Goodbye to the shoes and waves of grief

Those who know me well will know how much I enjoy my shoes (well at least I used to!), I think men can enjoy them in the same way as women?  Or am I unusual? Anyway, my point is we are beginning to look through my wardrobe, and we were going through all my old shoes. I was hoping I could at least wear some but alas none would fit my swollen left foot. A very brave decision was taken. They were reluctantly all put into a black bin liner and disposed of. It was painful as it represented that part of my life which is now finally over!  I inevitably cried at another loss. 

I find my memory of my losses hit me sometimes unexpectedly, like waves and it can feel immensely painful. The pain appears to emerge from the depth of my being. I have an overwhelming sense of not knowing what to do and how to survive my horrific situation. I have said it several times but the thought of not being able to do what I used to be able to do for the rest of my life is incredibly distressing, overwhelmingly so. I cannot fathom it. The thought of not being able to ride my bike, kneel down in the garden and feel the soil, walk along the beach, feel the sea wash over my feet and feel the sand beneath them, to walk along the footpaths of the Cornish cliffs especially those I remember as a child and which I have visited from time to time since then. The ability to walk into town and pop into the local shops indeed to drive into one of the local cities (Norwich, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds), and go shopping, to go to Waitrose on my own, oh the joy!  All these things, and many more are not going to be easy to do if at all, and certainly not on my own in the future. Life has changed beyond recognition for me.  Am I going to be trapped inside the house, sitting in a chair reading, reflective writing, watching TV for the rest of my days (I can recite the daily TV schedule for you if you wish!!)? Is this the best it is going to get?

Hey! Stop feeling sorry for yourself (I can hear my mother say!!), but my pain (as I describe it) is there, it is real and I need to have it validated. Yes, I experience physical pain (from my various fractures, my shoulder, caused by the neuropathic pain – the nerve endings damaged by the stroke down the left side of my body). By the way I had another fall on Christmas Eve ending up in A&E resulting in a fractured shoulder (will this ever end?) But it is the emotional and spiritual pain I experience that washes over me on a regular, often unexpected times which feels much worse than the physical pain. I do wonder sometimes if others really understand what it is I am experiencing. But what the heck, what can they do about it anyway? I always think when I experience my grief episodes that there is going to be help at the end of this, that one day I will look back and recount “do you remember when?” I also think life will return to my old normal, but I know that is not going to happen.  I remain in hope that I will regain some form of function that will allow me to lead a reasonable life, but I know it will take a good few years.  My emotional pain increases when I think about this. I had my stroke when I was 58 I am now 60 years old and 70 will soon be upon me!  Time is drifting away, I hope I am table to achieve more before I die!

We are all currently experiencing the national lockdown. This has caused a lot of people serious challenges for their mental health. Depression, frustration and loneliness are all common experiences, but knowing this will one day come to an end helps us to cope with the situation, I wonder if it will make much difference to me?