Category Archives: Death

Shameful feelings

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote. You’d think I’d have plenty of material during this historic time. And, I guess I do but I’m kind of overwhelmed by feelings. I find it hard to sort my thoughts into coherent sentences. I’m finally at a place where I feel I’ve got to get something out before I explode.

All these people protesting the “stay home” orders! All these people ignoring the scientists and doctors! All these people who think they have the right to decide whose life is worth the inconvenience! To all these people I say, go ahead and risk your lives.

I know it’s hateful and unchristian but, I find myself hoping that these selfish, ignorant people go out, have their rallies, protest in groups, gather at the beach, whatever it is they can’t live without, and get sick! Get COVID-19 and die.

I know, I’m horrible. That’s why I haven’t voiced these thoughts before. And I don’t want innocents to be hurt by these idiots, but maybe this is a good way to thin the herd. I’ve been wondering how we can survive the ignorant 40% of Trump supporters. Now, I’m thinking this is a good way to separate the chaff from the wheat.

I feel like I should apologize for this post. I am ashamed to admit that I have these feelings. I don’t want innocent people to suffer, get sick, or die. I just can’t help but be furious at the idiots, including Herr Drumpf, who are so ignorant and willfully ignoring the truth.

I’ll close by asking you to pray for all of those putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk to help us survive this pandemic. And, maybe say a little prayer for my heart.

Peace and love!

P.S. And please, vote Blue no matter who!

Aging

My husband and I have reached the stage of life when we begin to realize that our parent(s) are getting older and that time is not on our side. The signs are very subtle and sneak up on you. Suddenly, Dad doesn’t walk as steady as he once did or mom has trouble using her hands to do the sewing she used to love.

We all know that age is progressive. We know that we will get older and that there are consequences to aging, some good, some bad.  We think we’re ready to deal with whatever aging brings us but I, for one, have to admit I suddenly wonder, “when did this happen?”

I lost my mom too early.  She was only 59, but it was emphysemia that caused her early death so I never really saw her age much.  Certainly, I watched as she lost some of her strength and abilities but it was always because of the disease.

But it’s different when you see your parents who seemed to be completely healthy and strong one day and then faltering the next.

One day Mom is working in her flower beds for hours at a time and then hosting the family for dinner. The next, she can only work in the yard for short periods and it takes a few days for the aches and pains to fade away.

Dad rides his bike and walks miles and miles a day. Then you realize that even short walks can be too much for him. You have to be aware so that he doesn’t push himself too hard.  

Or maybe you’re used to Dad being confident and in control all the time.  Then find that he is asking for your guidance more often and leaning on you instead of you leaning on him.

And always there are the medical appointments. What used to be accomplished with you only hearing about it when there was a problem is now something that worries you constantly.  Every appointment brings a fear that all will not be well. That this will be when you find out what is going to take them away from you.

Now, my Dad and my in-laws, who I love like my own parents, are beginning to decline and I am afraid.  I think about how they are going to get along and whether I should be doing more to help. I worry that there just isn’t enough time to show them how much I love and admire them.  I wish I could freeze the clock until I’m ready.

My Dad is my hero. Always has been. He served 30 years in the Navy retiring as a Master Chief.  I always believed he could do just about anything. He was strong and sure and my protector.  He is the connection to my childhood that no one can replace. And no matter what else life hands me, I know that he loves and is proud of me. His faith in me makes me feel like I can do anything.  He makes me feel like a hero.

And, as for my Mom and Dad (in-law), I know there will never be enough time. I was blessed with them only twenty-eight years ago.  They welcomed me with open arms and hearts. I’ve come to know and love them so completely.

How can I face not having Mom’s advice (whether I need it or not)? Who will advise me about caring for plants and flowers.  Where will I turn when I want to know about the family history and so many other things. How will I feel loved without her friendship?

I know I can’t stand losing Dad’s gentle comfort and widom. He always knows how to bring peace and calm during difficult times. He gives profound advice that I know I can trust.  And yes, even his corny humor is something I will miss desperately.

I know that my musings really have no answer.  There is no way to be ready. There will always be regrets and sorrow.  I suppose all I can do is try to show each of them how important they are to me and how much I love them.

 

 

Guilt…

Well, I’m not sure how to write about what I’m thinking but I feel a need to get it out.

I’m not posting this to get people to praise me or tell me what a wonderful friend/person I am. I’ve heard all of that and frankly find it embarrassing.

My dear friend died 3 1/2 weeks ago after a valiant fight against cancer. A fight she knew all along she wouldn’t win. I spent the past 15 months helping her with her fight. I took her to appointments; I picked up medication; I was her advocate with the doctor, nurses, and other medical personnel; I took her to chemo and brought drinks and snacks I thought she’d like; I spent time with her; we took a couple of great trips; I held her hand and told her I loved her. I say all of this just to give some background before sharing what is bothering me tonight.

Part of me feels I was a good friend…

But…

I keep thinking I should have done more. I should have been there more. I should have found more ways to spoil her. I should have fought harder for her. I should have made it better.

Is this feeling normal? Do other caregivers of ill or injured loved ones feel this way? How do I get over this guilt?

 

Cancer is vicious!

One of my dearest and oldest friends is dying. I don’t even know what to say or think. All I really know is that cancer is vicious.

My wonderful friend is 63 years old. At one time, I’d have thought that was really old. Now, not so much. She is a single mother. She raised an amazing son. She is a partner in her own business. She has many friends spanning many years. She is beautiful, smart, witty, loyal, compassionate.

Her journey to death began with a diagnosis of stage IV anal cancer in April 2015. While she was told that it was incurable, she began the horrible process of chemotherapy. Despite all the mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, exhaustion and so many other challenges, she managed to hold the cancer at bay. But too soon, she began to lose the battle.

She became too weak, physically, to continue with chemo. She wasn’t able to eat and kept losing weight. She kept trying. Trying different foods. Trying different medicines. Trying to force herself to get better.

Finally, the doctor told her that she wasn’t going to be able to take chemo anymore. It was time to face the final part of her journey. She went into hospice care. That was about six weeks ago. For a while she maintained something of a “normal” life. She continued to work. She talked with friends on the phone. She had a few visitors, although she wasn’t comfortable with having most people see her at this stage. She carried on with her usual determination and spirit.

Now, just in the last week, she is tiring. She no longer wants “visitors”; she’s only comfortable with the people who have walked this journey with her each day. She tries to keep her pain under control. This means a lot more sleeping. She doesn’t bother to eat. She is afraid.

My wonderful, spirited, strong-willed friend is afraid. She’s afraid of the things this cancer is doing to her. She’s afraid of leaving her family and friends. She’s afraid of what death will be like. She’s afraid.

For now, all I can do is hold her hand. Give her her medicine. Try to make her comfortable. Listen when she wants to talk. Try to be supportive to her son and brother. All I can do is be there. I wish, oh, how I wish, I could do more.