Trevor here again, with our monthly post. This time is going to be about a subject, that not many people want to talk about and that is grief. Grief can occur in many forms. It doesn't have to be a loss of a loved one or friend. It can be saying goodbye to things that we love, because of our health. That was the case with Brenda.
We are however, going to share about some of the losses that Brenda has experienced in her own family.
She lost her beloved sister Bev, in 2003 to colon cancer. Bev was the core of Brenda's family, so that was a great loss. Brenda loved Bev very much, as she was always encouraging her to try new things. She would be so proud of Brenda now. I never met Bev, but from what I have heard, she was loved by so many.
Shortly after Bev's passing, Brenda's father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He took Bev's death really hard and Brenda thinks, that was his breaking point. It was a long four years, seeing him slip away gradually, as this truly is the "Long Goodbye." Brenda's mother was his primary caregiver and Brenda would come on most weekends, so that her mother could do something as simple as taking a shower, so they wouldn't have to worry about him taking off. It really took a toll on her as well. He lost his battle in 2007, almost a year before Brenda's brain tumor diagnosis.
It was after her father passed away that her mother asked Brenda to stay with her every weekend, as she did not want to be alone. She wanted to be able to do things of worth. I think that is what drives Brenda so hard, with her advocacy work.
As you know it was in 2011 that Brenda's mother became ill. As I shared before, taking care of Brenda's father, had taken its toll. She was losing weight, as stress was a big factor. There is more than meets the eye, when you are the sole caregiver of someone. She fought hard not to have to put Brenda's father in a nursing home, as she said it would be like divorcing him. She took her vows seriously and took excellent care of him. I never met him, but I did meet Brenda's mother and know, what great care she took of her, while she was recovering from her 2nd carpal tunnel surgery.
It was during this time that Brenda's mother got worse and had to be put in a nursing home. Brenda also experienced another death in her family, that being her brother-in-law, who took his life. We don't always understand these things. This was the month before Brenda's mother passed away. That was truly a sad year.
Then the next year another brother-in-law, suddenly passed away from an apparent heart attack. He had been helping Brenda out with some details after her mother's passing and even with her taxes. The last conversation that they had he said, "Say hello to Trevor." I met him briefly, but he sure seemed like a nice fella.
Since then there have been three more deaths, another brother-in-law. Sadly, we do not have the details of his passing, but Brenda has a great memory of their last meeting together. It ended in a hug.
The last two were a great nephew who was stillborn and a great niece, who fought hard, but sadly lost her battle at the age of two.
So Brenda knows grief, make no mistake about it. We thought it was time to bring some of this out, as we are hoping it may help some of our readers.
With Brenda joining the Grief Diaries Village last year, and being able to write about some of her feelings in regard to her mother's passing, has been a great comfort for her. She was a contributor to one of the books in the anthology series; Grief Diaries: How to Help the Newly Bereaved. It's a book for those who want to know, how to be a source of comfort, for those they come in contact with, who are newly bereaved. Brenda is also working on another book in the same anthology series, again with helping the newly bereaved.
Brenda has also experienced, several losses of friends, who could not accept her new normal. I will say if it bothers you, then you are the one with the problem, not Brenda. Brenda had a friend tell her that once, who was in a wheelchair. Her friend had accepted it, so why should it have bothered anyone else? That was a real eye opener for Brenda.
Brenda's health has caused a lot of changes for her. She cannot do everything that she used to be able to do. Her philosophy is, "Focus on what you can do; not what you can't."
Grief has no timetable. There are days when it comes in waves and Brenda weeps.
This is normal. You never get over it! You just continue to move forward, even if it is slow.
All that person wants or needs, is for YOU to be there, that's it! You don't have to say a word.
My golden heart aches for all of these losses, but I am there, when she needs me.