Facing death

When I was first admitted to hospital, Duncan was taken aside on two occasions to warn him that I was not looking good and to prepare him for me not surviving. I was completely unaware this was happening and completely oblivious that I might die. This experience has probably left me with a fear it might happen again and certainly there have been times subsequently where this fear has been quite acute and I have had a few panic attacks. This fear leads to feeling incredibly sad that I have not achieved everything I want to do or have potential for, should I die.

Whilst I have been used to thinking about death in my professional career, to face the reality for myself is quite shocking.  I am only 59, by the way, so it feels very early, but the possibility of having another stroke which might kill me is a reality. 

Val a very dear friend and therapist provided some very reassuring support. She suggested that my near-death experiences would be buried within my psyche and this is likely to emerge in the conscious mind with the feeling of dread that another near-death episode might occur. That made sense to me (a logical male response) and I found this to be very reassuring bringing great comfort and a lessening of the dread I felt.

Whilst perhaps not fearing the dying experience (any symptoms or pain should be controlled – if good palliative care is followed) I feel immensely sad that I have not achieved everything I have planned to do with the rest of my life.  I also feel very sad about leaving Duncan other members of the family and some very dear friends behind. I was also looking forward to many projects and other work. I feel deep sadness about all of this, however, the corollary is that I will enter a new place in eternity. My faith has always been a tremendously important part of my life and now I am going to see it come to fruition.  Many might have doubts and be skeptical about this but I live in hope that this is not the case for me, rather I will begin again with new freedom and life, or so I hope!  This morning I got up out of bed had my shower and dressed all with the help of my carers, Simone and Duncan. I was able to choose what I could wear but I was not able to do much towards getting washed and dressed   The thought of not being able to do much of this independently (because of my left hand paralysis), and many other activities for the rest of my life is distressing so maybe I am better off in eternity?  

As I continue to reflect on these things, there is more to explore …. watch this space!

2 thoughts on “Facing death

  1. This made me laugh and little and cry and little…………Peter you have come so far my friend – when I look back at that second photo I remember exactly where that was it was just as you were transferred in the middle of night to a ward after A&E – as I was cleaning vomit off me Duncan was taking a photo………………Hmmmm…… you today, look very much like the first photo – handsome Peter so you really have come a long way and I just know you will get there. Thank you for the mention but notice the “walnut” didnt feature anywhere…………….sending lotsa love. xxxx

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  2. Well Mr Ellis you asked me for comments about your blog. Well I have read your blog a few times before I felt I could reply. I suppose I want to say it tells it how its/was for you so friends and others can hear exactly what happened and that life now is not a walk in the park for our dearest Peter. It also keeps us all up-to-date with how you are doing without you having to keep us all informed individually. It also alerts those in your situation or those that have had not such severe strokes as to how important it is to get physio as soon as possible and as much as possible in the early days. I suppose what I’d hope is that at some stage you won’t be living a nightmare and that your determination to get moving as much as you can is rewarded and life isn’t the struggle that it is now. It is very humbling reading the blog and made me think twice about the things I moan and groan about which are so insignificant. I thought about how I would have coped if what happened to you had happened to me and I came up very short and would not have had the fight and determination and would have just faded away. It also made me think of Duncan whose life also changed so drastically on the 26th March 2018 – it must be so difficult for him to have seen you in so much pain and also the plans you both had together have now been so altered so he is walking a different path too. Is the picture on the blog your garden? If it is I just hope that gives you pleasure looking at that beautiful view change through the seasons but I know you will want to be out there yourself planting and keeping it all tidy and in order. I keep saying to myself we just have to make the most of every moment. Cousin Hilary has stage 4 cancer and she was given a month to live – she’s now 4 years into living with her cancer – not all been pleasant and lots of ops and chemo on the way but there have been good times – sadly she has no faith unlike you but she is making the best of every good day she has so she puts me to shame!!!

    Well I shall love you and leave you my dear – sending you both lots of love. I am in awe of you both and for your honesty Peter saying how you really feel. We ask people ‘how are you’ and we all answer ‘fine thank you’. It takes a special person to say well actually no and this is how I really feel. One thing you haven’t lost is your sense of humour and nothing can take that away. Much love Jxxx

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