Losing a loved one

It’s a tad flippant to say that a death is untimely: when is it timely? No one says, ‘Oh, I’ve reached 89 so my time is up’. When people are desperately, agonisingly, and horrendously ill, there might be a case for thinking it’s time: but that’s a whole other kettle of fish, and a contentious one too.

Pharmacy assistants in your day-to-day lives (and in your personal lives) come face-to-face with grieving customers or others who are suffering from conditions that will mean that their lives will be cut short.  We all face this, as it’s part of life, but you probably come across it more than most.

How do you deal with it?

It’s really a rhetorical question isn’t it? Death is a fact of life.

But when people are lost and taken from us without having had a ‘fair go’ the pain cleaves further and there is a sense of injustice and anger! And that is what psychologists tell us is a ‘normal’ reaction, But it doesn’t make it any the easier.

I am writing this blog because I am saddened because a friend has just lost her husband at an untimely age. She has twin boys and also a large family and lots of other complications to deal with.

I connected with her through Etsy, which I am obsessed with, basically because I loved her hats: we’ve been in touch ever since and shared emotions and joy, pictures etc (and lots of hats… in fact, the whole office is now ‘hatted’ because of Elizabeth and her beautiful work).

It was a bit like penpals of the old days… she lives in the US.

However, suddenly she had to give up her business because her husband, Christian, got a rare form of cancer: and he died within a few weeks, but fought on until the end and gave everyone a few weeks more: special man.

Elizabeth was so brave and beautiful and told me how she asked Christian if he was scared of dying, and he said not; because he had her love and his love would continue through their beautiful twin sons.

And one promise she gave him, and the covenant they made together—was that she would be there to feel his last heart beat; and she did just that with her hand on his chest and her heart bursting with love!

So when you hear customers saying, ‘at least they had a good life’, or ‘at least their suffering has ended,’ we should all remember, me included, that every life, long, short, painful or playful, should be celebrated.

And hats off to you Elizabeth: well done and I am so sorry and wear your hats with extra pride!

by Janet Doyle