Goodbye Grandpa

Where do I start?

If you follow me on Twitter, you’d have see my post about my Grandpa.

My Grandpa passed away last week. 1.15am Tuesday 24th January, at 88 years old.

It’s a devastating blow for the family, and although we have all had some time to grieve whilst he was in hospital and in the nursing home, albeit for a few days, knowing he only had so long left, it’s still a stab in the heart.

I know that all families have their imperfections and their issues, but for some reason ours just seems to want to go beyond all that and twist and turn on every moment, and every issue.

It’s made the arrangements  for the funeral complicated and also heartbreaking. We should all be coming together to celebrate a life, and to say our final farewells, but there’s an anxiety that something will “kick off”. I feel as though I need to spend the day with tape over my mouth just so I know that if anything happens, I won’t be the “reason” for anything happening.

I mean, it all concerns how one of my brothers “may” behave on the day. He has anger issues, and a real problem with my Mum and I. The last time I saw him, I said “Hello”, and he told me to “F*** off”, such the gentleman! Even if we were to not say anything at all, he gets riled up, and puts everyone on edge…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in therapy, it’s that I am NOT responsible for anyones actions. However, the fact my Dad has threatened that if anything does happen at the funeral, that he will disown whoever causes the upset, causes a massive anxiety strain on how we will all feel on the day. It will be a day of treading on eggshells as well as dealing with grief!

There’s a divide in the family and this really upsets me because I would love for us to all get on. I would love Grandpas legacy to be that he has brought the family back together again, and that the past can be in the past and we all focus on the present and how fortunate we all are to actually have one another despite all the rubbish we’ve been through.

My head is full of chaos. I’ll be back soon.

Erica

 

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Live for the Memories.

*Potential Triggers in this post: dying, mention of domestic/emotional abuse, family feuds.*

Yet again, I feel as though I’ve wasted another day.

I’m still waiting on the news of my Grandpa, and I think that is what is holding me back.
I don’t know why though. I know he is in the best place, and comfortable, drugged up as best as he can be, and that his wife, son and daughter are at his bedside, but I think it is the knowing he is just DYING. And there is absolutely nothing anyone can do, except let him suffer. I don’t get it. I feel so frustrated by this. We let our OWN BEINGS suffer when nothing else can be done. Yet, we can take our dearly beloved pets to the vets when they’re nearing the end of their life, and when nothing can be done, we can choose the kindest thing of all, and that is to euthanise.

Sure, it’s legal to euthanise humans in some parts of the world, but why is it not legal everywhere? To let a human being struggle to breathe, unable to talk, unable to drink unaided, unable to eat unaided, or wash unaided, and can’t even go to the bathroom or wash, to let a human being struggle to the point of humilation…. WHY DO WE LET THIS HAPPEN?! Where is the dignity?!

The thought of this just makes my heart cry. I’m just frustrated that we let so many suffer because of this stupid law. And it’s hard when it becomes a “WAITING GAME”, for someone you LOVE to DIE.

Now, in the past things haven’t been great with my grandparents, well my entire family really. We all have our flaws, but then which family doesn’t? We’ve had the domestic and emotional abuse, our fair share of fights, drug and alcohol addictions. Our family is, what I like to call LIKE A SPIDER WEB (Thanks to the therapists who classed it as such!)…

So, there was this one time, then I was at high school, won’t go into detail, but it caused a massive rift in the family, it divided us all… And from then on, some of us rarely saw our grandparents. They treated us all differently, and things become more complicated over time.

And now, one of them is DYING, and for those of us who didn’t get to see them often, or CHOSE not to see them (I was one of them!), are now feeling complete regret, frustration, anger, confusion, hurt, pain, and just pure “Arghhhh!!”…. I have never stopped loving my family. No matter what some of them have done, and believe me, you would wonder why I keep them close to my heart sometimes…. But we’re family, and most of the time, we all help each other out whenever we need it.

I still LOVE these people, and it doesn’t matter how little or often I see them. So, why does it feel so hypocritical when I try my best to then see them?

Last week, I went to see my Grandpa in the hospital, before he got transferred to the nursering home. I was prepared for what I might see, because I’d seen Lauren’s Grandad sick, and that was heartbreaking, but he still has a sense of humour and made us laugh. For my Grandpa, all I could see were tears in his eyes, a sadness, and my mind wouldn’t stop thinking “what is he thinking? He’s probably thinking “what are you doing here?! Go away!””, except, I’m not a mind reader, and no matter how many times I think I am, I know these thoughts are unrealistic, and that I will never know what he was thinking.

I kissed his cheek, I held his hand. Two things I haven’t done since I was a CHILD.

And now, he’s DYING.

I feel like I have missed out on so many memories. Sounds stupid, I know… And perhaps I’m being selfish here. It was their memories too. They missed out on watching some of their Grandchildren grow up.

Us in 1994:screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-21-53-17

My 11th Birthday:screen-shot-2017-01-18-at-21-52-11

I’m now 29. Live for the memories.

Strengths – Photography Exhibition

Here’s something exciting for you…

If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I was recently a model for a photography exhibition… And this exhibition is now LIVE!

Back in December, before Lauren and I went on holiday, I’d been asked if I would like to have my photo taken as part of an exhibition called “Strengths”. This was because they wanted a writer, and knew I wrote poetry…

I felt anxious about the thought of me doing this, but I also thought that I had to break the boundaries, and work on the anxiety and, please excuse the pun, work on my building  my strengths! So, I agreed, and enjoyed an afternoon with my makeup artist friend, getting makeup on having my photo taken, which was a really weird feeling!

The opening night of the exhibition was on Monday, the same day I found out that my Grandpa doesn’t have long left. It was a rollercoaster of emotions on Monday!

We went along to the opening night, and I was shocked when I saw how big the photo was! It is about A1 in size, and has my poem/song which I wrote at the midst of my depression at school, as I felt it worked well with what I wanted to say about what strength means to me… Only thing that annoys me is a grammatical error, which for some reason appeared in the document I sent, and the photographer copied and pasted it, and didn’t check it read well, so there’s one teeny mistake… Mistakes happen!!!

To me, strength is surviving. Personally through mental illness and physical illness, through loss and through gain.

 

Where We Belong – Copyright 2017 Erica Trinity

Living in a dream is where we belong
Where all our prayers are answered
Where there’s always a place for us to hide
With all our darkest sins hidden away
Where our thoughts of dying come true the next day

This is where we belong
Where the world is perfect, yet crazy it be
It’s a strange kind of truth
Which lurks inside of me

Harmonised land, totally out of control
Words of wisdom which burn the soul
Mother Nature holds out her hand
Buries our minds within the sand
Rules until the end, she’ll carry us through

This is where we belong
Where the world is perfect, yet crazy it be
It’s a strange kind of truth
Which lurks inside of me

Craziness is the right way to go,
Sleep forever, your dreams tell the truth you know,
Dreams make you believe you’ve entered reality
It’s the sweetest place for anyone to be

It’s where we all belong

This is where we belong
Where the world is perfect, yet crazy it be
It’s a strange kind of truth
Which lurks inside of me

Once you know the truth dear,
You’ll never have to fear
You’re dreaming
______

“Strengths” is on show at The Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury until 23rd January. It has been produced by:


15095022_727441154074426_2188160074411905135_n

Beth Roo Photography
Jasper Moorhouse Freelance Photographer
Julia Kass Makeup Artist 

______

I feel proud to have achieved this, and although I feel embarrassed at how big it is, it’s such a big achievement for me. I have since said that if they need help with any future projects, that I would be up for helping out! And that is progress!!

 

My Grandpa is so sick.

This is my first “official” post of 2017, (I’ve shared a couple of posts, whilst playing around on my phone), and I’m saddened to say that it’s not been a fantastic start.

Sure, it had the elements of happiness (I’ll write a separate post for this), a new beginning, a time to start over, a time to reflect, and so on, but there’s one thing clouding all happiness at the moment.

My post Just a few thoughts. published on 28th December, mentions my Grandpa being in hospital…

He’s still there, and getting sicker by the day. I saw my Dad on Monday, and he told me and Lauren that they’ve given him 6-12 weeks! I thought I’d misheard this, and then repeated what my Dad had said, before bursting into tears.

I explained how bad I felt, that I hadn’t seen him for so long, that I should have done and that there’s guilt and regret. Our family has had its issues (still does!), and that’s why I stopped seeing my grandparents so often, in fact since secondary school, it became very rare that I saw them. So now, of course I’m left with guilt, frustration, anger, hurt and sadness.

My Dad has said that when the time comes, as a family we won’t attend the funeral, and instead it’ll be him, his sister (my Auntie), and Nanny (his Mum), and I think some other people… But why not us? Well, because he says a) It’s not a nice situation, which I agree, I mean, I’ve been to both of Lauren’s grandads funerals, and b) he doesn’t want anything to kick off there, so he has said we’ll all be invited to the wake, and have a punch up there! (Yes, this is what our family can be like!) … Except, in this situation, I don’t think we would. I think collectively, we would all acknowledge and appreciate each others space, giving each other space to grieve. But then saying that, these things do surprise me!

So, basically, upon hearing this news, my mental health may be declining, and I’m trying really hard to remember things I’ve learned, and I think I am dealing with it a lot better, because in the past, I would’ve blamed myself for all of this, but now I realise that it is not my fault that my Grandpa had a stroke two years ago, ended up with alzeimhers and dementia, prostate cancer and kidney failure! It is not my fault! It is life, and no matter what the situation, it would have still happened.

I then found out that it’s not so much a matter of weeks now, but it could be any time… He  has a place at the nursery home, but can’t go until 16th, if he is still around. That’s 4 days away. It doesn’t bear thinking about!!!

This situation has made me realise, that I wish I was still in the therapeutic community. The support of the therapists and people with BPD who have experienced loss, can help me identify what feelings are normal. If I was still in Leavers group, I’d have been leaving this month, which is a weird thought… And I wonder if I regret leaving early or not, even though there were times when I don’t think it was doing me any good at all.

Not only has this situation has me in tears, getting snappy with people, feeling frustrated and all, but my body has also decided to take its toll, and the fibro has flared up causing me to struggle a lot more than usual. I’m aching from top to bottom, and not sleeping. My brain won’t shut off, and I need the rest but my body won’t let me, and it doesn’t feel rested. I feel bruised and senstive, and to make matters worse, snow is on its way, which means my body will continue to seize up and feel this way.

We have a wheelchair which means we can still try and get on with normal day living, and I have my crutches if I feel strong enough to keep myself up, and then I have my walking stick which is what I use normally, so it’s a case of seeing how things go and how I am for whatever it is we need to do.

Overall, physically and mentally, I’m not doing great, but i am lucky enough to have the support around me, and I am trying to speak up about how I feel, and I think I’m doing a good job with that.

Just need to keep it up.

Sorry for the sad news… I’ll shortly write a post which might cheer you up…