Adam read my blog yesterday, “The first tiny steps“. I knew there would be a reaction, which I admit was part of my reason for writing it. Like a lot of people, he doesn’t like talking about death, especially, not mine. I hoped that by writing my thoughts, that he would then have something that was a defined plan, rather than just the general subject. It didn’t quite work out that way. It still took a huge amount of pushing and prodding to get him to say anything at all, and what he did, was, at first, running around the edges. I fully understand how he feels, it is hard, extremely hard to break ourselves away from the pain that death brings with it. I also understand that there is a huge difference between sitting calmly writing about something and talking about it. I had taken the easy option, as a way of broaching a difficult subject, which I had tried and tried in the past to do, I honestly couldn’t think of another way I could get him to talk. In the past when I have tried to talk to him, he has run away or, become so agitated by it, that I have backed off, as I can’t stand causing him pain.
When you yourself know you are dying, even if it is going to be several years away, you can’t ignore it, and this time, I wasn’t going to let him. I knew from the past, that he doesn’t like the idea of my ashes being so far away, if, they were all placed with Jeffery. I get that and I didn’t like it either, but I made a promise the day I buried him, that I would be with him one day. So I made the compromise, part with Jeffery and part close to Adam, to my surprise, he didn’t like the idea of me being split in different places either. We talked but, he couldn’t, or wouldn’t say what he wanted, all along when we came to a block, he said the same thing, “It’s not about what I want that matters, it’s about what you want.” I personally think that is wrong. We have done everything major in our life together through compromise and agreement, I don’t see why this should be anything different. What happens to my body once I am dead, is actually very much about what he is happy to live with too. Grieving has to have the right steps, it has to be worked through with an opportunity to say goodbye and to know where the person you love, is physically. Just as Jeffery was buried, because I couldn’t accept there would be nothing following a cremation, Adam has to be comfortable with what happens to me. I won’t be, the person who is grieving, he will.
At first, he wasn’t comfortable that I didn’t want, if, you like, the traditional funeral style goodbye. The removal of the ceremonial part isn’t as strange as he thinks. To me, the ceremonial part, is, when my ashes are scattered, as that is truly our final goodbye, not sitting staring a coffin through tears. When Jeffery was buried, we didn’t have a service in a church first, we all gathered at the cemetery around his grave and we held the service there. It was simple, and just as moving and supplied all the closure anyone could ask for. There was something about being outside, that felt right as well, as though there were no restrictions, no confinement to our feelings, they were as free as his soul was. I also think that the traditional cremation, being in two parts, separated by days, is cruel. I see the cremation act, as nothing more than a preparation step. It is far less arduous, to have just one gathering, one point when everyone can come together, to perform the final, single act to my life, or anyone’s life who is being cremated, the scattering of their ashes. He also tried to argue, that it was what people would expect and all those who know me could come to the crematorium. It’s an argument that doesn’t stand up, firstly all who know me or want to be there to support Adam can come to the ashes being spread, but not many will be there from my side anyway. He tried to say there would be, but as I said, who is there? Teressa and her husband John, my friend Jake and Adams family, that’s it. I have no friends left, they all vanished when I became ill, for some reason, that bothers him, more than it does me.
He didn’t like either that I intend to keep the whole thing as budget friendly as I can, he said it was something that I shouldn’t worry about, that it was up to him to find the money for the best send-off possible, I can’t agree. Funerals, can go into the thousands and for what? It doesn’t change the love that’s felt, and that, is, the only thing that’s truly needed. We only spoke for about twenty minutes, then he closed it down. I know that he is the sort of person, who has to think about things. Adam’s general reaction to things he doesn’t want to talk about were displayed perfectly yesterday. Throughout it, he was agitated and uncomfortable, he couldn’t stay in one spot and wondering around the room, getting closer and closer to the door all the time. Responses that I didn’t only expect, but had totally predicted in my mind before we even started. I could have written the perfect traditional process, right down to the overly pious minister, who had never met me, nor knew the first thing about me, spurting out the same service he repeats day after day, after day, but he would have been just the same. It wasn’t my choices that upset him, just that we were talking about me dying. It shouldn’t be like this, we should all be able to have and adult conversation about death, even our own, without feeling that all of it is wrong. None of us what to die, but you and I could be gone tomorrow, and who knows what you want if it happened right now. There is so much choice out there, we don’t have to spend thousands on coffins, hearse and overgrown ostentatious displays of flowers. They don’t do anything. The closest friends, a single flower from each and few words that mean something, now that says something, that says, love.
I am not going to push it, not today anyway, but I told him that this week I am going to email a few places, to find out about costs and so on. Unfortunately, I can think of no one else, other than a funeral director who can help me in my quest. My one experience with them has left me feeling just that tiny bit hostile towards them, which I am sure I will get over once the process has begun. I want to know and I need to start sorting all this out, as I am sure, that I will find a new peace, in knowing it is at least sorted. Eventually, I want to put together a document, that lays it all out, step by step what Adam has to do and how to go about it when I’m not here to help him. I want him to feel that I am holding his hand throughout it, guiding and comforting as he works his way through the phone calls that have to be made, the emails to be sent and so on. Once I have this stage sorted, then, I can start looking into all that proceeds it. I know that some might think that I am dashing off to find out about what might be years away, but it might not. My PRMS is a progressive condition, there is no knowing when I might have another flare or what damage it might do. I need to do what I can, while I still can, not leave it as a gaping painful unknown.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 18/01/2014 – Compensating is now failing
Once again I woke this morning not sure how to twist for the alarm clock or how, not for the first time, to find the strength to hold down the elevator button due to it’s strange position, but it is the only…….