This is the final in a five-part series looking at the emotional aspects of grief and how we can help people in a variety of ways.
I’m going to a funeral this weekend to pay my respects to my uncle. He has been very ill for a year now, and we found out that on top of the massive heart attack he had suffered about a year before, he had a brain bleed.
During the two days leading up to the funeral, John’s lungs had shut down, he had to be held in the intensive care unit of Children’s Hospital where a surgeon told him he could die in a matter of hours. The operation had to be repeated three times and the intensive care unit will be closed until John is fully removed from the unit, which will take at least another two days.
The irony is that while the doctors would have my uncle in the hospital for two days, they would not have learned about the operation if he was not there. The operation on the other hand may have only been carried out for three hours if the operation had gone as planned, but then John would have been in intensive care all the time and may have even been on oxygen at that time.
Nice logic, not to mention humbling, but it just shows how inconsequential our egos can be to the bigger point. In that camp, the Doctors all know in advance that if they cut him, that would be fatal. They have been criticizing my Uncle and his determination to hold on to life. At the end of the day, it’s just illogical and lies at the heart of massive social rejection.
He’s such an inspiration to all around him and even to some of his family members, he is quite open with them, like he would be with anyone at the end of a journey.
cottage pie came to mind, you might have heard of it, it’s a type of fresh bread often used to share at weddings and other occasions, and it’s also a lovely way to eat when sitting with family and friends.
Well, on the very first day of the funeral his mum and my uncle and aunt were at the local vicar’s office, to visit John and wake him up for the operation that they are now going to have to do to save his life. I hadn’t heard about the operation but even as I was standing there waiting for one of the assistants to finish his tour, I could hear his heart thumping, his chest rising and falling slowly, and his breathing became more labored I didn’t to ask him to breathe, he did it all for me.
The ‘one-hour’ journey, which started from his bedside, eventually crammed ten cars, including cars from the church Grahamery Bus stopped at and various cars from Overcross development, I won’t mention which, to my utter amazement, the people from the Addis resources camp would go from car to car, hospital to hospital, visiting each other, not knowing where the other was coming from, but still making nice and engaged with each other in a mostly silent sort of way.
I came to find that a big part of the reason we go back and forth to a destination, but in the process of bringing people back, is to be able to see them, to be able to serve them appropriately. This is highly needed in the grief support camps, the almighty need to be able to serve a certain number of people each day and to have the understanding in knowing how best to be of service.
Yes after all the logic of logic, it’s wonderful to go and that experience will be shared between us, but we also have a responsibility to ourselves and our families, to keep away from dis enablement and to learn how to cope with the unhealthy and unsafe behaviors of the situation we live in and not just to go back and do it the next day.
So I hope I have given a relevant insight into the grief support camp experience.