Grief by Sue Vincent
Corona Virus,  Cycle of life,  D.G. Kaye,  grief and loss,  Health and wellness,  Life and Loss,  Observations,  THOUGHTS

What’s my Rage? Why? #Guilt, #Grieving and #Loss – #Birthday #Coronavirus and the ‘System’

 

Rage crying and guilt. It’s a thing. And it’s real for me. Like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross states in her book, On Grief and Grieving, there are five stages of grief and you may not feel them in order, but surely everyone will experience them all. Well, I’m still in big time denial, a.k.a., shock, and that doesn’t mean I don’t believe my husband is alive, literally, only that numbness and other defense mechanisms set in and help to play games with my mind to sort of attempt to ‘take the edge off’ the heaviness by playing the ‘pretending game’. Like when I actually get busy doing something, I pretend George is sleeping in the bedroom. But of course, that only lasts so long.

The five stages of grief are certainly not in same order for me. My denial stage is the shock not worn off. Depression is my inner rage. Bargaining is useless, as it’s much too late for that, so I’ve switched that one up to guilt, because guilt is part of the heaviness I carry within. And as for acceptance, it’s so far off I can’t even visualize it.

 

Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I know! I’m beating myself up at why my husband couldn’t be saved before he became terminal.  I’ve always looked after him. Every little symptom I’d report to the doctors. Covid made everything harder and worse. I can’t stop replaying the summer before he died. He’d complain and question why he’s so tired. What did I know? He was aging, he had ‘other’ issues, we were locked down for Covid, no real living, and no more getting to actually see a doctor! Tele-health calls were scant, but my husband had so much bloodwork done in the last year of his life, how did nobody catch anything? Labs should tell a story. Everyone was so busy taking care of his other issues that the possibility of cancer was totally over-looked.

Bloodwork weekly, low sodium levels, chronic indigestion and sleeping in half the day. I worried all the time. I spoke with doctors as much as I could get hold of them. Was nobody as curious as me? Did anyone consider something worse? Why did it take til February of this year to put him through the ringer of all tests til the grim discovery would show? He was so bloody tired!

These questions haunt me and squeeze my heart with grief when I start screaming out the whys. Yes, if my love could have saved him, he would have lived forever. Covid has shut down most of the world and the ironic part about it is that thousands more die because they can’t get a surgery booked or even see their doctors in the live. Labs are helpful – somewhat, but there’s nothing like being looked at by a doctor, to look in the eyes, skin, listen to hearbeats and breathing.

I’ve been told that my questions are all part of the grieving process, despite me feeling they are all valid questions. I’m living with guilt that I didn’t do enough for my husband. I didn’t scream out to doctors, my whys. People were dying from Covid and our doctor’s hands were tied with rules and regulations with lockdowns and cooties. Doctors not seeing patients, hospitals not allowing scheduled surgeries. Who was I to fight the system? This system has killed so many others who couldn’t and can’t see a doctor unless they were taken to emergency and admitted through the system. No. Right now I am far from acceptance. Nothing can bring my husband back, and yet, the guilt engulfs me; like crying over spilled milk, I know it will get me nowhere except into a darker abyss by dwelling on the whys, yet, I can’t stop asking.

Happy Birthday Puppy

 

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, only weeks after he passed. I had extra anxiety all weekend. I decided I’d be able to handle the day better if I went to visit his grave. I struggled with it being too soon to go there, but feeling worse if I stayed home and grieved the day all day at home. I went to visit his grave, although I somehow feel closer to him here at home. They hadn’t even finished shoveling more dirt and laying the grass over where he was buried. Remnants of the funeral flowers and ribbons lay scattered over his grave. I threw in a few of my personal stones – rose quartz for love, along with some others, and I placed the stick of the little balloon with the cub on it that says “I love you” in the ground. It was attached to the little puppy love who sleeps with me on his pillow. Puppy love didn’t need to hold on to that balloon anymore because he has me beside him, so I thought Cub balloon would do better keeping him company at his gravesite.

 

Beloved Puppy

 

Birthday at the grave

 

~ ~ ~

 

Note: I recently wrote a post about the state of craziness here in Toronto with vaccine output. I am happy to report that in the past week, our province has got their act together and currently 50%, almost 1.5 million adults, have had their first Covid shot in my city, despite the detrimental number of cases still occurring daily for weeks now, approximately 3000 new cases daily. And one very special nurse who promised they’d save me an Astra Zeneca shot invited me to come have it on this past Friday. I feel blessed that all my networking has paid off and whenever my city decides to ever open up again, I’ll feel a lot more secure about entering the fray – not to mention, be able fly again as soon as flights open up here, and the UK will put Canada back on the ‘approved’ to visit list.

 

©DGKaye2021

Life Love Loss

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

62 Comments

  • Erica/Erika

    I have been thinking about you often the past few months, Debbie, sending virtual hugs and loving karma. No words truly convey how I feel and I cannot imagine your challenges and the emotional roller coaster. You articulate your thoughts and emotions well. “…numbness and other defense mechanisms…” Covid making everything exceptionally difficult and medical help inaccessible. Tears brimming reading your article.

    Today I will hug everyone (the ones I am allowed to hug) a little harder, and tell my loved ones how much I love and care about them. Thank you for sharing this difficult journey. XO ❤️

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Erica for your loving words. Yes, let people you love know you love them. I told my husband 100 times a day I loved him, I still do. <3

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, please try to stop blaming yourself, it will only eat you up even more. You worked tirelessly to help your husband in the most impossible of situations. It is tragic how much has been missed by doctors and nurses during all this time when they weren’t seeing anyone. I feel for you so much, your pain, your agony. Oh, it must have been so hard on his birthday – I can’t imagine.

    Good to get your update about Canada and I was wondering how things were going for you all. Great news about your second vaccine ( I had my 2nd on Friday) and it does begin to feel as one can head out without being engulfed by fear. Yeah. It’s great you’re thinking of flying and travelling again; for now, the thought of going on a plane fills me with dread and we can’t for now!

    I also want to say how much I love the quote by Sue Vincent featured in these posts. She was an incredible writer and had such insight into the human spirit.

    Hugs winging their way to you. xx❤️

    • dgkaye

      Annika, thank you for your big generous heart. I know you words are the right thing, yet, my heart can’t seem to get past the whys right now. Your words and hugs are so welcome <3

  • Jan Sikes

    Birthdays, holidays, family gatherings, and events are the hardest to face without your loved one beside you. It took me a long time before I got comfortable going out and eat a meal alone in a public place. At first, it felt as if everyone was staring (which of course was silly) but it was real to me. There are no words that can ease your pain. There is no fix for a broken heart. Over the years, I have often thought about the words to the Willie Nelson song, “The Healing Hands of Time.” Time is your balm, the salve for your open wounds. Love you, sweet sister, and send only good thoughts your way!

  • Darlene Foster

    My heart breaks for you my dear. Those words of Sue Vincent’s are powerful. I love the Puppy Love bear. Glad to hear you have had your Covid shot and that things are getting better in Canada. Sending hugs across the ocean. xo

  • Diane McGyver

    The blood of those dying is on the hands of the government. Their response is what’s killing people. Here in Nova Scotia, in the past year, more people have died from suicide than this virus. People are desperate. A man took his life two weeks ago in a nearby community. These people don’t make the news; they are not counted. To save grandma, we’re destroying the future of those under 50. That’s the real tragedy.

    If I were you, I’d be angry, too. You have every right to be, and you every right to ask those questions.

  • John Maberry

    The pain of the loss will pass, but it will hurt like hell along the way. I will keep you in my prayers. Reason and philosophy have their place, but aren’t much help at times like this. I hope you find your path through the stages sooner than later. <3

  • sally cronin

    All these first times without George will hit hard and there is no getting away from it. Sorry that we can only stand by at a distance and let you carry this alone. You are a warrior woman and you fought hard for G to make sure that he had the best outcome possible when everything was stacked against him. He would have given up a long time ago with you by his side. You have nothing to feel guilty about and he had an amazing and wonderful 21 years with you. ♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much my lovely Sal. I suppose I need to hear something from someone sometimes. When you’re alone all the time with your thoughts in my situation, it’s difficult to be able to uplift myself. <3

  • Toni Pike

    Debby, most of us tend to disregard this little symptom or that, before finally going to the doctor. And the past year of Covid has been brain-foggingly crazy with so many terrible consequences. Give yourself the love, praise and support you need after being such a wonderful wife. Toni x

      • Janet Gogerty

        All survivors feel guilt – even with a diagnosis early on – we all think ‘if only I had made him go to the doctors earlier on or why did they miss something’ . But things happen and doctors and lab technicians are all human. Most people do their best most of the time. Cancer just happens, it’s no one’s fault, some people get better, others don’t. You put in one hundred per cent care and you couldn’t have done more.

  • Gwen M Plano

    Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s books have helped me immensely, sometimes Just knowing there’s another person who understands can make all the difference. Thank you for sharing so intimately, Debbie. Big hugs and lots of love. 💗

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Gwen. I’m sorry to learn you’ve experienced this grief business, and comforting to learn that her books have helped you too. Thanks for the love! <3

  • Pete Springer

    I have to imagine it’s quite natural to feel guilt, even though you know in your heart you did what you could under trying circumstances. I hope with the passage of time, your loss becomes easier to manage. Your husband knew you loved him, and in the end, that’s really all that matters.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Pete. I know I write my heart on my sleeve, and grieving is hard enough for those who aren’t living in isolation. So thank you for validating me. 🙂 x

  • Carol Taylor

    All these first times will it get better I can’t say when ..time does heal so they say I think you just learn to cope better…with the pain…as you say it is stages and one day at a time… you will get there in your own time…George knows how hard you fought for him but yes covid has a lot to answer for but sometimes those answers don’t help..You did all you could and G knew that and loved you for it…Always thinking of you Hugs xx

  • Robbie Cheadle

    HI Debby, this whole covid pandemic period has been just awful and there are many stories like yours. Sue Vincent’s story was the same as your hubby’s and it is just a tragedy.

    • dgkaye

      You are so right Robbie. Sue was exactly another victim caught in the storm. Imagine the so many others who we don’t even know 🙁 xx

  • Stevie Turner

    When my dad died, my mum kept hold of a note he’d written to say he had just popped out to go to the library. That’s how she got by… Dad was at the library for about 3 years until she had built up another life for herself. x

  • Marian Beaman

    I’m overjoyed at the bright spot in your month: Your first Covid shot. THe caring nurse behind it is a blessing too. We are with you are on your journey, but — as you say — experiencing grief is a personal, lonely journey. I believe milestones are the hardest, like “Puppy’s” birthday.

    My prayer is for better days ahead, including the ability to get OUT as Toronto’s society begins to open up again. xox

    • dgkaye

      Hi Marian. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Yes, milestone hit real soon for me. Sometimes, just too much to take in. And thanks for the vax kudos. Our city was supposed to open up 3rd week in May, and again pushed up to June 2nd. Perpetual lockdown here. 🙁 <3

  • Jim Borden

    I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like to go through what you are experiencing. Hopefully putting your thoughts and feelings into words is helpful, both to you and many others…

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Jim. You said, you can’t imagine, as nobody can imagine until their own heart is sucked into the abyss of grief. Writing is temporary medication for me. 🙂

  • Diana Peach

    I understand the guilt, Debby, and felt it so deeply when my brother was murdered. If only, if only, if only… It’s normal, often irrational, and it hurts like hell. I still feel twinges of it after 18 years. My heart goes out to you, and I appreciate that you share your feelings and thoughts on you blog. I hope it helps you, and I know it helps others. George’s birthday must have been a nearly impossible day, but I’m glad you honored it. A step on the journey you’re now traveling. And happy to hear you got your covid vaccination. A bright spot. Sending hugs, my friend.

    • dgkaye

      Diana, you said it so succinctly, “If only, if only, if only… It’s normal, often irrational, and it hurts like hell.” I’m sorry for the heinous loss of your brother, thank you for sharing that intimate and painful part of your own life. <3

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    I remember your posts about your husband’s health and all you did to get him the best care possible, and I can’t imagine anybody could have done more. The circumstances didn’t work in your favour, that’s for sure, but, as you say, he had quite a few medical problems, and sometimes one problem masks another, and some illnesses don’t become evident or detectable until it is too late. It is impossible not to think about the “what ifs”, but I am amazed at how hard you worked and how well you looked after your husband, and he knew how lucky he was.
    It’s good to hear about your vaccine. I’m getting mine tomorrow, so things are slowly moving on…
    Big hugs. ♥

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Olga. Your comment did help me feel a bit better about my guilt. I think in anyone’s hours of grief we are the first to blame ourselves, because of course, we need something to blame. So thank you. And I’m glad to hear you got your shot. <3 xx

  • Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    I think of you often, my friend. My heart breaks for what you’re going through. You mustn’t blame yourself for the medical inaccuracies. This all happened during the worst time in medical history. You had always taken such great care of your husband. You made his life wonderful and I’m sure he appreciate all you did for him. Still, I know you must go through this process. Sending you hugs, kisses, love and peace.🙏🏼🤍🕊

  • Sherri Matthews

    Oh my dear Deb, I can’t imagine a more attentive, loving and giving wife than you to your beloved husband. But all these stages of grief do cause us to ask all these questions and more. And the beautiful quote above from Sue Vincent could not be more true. There are times like these when we have to face them alone to find the peace we eventually hope to have. But I know it is a hard, lonely place. My heart goes out to you with big love and bigger hugs from afar…and when you do get that flight to the UK, you better come and find me, dear friend 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    • dgkaye

      Thank you Sher. The loneliness is the hardest part. 🙁 And yes, of course we will connect when I ever get out of this hell. <3 xxxx

          • Sherri Matthews

            I totally get your drift, Deb and my heart breaks for you. Lonliness is the absolute worst. I have my bubble as you know, but I haven’t seen a “real” friend in so long, I feel truly isolated in that sense (“friendship fade”). But worse for me is not being able to see or hug my boys in 15 months… I’m crumbling and despairing inside with the pain of it. Covid has stolen the heart and soul of our way of life, it’s utterly devastating. My mental health has suffered as a result, no doubt about it. I’m going to blog about it soon. But today, I send you more great big hugs across the waves, dear Deb. Hope you feel them squeezing tight around you <3 <3 <3

          • dgkaye

            Thank you my dear friend. And you have touched on issues that so many endure and suffer from. No doubts there will be so much written about the carnage of mental health from this pandemic in short time to come – from many of us writers. The pain is real. <3 <3 xxx

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    My heart just aches over what you are going through, dear Debbie! We have lost so many during this Covid crisis. You have to deal with each stage when you can and acceptance will greet you before you know it. We were so lucky that my mom passed in March 2020 before covid closed everything down. To not be able to say goodbye to my mom in person would have left me in undefined grief for years. You worked hard and loved your hubby all those years with so much to cherish. I know you are resilient and one tough gal but weeping at the drop of a hat is allowed!

    I just heard from a friend that a mutual friend took her own life after her husband died in February (before Covid). She battled depression and loneliness, became anorexic, and ended her life. No one was checking on her. The system failed her. She makes four of our fellow softball players that are now gone. Then just last week, we learned my sweet cousin’s husband died of cardiac arrest after battling a heart condition for years. 58 is too young! We all will head for Portland, Oregon in a few weeks for his services. Covid kept him isolated from his adult children and his many friends although he was content with his life. So much to wonder what could have been in a younger life as his.

    Thank you for sharing your grief and rage, Debby, and know that we stand by you and send virtual hugs. God bless you and stay steady, my friend.

    • dgkaye

      Terri, thank you so much for popping by and leaving, not only your words of comfort, but sharing some of your own events of sadness. I feel so sad for all those losing out on life, especially in these difficult Covid times. I can certainly understand how that poor woman felt so alienated without her husband that she took her own life. Mental health is so crucial and so many people that we don’t even hear about have taken their own life in depression. I promise I won’t do that, but I will tell you, it’s not difficult to see how close to the edge we can come.
      Thanks for the love and for keeping me in your thoughts. <3 xx

  • Balroop Singh

    Please stop blaming yourself Deb, you couldnt have done anything against the will of God. I know we pass on the blame to Him but we find solace in time-tested ways humanity has invented. It is hard to get over such grief and only time will fade it a little. Get yourself busy dear friend… whatever activities you find comforting. Sending you hugs.

  • Christoph Fischer

    Sorry to read about your continued turnmoil. Time is a great healer and we’re here for you.
    You and Canada are always on the approved list at this UK citizens.
    Huge hugs and stay strong
    Christoph
    Xxxx

  • Deborah Jay

    Debby, I can so identify with your questions. Your dear husband, Sue Vincent, and a very good friend of mine who has just been diagnosed as terminal might all have been saved but for Covid craziness. I’m sad and angry and it isn’t even my own close family that’s been affected.
    Quite aside from those who have lost their lives to this, how is the health system ever going to ‘catch up’? So many, many people waiting for treatments (me included) that still are not being done, it’s sheer insanity.
    I am happy you got your 2nd vaccination though – I already feel safer about going amongst other people, and I’m sure you will too once Canada gets on top of things and you are able to get out and about again. We really WILL have to meet up in person once flights resume!

    • dgkaye

      Deb, it’s insanity. I ask all the same questions as you. How are they going to take on the backload of the thousand denied the care they needed because of Covid. Well, we all know, many will have died, so you can cross them off the damned list. Heinous planning if you ask me! 🙁 xx Yes, I hope to meet up sooner than you know! I’m hoping I’ll have my azz in the UK by August! <3

  • Norah Colvin

    Sending hugs, Debby. Take care of you. I think it’s great that you are self-reflective and understand your feelings. I think that guilt, along with all the others, is a natural feeling too. Some of us are burdened with guilt at the best of times so there can be no escaping it. But I am sure that in no way would he want you to feel burdened by it. He’d want you to be happy and bask in his love which, like yours, lives on. Difficult days, difficult moments – take it easy on yourself. Be gentle.

  • Liesbet Collaert

    As the pandemic lasted longer and longer, I became totally aware of people suffering from other diseases and issues. I wouldn’t be surprised that there are as many deaths due to “Covid circumstances” as to Covid itself. My dear aunt is another good – yet awful – example. She passed away too young and too unexpectedly, leaving us – especially her husband and my cousins – with many whys. She had a heart condition that was never investigated, because of the pandemic and it suddenly meant the end for her.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about you, dear Debby! This whole grieving process is so hard and there is no end in sight. You are strong, though, and your friends and memories will pull you through. I’m glad you received your first shot and I hope Toronto will open up again soon and that you’ll be able to visit your bestie in the UK!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Liesbet. And no doubts your aunt was another casuality of this pandemic. And believe me, there are way many more who’ve died and will die because of neglect of being treated than the numbers of Covid. All that will surface in months to come when statistics begin to appear. Hugs xx

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