Dealing With The Loss Of Family and Body

The third week of February is my least favourite week of the year. It is a week where wounds that I wish would just heal already get ripped open and bleed as if they were new. It is a week where I just want to hide and do nothing. It is a week normally filled with tears. But this year, I just feel dead and exhausted.

Whilst most people spend February 14 celebrating their relationships, or stressed out over finding the perfect gift, or depressed that they are not in a relationship, I spend it thinking of my grandma. She died on February 14, 1993. Every year, I spend that day honouring her life and wishing I had the chance to say goodbye.

Normally, I spend the day in tears. This year, not single tear was shed. Instead, there was a void. Inside of this void was renewed wishes that she would finally be buried so I have the opportunity to visit her and say goodbye in the way I feel I need to in order to get closure. Inside this void was anger and resentment over being the only family member not allowed to visit her in her final days. Inside of this void was a building animosity towards those were not cheated in the same way that I was. Inside of this void was a self-loathing as I thought that I was being petty and not doing the memory of my grandma justice.

Every year, I would write a letter to my grandma or I would blog about her. This year, I didn’t. I just didn’t know what I could say that I hadn’t said already and I didn’t want to repeat what I had already said because it was just too painful. I thought I would point people to the audio of some of the things I had already said about her but I thought that would be in poor taste. I now regret not re-sharing with the world how wonderful this lady was and why she was the most important person in my life.

So, please take the time to listen to some of the poor attempts I have made at sharing who this lady was, the person who shaped most of who I am today. Click the clips below to listen.

 

 

And today is the seven year anniversary of my hysterectomy. I’m still not exactly sure why it bothers me so. The fact I once had a uterus never defined who I was. In fact, I hated the fact that I had one. If you discount the fact that it was nothing but a source of physical pain and torture for 16 years, some of that pain resulting in emergency medical treatment and exploratory surgeries, the mental anguish of having female reproductive organs was more painful than the constant bleeding, cramping and cysts.

I never hated having a vagina but I did hate having a uterus. But hating my uterus caused other sources of mental anguish because it allowed me to have children. Being a parent was the only thing I ever really wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t hate pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy agreed with me and being pregnant was the healthiest I had ever been, so it was a relief. I just hated the necessary organs that made pregnancy possible.

When I was first told that I would have to have a hysterectomy, I celebrated, even though I was given this news around my 29th birthday. I stopped celebrating when shortly after I was told I had only a couple of week to mentally prepare for it. I went numb. Then, as I was being wheeled into surgery, the flood gates opened. And again, it wasn’t because my uterus was about to be removed through my vagina that had me upset, it was because I had just turned 29 and I felt broken and worthless because my body was behaving like that of an old person’s. It was also in the first few years of my lupus diagnosis and it was just one more absurd thing to happen to my body after years of absurd things. I had someone leave me due to these absurdities and I was more concerned over the fact that, in my mind, it was just one more reason to get rejected.

Yet again, I felt like an entitled cow. I couldn’t reconcile the joy over having this organ that I loathed removed with the pain of feeling broken and discarded. To this day, I still can’t.

Every year, I hope that I can finally come to terms with these two losses. They are the only losses in my life that have had a profound impact on me. They are the only two losses that I’ve yet to find a way to grieve them properly.

Maybe I need to learn to accept the fact that it is okay to be angry about both of them.

4 Responses to Dealing With The Loss Of Family and Body

  1. My first dad died when I was 13. I was so angry with him for years and years and years. How dare he leave me on my own? (I wasn’t, I had my brother and my challenging mum) I felt totally alone and bereft. It took me a very long time to accept that it was OK to be angry, and even longer to forgive him for leaving me on my own. My mum drank and my brother withdrew completely (he was only 12). The when I was 23, my mum met my second dad. He loved her sober and I got my mum back. He died almost 3 years ago, I’m still cross that he’s dead, but not as cross as I was with my first dad, cos I was able to spend much more time with him before he died and tell him everything I regretted not being able to tell my first dad.
    You already know about my Nana and how important she was/still is to me.
    I have many regrets about my first dad – no-one told me he was dying until the day before he did, when he was in a coma – and so I didn’t tell him stuff I wanted to. I console myself with the fact that he knew just how much I loved him, but to have had the chance to tell him…
    I made sure I told my second dad – every time I left his room for any reason in his last few weeks.I was privileged to nurse him in that time.
    I think its OK to be angry about loss, and then to do something about it – it made me determined to give my second dad everything I could before he died, and he died knowing just how much I loved him.
    Even though my first dad died 39 years ago, I always remember the day he did, what I was doing and stuff about it. its still painful. With my second dad, cos I was with him when he died, it doesn’t hurt as much. I hope your pain and anger lessen over time, and that you can forgive yourself if you need to. xxxx

    • Thanks, Shirley. Oddly enough, I’m not angry at my grandma. I was so relieved when she died. She spent my entire life suffering and it was about damn time she passed. I’m angry at my mother for not allowing me the chance to say goodbye, for cutting me out in her final year and for refusing to bury her so that I can visit her.

  2. Hey you….
    now, you know we’ve had similar discussions in the past… but what you need to do (‘need’ being solely MY thoughts and not trying to *tell you what to do* ;’ ) ) is…. Allow yourself to get over it. And I don;t mean that in a “FFS GET OVER IT!!” kinda way. But you need to be able to move on FROM those things. It’s okay to be sad… but try to turn the sadness into a melancholy. Dwell on the positives that WERE before the sadness. You more than a lot of people know the fleeting nature of life and existence… You know better than this… (But I know… the brain LOVES to feck with itself…) (((you)))

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