Hi, readers. It’s me again, the Grieving Grandma.
I previously wrote about my experience with grief after the recent death of my grandson Eric. It has now been 8 months since his death, and I wish I could say things have gotten much better, but they really haven’t...well...some things may have gotten a bit better and others a bit worse. Yet, we continue to plug along not really knowing what tomorrow will bring.
I am still trying to accept Eric’s death, and I still have a hard time believing he is gone even though in my heart I know that it is true. I continue to help my family with whatever they need. Things seem to be pilling up on my plate, and I don’t seem to have anywhere that I can afford to turn other than to friends. Even if I could get into counselling, it’s a 3-month wait for the first appointment and an hour’s drive away.
My daughter-in-law says she has “Black Days,” which is the colour of her soul when she is really down. I am beginning to understand what she is talking about now as I too seem to have Black Days. My emotions sometime get in the way with my death doula training here at the HHA. The other day, when I sat down to do work on an assignment on grief and bereavement, I glanced at Eric’s picture out of the corner of my eye and burst into tears.
I am proud to say that my daughter-in-law has come a long way since losing Eric, but she will never be the same person as she was before – none of us will be. The grief and the guilt are still there, peeking at us through slitted eyes in the dark just waiting to be seen.
I did not include much in my previous blog post about my husband. Eric was buried on a Friday and the following Thursday we were in London, Ontario having a large Basal cell carcinoma removed from my husband’s forehead. So, my emotions have been all over the place. As stated in my biography, I am a PSW of 24+ years now, and I still put everyone before myself. It is so difficult to put oneself before others in need. Grief and caregiving make all of these pieces so complicated.
Next month is Eric’s 2nd birthday. We are planning a small celebration of remembrance. I think we as a family need a day where we can honour Eric's legacy by telling stories, laughing, crying, hugging, dancing, and starting to make some new amazing memories.
I am proud to be apart of the HHA community, and I hope that I will complete the death doula certificate program soon. My community needs some of the things I have learned, and I would love to put my knowledge into practice.
Anyone interested in becoming a death doula can register for HHA's Death Doula certificate program here. The next available training weekend is June 2-4, 2023.
Tammy Elliott is an HHA death doula candidate as well as a personal support worker. She has also recently started her own blog called The Grieving Grandma.