After Rodney left, after his party, I had so much energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. I just wasn't tired, even though I had very little sleep, it didn't bother me. For the last month I have been just so exhausted, all the time. My sleep is completely fucked up, as Philipp would put it. Instead of being awake until 4:30 AM, I am now staying awake til 6:30 or 7 AM. The amount of sleep I get is even more reduced, from 4 – 5 hours to 3 – 4 hours. I stayed awake for more than 2 days last week, eventually I fell asleep and slept for 14 hours. Waking up about 6 times, checking the date on my phone – yep – not the time, Rodney is still gone – back to sleep. Somehow my tired brain must have thought if I just sleep enough time will revert back. Didn't work.
When my husband was in ICU I would come home from the hospital feeling tired and wired up too. So, sleep was out of the question as my mind was wandering around the world and back. So much information and anxiety! The house was eerily silent compared to the whirr and click of the machines which were keeping my husband alive. Having decided to go to bed I switched on the TV to watch BBC and Sky News. After a few nights I realised that if I left the news programme on but decreased the volume then I would drift off into a peaceful enough sleep. I finally got into that sort of routine at night. Listening to news presenters was an ideal but weird kind of sleeping tablet. During the day I would drive into the hospital to meet the ICU teams and visit Dave. It was difficult to see him there in a coma and hooked up to machines. He was just a shell of a man or so I thought.
How do you make an introduction that's not boring. My name is Susanne and I found this site only a few days ago. (OK, that is boring) I only put a short "Hi" in the members forum and got ever so lovely responses very quickly. I also offered to write a blog for you. When my husband became ill I set up a FB page to keep our friends informed, instead of having to call or email everyone separately. Yes, I'm lazy. Very soon I started writing longer pieces, and I realised quickly how helpful this was. The support I got in the comments from our friends, most of whom live quite far away, was immense and became a lifeline. But I also noticed writing things down helped me to cope better.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL I still ask myself this question every day, even though my husband died in 2010. It especially raises it's ugly head when things are going bad for me in work or financially or generally. I'm on sick leave again due to my medical condition of anxiety/stress responses. I do not like feeling this way and it takes a lot of work to get back to feeling normal. It's human nature right?? One part of my brain is telling me I'm a great girl to be as good as I am and the other part of my brain turns into a child-minded wreck. Sometimes there are no answers. There are only questions. Time after bereavement feels longer and more difficult to get through than before we have been bereaved. Or maybe it's because our focus has shifted to be on our own now and the adjustments we have to make in our every day life and dealing with the emotional fallout too.
There are some 259 million widows around the world, and nearly half are living in poverty. Widows are often stigmatized by their families and communities. Many suffer discrimination based on age and gender. Some have lived lives marked by physical and sexual abuse. Older widows often have few economic assets, after a lifetime of hard but unpaid work. Even in developed countries, the value of women’s pensions can be some 40 per cent lower than men’s. Younger widows face other challenges, as heads of households with childcare responsibilities and very limited economic opportunities.
The new Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has reminded families that the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance will be made available again this year, and urged families who are not automatically entitled to make an application before the August deadline. “The support provided through the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance helps parents with the cost of the new school year. The Department of Social Protection has allocated €38.8 million for the payments this year. I want to remind families who do not automatically receive the allowance that they can still make an application before the August deadline,” Minister Varadkar said.