How I Have Dealt With Death on my Journey

I wanted to link the feature story on Courtney before this post. You can find all the interview features I have written here.

How I Have Dealt With Death on my Journey

I wanted to talk today about death and how I have dealt with it during my ten-year journey since being diagnosed with Bipolar One.

It’s been three and half years since I lost my grandfather to cancer. I will be writing a piece on the anniversary of when we lost my grandfather in July. Today, my grandfather was on my mind I decided to write about him. Its how I deal with life now. It also should make a good chapter for my memoir. I also was thinking a lot about the time after my grandfather passed, and how I dealt with his death by not dealing.

I didn’t deal with it well for the first year.

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I was close to my grandfather most of my life. For the last year that he was with us, I took care of him as he battled cancer. I made sure he made his appointments by driving him. When the home health nurses came I was always there to let them into our house. I made sure that they took good care of him. I made sure my grandfather took his medication and I also made sure he ate three meals a day or as much as he could.
It was one of the worse experiences when my grandfather passed. I went deep into a depression cycle afterward. It was tough for me because for most of the year leading to his passing he was always in good spirits. He was active even though he had to spend most of his time in bed. 

When my grandfather passed it was quick. It was sudden when he took a turn for the worst. I remember he was okay during the weekend. My grandfather was lively. Then three days later on July 3, 2014, he was gone.

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So many thought went through my mind that day.

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I thought for one, I would have more time with my grandfather. My second thought was it happened too fast. I lost him. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. There were times when I didn’t think I would make it leading up to the day of his funeral. I was a mess inside lost in thought of what ifs, and what comes next.

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When death happens for those of us living with a mental illness it can be the worst case scenario. When it’s someone you love, and someone you are close with, it seems worse. I am not sure if it’s because of our own morality. Death is never easy to take, but most people bounce back out of necessity. It wasn’t so simple for me.

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It was tough for me because I was a few years removed from my last suicide. I didn’t think I would make past my last suicide, and when I did, I had a new appreciation for life. I know that death is inevitable in all our lives. You are not supposed to outlive your parents or grandparents.

I wasn’t in the best place to deal with death when it happened.

For weeks and even months after we lay to rest my grandfather, I struggled in a deep depression cycle. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was starting to be a bad cycle. I would have vivid dreams that my grandfather was still alive. In these dreams, he wouldn’t have to eat, but he would always be there for me. I would dream of different days walking into his room to have conversations. For months that was all, I dreamt about most nights.

When something strange happens in my house I know my grandfather is watching us. I always chalk it up to my grandfather letting us know to never forget. I refer to the room where he spent so many years of his life living in as, “grandpa’s room.”

Death was hard for me to take in 2014 and I can remember it wasn’t until the next summer before I got my depression under control. It helped that I had my therapist. I took a semester off after my grandfather passed because of spiraling depression. It was the beginning of the summer of 2015 that I finally broke my depression cycle.

Cancer sucks.

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When I looked at my grandfather’s life it was a good one. But he had no control over getting cancer. My thoughts after my grandfather’s death centered around one simple fact. For years I had no appreciation for life, and to see my grandfather lose his because of something uncontrollable, it changed me. I felt sorry for everything I had put people through during my journey up to that point in time. I got a better perspective.

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You still have to live when the people you love pass.

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This event became one of the catalysts for why I am in such a good place to even write a post like this one. Three years ago I could hardly discuss it. Writing it gives me perspective and with it, I can continue on my journey.

I like to end my posts with a question. I want to ask my fellow bloggers this: how have you dealt with death in the past?

Always Keep Fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoTyler Quiring

All other pictures from my personal collection

 

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19 Replies to “How I Have Dealt With Death on my Journey”

  1. Brought tears to my eyes. I lost my grandfather last year. I don’t cope with any negative emotions very well so it ended up being a relapse situation for me. I felt so terrible, like I failed myself and him somehow. Later I remembered that my grandfather never gave up. My grandfather was a prisoner of war in WWII. During his three year imprisonment he watched many friends die. He didn’t give up. My grandfather wouldn’t want me to give up either. He fought a war, he raised a family, he fought cancer and even though he passed away he never gave up. I’m still sad he’s gone, sometimes it just hits me out of nowhere and I feel those tears welling up. I try to think of him telling me to stand up and put my marching boots on, telling me not to give up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You grandfather was an amazing man. Thank you for sharing this with me. It means the world to make connections with others who didn’t deal with death in best way. I would’ve liked to meet you grandfather.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was 17 when I lost my paw paw. I was leaving the house to meet up with friends when he met me on the dirt road that ran through the farm. He just wanted to visit a little but I was in a hurry and promised that I would come over when I got home. He had a heart attack while feeding the cattle.
    I am consoled by the fact that we will meet again in heaven.
    What’s a few decades compared to eternity. We’re still going to have our visit. It will just be later than I planned.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is amazing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I really like that you said “what’s a few decades compared to eternity.” That is real life wisdom and faith.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My first experience with death was when my paternal grandfather died. I was 6. I had lived in the U.S. for 3 years at that point, while he remained in the Philippines. We were very close—“inseparable,” my aunt says. I was devastated. I was angry because my parents wouldn’t let me fly to the PI with my dad for the funeral because I had school. I don’t know how I understood what death or a funeral was at that age. I remember crying myself to sleep for a month.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I lost my grandmother really young. I was three I think. I love the stories my grandfather and mother tell of her. She was an amazing woman. They told her she wouldn’t live many years and yet she did. They said she wouldn’t never have kids and yet she had my mom. I love to keep her in my Memory even thought I never really knew her. Thanks for sharing Barb.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think sometimes our reaction to death depends on our age and our relationship with that person. If the person
    that has passed was the most influential and closest person to you, it is hard to move on. If there are other people that you are just as close to, it is a little easier. I was 13 when I lost my grandfather. We were somewhat close but didn’t live close. I did tit have a lot of trouble getting past it. I was 16 when I lost a friend who was 15. Shef fell off the back of a moving car, hit her head and died 14 days later. It was the first funeral I ever went to. It was a little embarrassing when her mom and dad came over to me to calm me down. I was lost. I didn’t understand. She was the second real friend I ever had in that we walked to school together. I don’t think I ever felt I was the same person as I was before. Awlays afraid of dying. Death is hard, life changing for the people remaining.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is such an inspiring piece, for writing to be your expression of such feelings. I am honored to read into your life, it’s beautiful. I haven’t had someone really close to me pass yet, and I am afraid then when they do I will lose a piece of myself too.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I believe losing a loved one is extremely hard, regardless of your mental state, but then again…it is harder on you. One of the scariest thing in my head is to die uncontrollably; not being ready or being aware.
    To your question, there’s no manual to deal with death but it opened my eyes to the true fact of life. You just have to live in the moment, you never know what last breath you will take..
    As it’s said, the tragedy is not in the lives lost, it’s in the loved ones that lost these souls ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I didn’t have the best family. My experiences with death are not clear cut. Oftentimes I felt both deep sorrow and manic anticipation, even hopefulness. I looked forward to the death of my mother, and for years I beat myself up for that feeling. It’s only recently, after accepting the abuse and neglect, that I’ve been able to understand that ambivalence. This is nothing I’m proud of. In fact, I have a great deal of envy for people who have loving and supportive families whom they miss. I cannot say the same.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This blog comes on a day that I remember the day my Mum passed away 8 years ago. I was 14 at the time…it was a shock then and it’s still a shock now. I’d had fleeting experiences with depression before my Mum died (not that I knew that’s what it was at the time) but after she died suddenly – I began to spiral. I didn’t know my Mum well. She was sick with her own mental illness and that resulted my sisters and I being placed into care but when she died – it cut right through me. As I go about my day to day life, there are constant things I want to tell her. To ring her and say ‘hey, this is what happened today’. Sometimes I forget that she’s not right around the corner and she never will be again. My mum threatened and attempted suicide, she wasn’t successful and for that I’m grateful. When my depression turns to suicidal thoughts – the only thing, and probably the only thing, that pulls me back is ‘Mum didn’t die. Make her proud.’ I sit here trying not to cry but this wonderfully written blog voices some of my emotions that I’ve not been able to voice for 8 years. And probably never will. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this piece of your life with me and my blog. That’s the best thing you can do. Make your mom proud. I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog.

      Like

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