I know it is Christmas Eve Day & all, but, I couldn’t help myself – you see, the way it is, when I get these thoughts in my head, the options are either to put them to paper or allow them to dissolve; a little like dreams. Some thoughts hang around longer than others, for most, it is just sparkle, fizz and gone.
Here I am.
I don’t know whether I have been fortunate or not to have lived through the past few weeks – well, fortunate to be alive, sure, but, to have experienced them at all, I don’t know.
It is a little like grief, only I am the person who has died.
You see, me, passing through my notice period, then on Friday, the end, has been strange, overwhelming, frightening, painful.
Not many of us get to witness our own passing-on.
For me this time is like Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief:
I know, yes, this is nothing at all similar, after all, here am I, seven am, sitting in boxers, typing at computer, and, yet.
I think of my friend’s uncle who after he died unexpectedly was showered with tributes from appreciative students – the quiet, sometimes taciturn guy who was not big on affection, was, it was discovered all too late, entirely the opposite.
I have been through this and, it feels a little like using your once-in a lifetime lucky charm; spent.
Grief is as much part of life as everything else; we say that one of the reasons we experience grief or, depression for that matter, is related to the way in which we connect with others, form close bonds and attach.
You can’t have one without the other – the cost of love, is its end one day.
& I know, I am still here, Mallard Ward remains open for business, the show goes on. Yet.
How often do people live through an unimagined success, the creation of something wonderful that is greater than you – perhaps the birth of your children?
When we opened Mallard Ward, we had one quite clear objective – to improve the experiences for older patients in the hospital who were confused; delirious or living through complications of dementia.
We knew we would be taking-on significant challenge, this was not going to be easy. The management objected, the leadership irate. For, the patients that were often seen as trouble, we were like me at football – the last person to be picked for the team. No quite untouchables, but certainly to many un-desirable. And we took these folk and made something beautiful.
And I have passed-on, in transition, a Yuletide limbo that I knew I’d never enjoy. Then, that wouldn’t have been difficult to anticipate, for he who is never satisfied, never happy, always seeking a little bit more.
So, no, I am not dead.
I am experiencing a keto-flu; a transition, my psyche adjusting, just, as the Ward will adjust, the cracks papered-over and new things found.
The end is not the end, it is just the next phase.