Days 33-36: Bereavement and Understanding

Day 33 and I received the news of my grandfather's death. This is devastating news as we were very close. Also, I'm the only child of an only child so our family is very small. The abruptness of his death came as a big shock. He was fit and healthy and had a lot of energy for a man of 85. However, he was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm which he knew could rupture at any time meaning a quick death. Knowing this, he elected to undergo surgery this past Wednesday in order to bypass the aneurysm and give himself a better life without what he termed a 'ticking time-bomb hanging over him.' Although the operation was completed they were unable to maintain his blood pressure in the planned intensive care stay and he died later that afternoon. The survival rates he was quoted were over 90% so everyone's hopes were high, with my mum and grandmother holding the belief that he would certainly be okay. This statistic seems irrelevant now.

This has understandably given me a roller-coaster of emotions. It makes the month of no smoking running up to this day seem like a walk in the park. Only a higher being knows how during those first few hours of knowing I did not smoke. However, to my disbelief I have still managed to stay smoke free. I think this is down to the work I put in before which has shown me how smoking was only ever a way to suppress emotions which I didn't want to feel. This to me I think is the key point for why I (and maybe others) continued to smoke. It was if every time I felt something I didn't like or didn't know how to deal with I would smoke. For example, every time I socialised with people I'd only just met my smoking rate would go through the roof. I now know this only leads to that emotion coming out in other way, be that depression or anger or just general frustration. As much I my mind keeps trying to justify how one cigarette will ease this pain I'm feeling right now I think I've finally worked out what b******s that thought is. Smoking won't ease the pain. It will only prolong it.

For the first time in my adult life I think I've finally got over this smoking addiction but I think my guard still needs to be up in case it's a false sense of success. I'm on day 36 now and think I've got this. My granddad was an incredible person who made the world around him shine with a genuine compassion and friendliness towards everyone he met. The depth and breadth of the condolences my grandmother and us as a family have received has been incredible. I only hope that I can be a bit more like him and use this new no smoking self to carry on his way of seeing and being in the world. I've got a lot of work to do on myself before this is the case but not suppressing how I feel and accepting it as part of me has got to be a start.

It's very rare that I feel compelled to share such things on a forum but I feel this last 5 weeks (and few days in particular) are life changing for me for the better. I'm just setting out on a career as paramedic for which he was incredibly proud of me. I know it's only for me that I can stay smoke free but I feel like I owe it to him now also. He never knew that I smoked as I made sure that he wasn't aware. I'm sure he would have been upset as he only ever wanted the best for me. It was only because of him and my grandmother that I'm able to afford to study at the moment to become a paramedic. I'm not quite sure how to end this but I'm just happy to have shared a bit of what I've been going through these last few days.

9 Replies

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  • Blis

    Firstly, let me express my sympathy to you and yours on the passing of your beloved 'Grandfather'. You speak with such love, pride, and fondness, it sounds like he was a very nice gentleman.

    Bereavement can of course be a major tigger/excuse to restart smoking, so 'well done' for abstaining. This indicates that your mindset is 'different', so as far as your quit goes you sound like you're in a good place.

    Please be strong in the coming few days, be the man for the women in your life, (your mother and grandmother) just like your grandfather always was.

    Fi x

  • Thank you for lovely messages of support. It's been a rough few days but the desire to smoke is becoming next to nothing now. It does feel like if I can make it though this and the funeral then I can't see me smoking again. I'm also really happy to have the chance to share a bit about what an inspirational person he was.

  • I am so sorry about your loss. Condolences to you and your family and well done to have gone through such a difficult time without the need to smoke. I am sure your grandfather would be extremely proud. Keep strong.

  • Please accept my condolences to you and your family. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man and you obviously loved him very much. So glad you have not reached out to the cigarettes during this awful time as you rightly said it will not help at all. Take care and my thoughts will be with you during these next few days.xx That was a wonderful post and I am glad you feel better for writing your feelings down.

  • My thoughts are with you and your family, my nanna died at 42, my papa at 48, my other granddad at 42 and my gran at the ripe old age of 91. No matter what their age grandparents are a big influence on our lives and we have a special love for them.

    God Bless xxx

  • Sorry for your loss.

  • So sorry for your loss, my mum use to say be for she passed over, that when such tragedy happens, there is always something nice to come your way, and I like to believe this.

    It, s a test of our focus to keep our quit going, so you are really doing fantastic ,

    Your dong ok my lovey:)

  • Bless you, so sorry for your loss....xxx

  • I'm so very sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you x

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