It is almost five months since I lost my cousin, friend and house mate to cancer. In some ways it seems much longer and in other ways it still feels like just yesterday that she was here. The first weeks were a blur, and I did what needed to be done being numb and trying not to think too much about the future. Now, these few months out, I am trying to take stock of when this has meant to me.
It is strange how people reacted over her death. It is almost like she never lived here at all. She is rarely mentioned, except by close family. I get the feeling that for many people, I should not still be grieving my loss. After all, she was not an intimate partner nor a parent or a child. Why would I still grieve now?
I knew she had cancer and that it was getting worse. I knew that she would almost certainly die. What I did not expect was that she would die from something else and go very suddenly. One minute sitting and joking with me and the next she was gone. I was not at all prepared for that and it was very hard to deal with. It is like having a double death to work through.
I found a grief group and that was a true life saver for me. It is good to know that I am not alone in waking at 3:00am with nightmares that I cannot really identify. Sleep then becomes impossible so the next day I am fatigued and cranky.
I now have a series of decisions to make. What do I do with the rest of my life, now that it has suddenly changed. Do I move or stay here in my home, which is really too large for me. How to I fill my time now I am no longer a caregiver. What should I give my attention to and how. The coming winter fills me with dread. Long dark days and evenings with no one around. Caring for all the rescued cats alone is a real challenge too. She was so good with the furkids. I am happy though that almost all of the cats that I mentioned in an earlier Blog have been adopted. Now, I need to focus on getting homes for a few more.
I know I will make it. I am a survivor and I have survived other tough things in my life. I want to move on and feel joy again. I think it is going to take a while though.