So, I didn’t have much output over the last couple of weeks due to a family member being taken into hospital. It was stressful and distressing. I won’t go into details, but the individual is doing much better and the NHS truly continues to astound me. The staff and care they received were excellent.
The only thing that got me was the ward. So many people coming and going. There is the multi person ward which is the normal type of ward then the individual rooms which people walked past looking in like some ghoulish zoo. Its tragic that this is where so many people will spend their final days. It’s tragic and sad. Not something I wish to see but something I know is inevitable.
Death is not something we talk about much in western civilisation. I wish we did but its hard too. I think a lot of this is to do with the fact that loss is greater. People don’t have as many children and thanks to health care improvements there’s not as much childhood disease and deaths. This means that when a loss happens it feels like a piece of ice lodges in your heart.
Many years ago, I lost my mother. While we didn’t get along famously, she was still my mum. I won’t say I dealt with it all very well. Only now have I managed to come to terms with that loss and my own grief.
I would like to see improved palliative care for those who are about to cross into that great unknown but not at the detriment of care for others. It’s not a zero-sum game but it’s not a great sum either thanks to healthcare cuts and tighter budgets across the board.
I would like to see more conversation about death too and how it effects people. I don’t think its ghoulish and it’s a very sad part of life but it’s a sadness that needs to be faced not buried.
And finally, I want to say that all of you who have lost somebody, it’s ok. It’s ok to feel sad or angry or frustrated. It’s ok to want to laugh or cry. It’s ok to ask for help in dealing with it all and it’s ok to miss that person too. It’s ok.