Thursday, 19 July 2012

Life and death

Gareth's ill again tonight.

He didn't sleep last night which brings on his sleep deprivation psychosis and to make matters worse his elderly friend John has been taken into hospital. John has terminal cancer and schizophrenia. Gareth's terrified of him dying as anyone would be, but for Gareth I would say death is a major trigger and an area that he just cannot cope with.

After losing his mum in 1999, his brother Ged hung himself in 2001. He would be the 4th of the 11 children to die. The eldest Paul was killed by a train when Gareth was an early teen. The verdict was left open but it appears to be a suicide. Paul was a like a father figure to Gareth. Russell died at birth and then there was beautiful Philip, who looked so like Gareth, he was 5 when he was hit by a car. He subsequently went into what was classes as a coma - for the next 22 years. Eventually he died from his muscles wasting away. Both his accident and his death were newspaper articles which his dad keeps in an album. Philip wasn't on breathing apparatus and was actually home for periods of time but the details are sketchy to me because Gareth has blanked it all out and I only find out things from his dad who doesn't like to dwell on the past.

Gareth has had life experiences that I just can't imagine, he's the youngest and most sensitive of all the children and quite often his family don't understand, and have no patience for the impact it's all had on him. They want him to "get over it" to "move on" but without an understanding of his various personality disorders/mental illness its pretty difficult for them to grasp why he finds this more difficult than them. I would quite happily get them all in a room and give a presentation about Gareth if I thought they'd listen. On the other hand they've had so much trauma that I can understand that they want to leave it behind.

With so many children though come many nieces and nephews, and we have a new baby in the family. Edward Arthur was born very recently and we will be visiting him next weekend. There is something beautiful and special about babies that give you hope and optimism for the future and I hope he will have a healing effect on Gareth when he lays eyes on him.

For now I have to go check on him in the hope that his prn has kicked in and he's fallen asleep, and is temporarily free from his pain.

1 comment:

  1. Sian I'm glad there is nobody else in my office this morning as I am sat at my desk with tears rolling down my face after reading this. Your poor husband :( You are an amazing, strong woman and what a relief he has you.