|My Version of taking a Selfie|
Death: (noun) The action or fact of dying or being killed; the end of the life of a person or organism. The permanent ending of vital processes in a cell or tissue.
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.”
I think that the word death should be a verb, to me it is my final action here on earth, the final breathe, the last good-bye. Lately death has been stalking me. It circles around my space and takes whom it wants, when it wants, not caring nor feeling anything but causing sadness and pain. Is the loss of your pet or human different? Not to me. I cry and grieve, feeling the pain in my chest, it hurts so much, can't breathe, can't sleep.
There has been so much lately, my cats, grand-son, daughter, friends, people in my support groups, so much. The weight has become a heavy burden on my back, it pulls me down to the ground, closer to the grave. I have shrunk almost 3 inches, is the earth calling me? Does the smell of dirt surround me?
I understand why someone who is sick can consider ending their life, I have considered it myself, the pain, loss of control, the loneliness folds over you, pulling you to itself, not letting go. Pulling you down, down. I can't end my life, I have family. This stops me. And, I really don't want the virus to win, I want to win.
For those who read these words that are also fighting a chronic illness, you know and understand my feelings. The illness takes your choices away, makes you bend to its rule. And, you know that you are dying, slowly, but horribly, as one by one things either shut down or do not do as they are intended to do. Our livers control so much and when it stops doing its job, you know that your time is closing. This nasty virus has hidden itself in your liver for so long, quietly doing its dirty work, then one day you get very sick and the virus is exposed. For me, it was late in the process, I was in stage 4 of the progression. And, I tried chemo(which is what the treatment is), was a non-responder, almost died from the cure so now I wait.
I am in many support groups for HepC, which for me have been my hold on reality. It is okay to be upset, to cry, to grieve, OK to be angry and you can't just pretend that those feelings are not there or chin up, you will get better. Those feelings are real, I am not going to get better and I am going to die from some related issue that my liver controls. That is a fact, reality, it bites, but it is what it is. The groups take you as you are and do not judge you and understand what you are going through.
On a good day, I do not look "sick", just look old with a cane! No one knows what is going on inside me, inside my mind. I joke, laugh, poke fun at what is happening to me, I try to be brave and face what I am given. I know from being a grief counselor, that there is very little to say to one grieving, this is a journey one takes alone. Others can be there to listen to you ranting and crying, but for each one of us, we face our grief alone.
As a person who is listening, the thing I need most, is just a warm, human body to listen and care. Nothing needs to be said or done, just hear me and validate my pain, my grief and please do not turn away because you do not or can not deal with grief yourself, that is the worst thing one can do. I am still Kathy, I still need you. You see it happen all the time. You lose a loved one, everyone hoovers around for a week or two, then they all disappear. (not all if you are lucky). And, yes, my four legged friends are right here next to me, giving me warmth and unconditional love but I also need the human touch.
Everyone will face that moment, no one will get off. I hope that when that moment comes for me, those around me will remember the love I had for them and that I would do anything in my power for them and not dwell on what is happening now. Don't remember sick kat, confused kat, unable to move kat..remember me laughing, and dancing and singing, of loving life and all the beauty and joys of nature. Death takes you and you are gone but your love remains in the hearts of those who loved you. For that reason I hold on and look for the beauty each day.