying life.
I had an appointment with my Oncologist on Tuesday for a clinical exam and thankfully all is well and the brilliant news is that my appointments have been pushed back to six monthly visits, a first in a long time! I am basking in this good fortune for me and feel so incredibly grateful to be well and healthy again. The train was packed on the way up to Dublin and I was lucky to get a seat. Opposite me sat a mother and daughter together and the chatting and easy banter between them reminded me again of my own loss. Funnily it didn’t upset me, it was a lovely scene to witness and it comforted me somewhat. Grief is a strange beast because on the Luas (tram) for some reason tears erupted as I thought of Mam again. Not a great place to be displaying any vulnerability but as with all tram services no-one paid much notice!
There are a lot of similarities between the grief I felt when diagnosed with cancer and the death of my mother. Obviously for me, this time feels much more painful. I have noticed that my previous experiences are making me aware of how to care for myself and be mindful of my behaviours. For example I have been comfort eating these past weeks and whilst I haven’t really stopped yet, I am aware of it and am taking small steps to curb my craving for sugar. I was also slacking off on the exercise front and only taking short walks, so I started back running (shuffling!) yesterday and felt so much better afterwards. Yesterday evening did not feel as bad as previous evenings and any sadness I felt was manageable. I also contacted my Cancer Support Centre and booked a reflexology treatment for next week. I found reflexology very helpful all through treatment and even afterwards when recovering. I even started to think a little about Christmas as I have no preparations done yet. I would normally have my cakes baked by now. All baby steps, I know, but it is a relief to have a temporary reprieve from despair. Our family is still in mourning and we take each day as it comes with little or no expectation of what it may bring. I’m sure this will be the way for some time yet but we will find our way together, supporting each other when needed.
Despite my grief, I remain so grateful to be healthy again.