Hospice

I had followed the ambulance to the Hospice.   He was in the car with me, his nephew, and his mom in the ambulance with her husband.

They decided to wait at the car, no need for everyone to rush up to the door while he was being transferred into Hospice care.

The EMT’s wheeled him in through the doors, past the reception/admin desk, and down the hall to his room – Guest Room #3.

His mom and I were greeted by three incredibly caring, gentle, kind women.   They welcomed us.  They invited us in.

A few more minutes of transferring him to the hospice bed, papers handed over and he was settled.

I looked around the room.   Everything done in browns and neutrals with pops of colour on the home made quilts and crocheted blankets.

A futon was in one corner, a recliner in another, and two leather covered dining chairs for sitting bedside were under the tv directly across from the hospital bed.

The floors were dark hardwood.   There was a bathroom in the guest room – no more having to go down the hall and around the corner.

I hugged her and told her I was going out to get her son and grandson.   I’d be right back.

When I brought them in, the caregivers and the nurse for the night were in the room.   They offered us a tour of the place.

There was a lounge, with curved sofas for snuggling, some tables & chairs with puzzles, and a quiet table with two chairs for people to have tea at.

The kitchen was high end.  High ceilings, spacious, and lots of tables & chairs for everyone to sit at during meals.   There was a tv in the corner for anyone who wanted to watch.

The second lounge had another tv, sofas to sit on and lots of space.

The entire house was done in warm browns and dark mochas and espressos.   It was bright and airy and full of windows and light.

We walked in the kitchen to get coffee and the lovely lady who was giving us the tour was explaining something to him and his mom and I lost it.  I tried so hard to hold it in.  I hugged him and he hugged me back and I cried.   I sobbed.  I couldn’t stop.  I couldn’t hold back the tears.

This house is so amazing, so incredibly beautiful and wonderful and warm and caring….

I wish Mark could have died there.   He deserved to die with the dignity Jim will.

I wish Mark could have had that experience.

Prince George Hospice

 

Prince George Hospice Society

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Death Doesn’t Scare Me

I’m composing this, sitting in the Prince George ICU, helping a friend go through end of life with her husband.

I’ve discovered that death doesn’t scare me anymore.  It may, again in the future, but right now, I can sit beside her, loving her, being support for her and her family and I’m not triggered the way I was worried I would be.  The way my boyfriend was worried I would be.

My heart hurts.  I’m infinitely sad for her, for his daughter, for their family.

Memories I had forgotten are resurfacing.

But this isn’t devastating me the way it could have.

I am amazingly grateful for the support I’ve been given, for being able to clearly see, while I sit here what would be most helpful and when.

Death is part of life.  To paraphrase my doctor…. we are not human beings on a spiritual path, we are spiritual beings on a human path. Death is our paths diverging….

RIP Jim.  May your passing be quick and peaceful.

Are You Sure?

This question has been asked of me a lot lately.

Are you sure?  Are you sure you’re ready to move?  Are you sure this is the right time? Are you sure this is the right guy?  Are you sure?

There’s a joke my kids like to play on people…

“Are you sure?”

“Yes”

“Are you positive?”

“Yes”

“Only fools are positive”

How can anyone be sure about anything?  Completely, 100% sure?  There’s always options; there’s always alternatives; there’s always another path to wander down.

For me, anyhow.  I know people who are single-minded and know exactly what they want.   For me, there’s always the “This looks good, but so does that and that and that” problem.  And I solve it by looking at what looks the *best*

In this instance… the options are to take a chance on love… on a new start… on a new town….

Or to stay where I am. 

Nothing is ever so set in stone that I can’t change my mind.  If (big if because I believe in us and the relationship) if it doesn’t work out… I can do something different.

So am I sure?  I am as sure as I can be that this is the next best thing for me.  That the love and the committment between us is something worth taking a chance on.

Yes, I’m sure.

It's Going to be Ok Someday

THAT’s what they meant!!!

Year 2.

It’s been 54 1/2 weeks.

As I approached the 1 year mark, as I moved through the day on June 26, I focussed on the blessings and on the good things that knowing, loving and living life with Mark brought.

I was in a good place.

And now, 2 1/2 weeks later… it’s like someone took the scab and ripped it off.  I’m bleeding all over the place again.

I hurt.  I can’t breathe.  I can’t think.  I am having trouble functioning again.  I cry more often than I have in a long time.  I can’t focus for long periods of time.

And because of the move – I’m going through all our *stuff* and it’s like someone is taking a hot poker and jabbing the wound over and over and over.

More bleeding.  More pain.  More raw grief.

I didn’t know what it meant to have gone through all the firsts.  I didn’t know what would happen when I passed that one year mark. I didn’t know how I would feel.

I sure as hell didn’t think I’d feel like this.

Over the weekend at Camp Widow someone said that becoming a widow is like hitting a wall.  No matter what, that wall is ALWAYS THERE.   I have to figure out how to climb over the wall, go around the wall, move through the wall… but the wall is always there.

Right now it feels like I climbed the wall, most of the way, then fell down it, sliding along the cement and scraping up all exposed skin. 

I’ve heard it said that the 2nd year is when the fog lifts, and that’s why it hurts so much.

I’m moving forward in my life… but its almost like I’m walking parallel paths… one where I’m in love with a new guy, I’m moving my kids and starting a new life with him and the other where I grieve hard and painfully over my dead husband.  Those two people live inside me simultaneously.  Some days, the grieving widow is stronger and in control.  Others, the strong independent woman who is starting a new life is in control.

It’s exhausting.  And I don’t see an end to it.  All I see is the wall of “HE FUCKING DIED” in front of me.    And as I stand there, I’m blessed to be supported, hands held, hugged, loved, and encouraged by my friends and by the man who loves me.  

And faintly… oh so faintly, in the crowd of people standing there with me while I stare at this wall, trying to figure out how to live life without him, is Mark. 

I’m still bleeding.

Tucked In MY Heart

Present Tense

You know those friends?  The ones who knew you as a part of a couple?

The ones who you refer to as part of a couple?

I had dinner with one of those couples tonight.

The ones who knew me as MarkandJane.

The ones who I socialized with Mark with.

The ones who Mark and I met as a couple.

And we had a lovely dinner.  I really really enjoy their company.

And found myself referring to Mark in the present tense.

“Mark likes…”

“Mark is…”

“We have lived here for…”

I had a lovely dinner.  Love them.  They’re awesome people.  Too bad they live so far away.

But I kept referring to Mark in the present tense.  As if he was still in the hospital or at home with the boys or just unable to make it to dinner.

It’s like my brain couldn’t comprehend that he wasn’t alive – that he was really dead.   It was incredibly disconcerting and left me feeling odd… when I noticed I’d correct it – but it was just out of…. sync with my life now.

I miss him.  The more I pack to move, the more I miss him.

It was just really really odd….

January 2010 036