Monday, February 14, 2011

The end is near

I can not believe the support I get from you guys.  You are amazing, amazing women and I can not thank you enough for supporting me through everything I write about. It makes me feel so much less alone.  And so much less like an asshole.

After this past weekend I can't help but feel guilty for writing that last post though.  Things have changed again and now Steve really does need my support. His actions have become truly genuine.

Steve took Ruby to visit his dad in the hospice on Saturday morning.  He was really tired and a little bit confused but he was able to talk a bit to his visitors and he was watching sports on TV.  Then yesterday, Steve, myself, Ruby and Lincoln went in to visit him.  We were taken aback at the dramatic change in him.  He was basically unconscious the whole time we were there.  He is skin and bones.  He's barely there.

I found it really hard being there with my kids because they don't know what's going on and I obviously had to mother them and try to keep them quiet.  It is no longer bringing Steve's dad joy to bring them to visit.  He didn't even know they were there and I struggled to keep them quiet amidst my own grief.  Steve's brother and his girlfriend then showed up as I was getting ready to take the kids over to my parents house for their naps. They were obviously shocked at the state FIL was in and things got confusing with people trying to figure out what to do and what to say and who should do what and in the kerfuffle we kind of got ushered out the door (by SIL) without me having the chance to properly say goodbye with the kids.  I always put Lincoln's cheek up to FIL's cheek and Ruby always gives him a kiss.  We didn't get to do that. 

And it was the last time they will ever see him.

They aren't going back to the hospice, it's not right anymore.  That kinda bugs me - but I know that it only matters to me. The kids don't know any different and my FIL likely wouldn't have known.  But maybe he would have.  Anyways - the important thing is that I took them for every visit I could while he could still enjoy them.  And they said goodbye and gave kisses every time they left. Except that last time - fuck that really does bug me and I'm pissed that I allowed someone else to rush me out before I did what I needed to do. 

Steve and I took the kids over to my parents and then returned to the hospice.  By that time it was just MIL and FIL there so we had a bit of time to just sit in the room and chat a bit with MIL and just be with FIL.  A couple of times FIL stopped breathing and we all held our own breath.  But he started back up each time after a minute or so, but it is very laboured. 

We know that the end is very, very close. Likely within a couple of days. Almost surely before the weekend.

When we left, I kissed FIL's cheek and told him I loved him. I rubbed his hand and he squeezed mine and then kind of shook it.  Then Steve kissed his dad's head and told him he loved him and hugged him.  His dad then lifted his arm and wiggled his fingers to wave goodbye to Steve.  Both Steve and I believe that he was saying goodbye to us for the last time.  It meant so much to us both.  But at the same time, rocked us to the core with overwhelming sadness. There have been lots and LOTS of tears since then. 

Steve's mom isn't sure she wants to be in the room with him when he passes.  But she doesn't want him alone.  Steve said he doesn't want to be there either - he just wants to get a phone call to say that it's over. 

I do NOT want him to die alone, I don't think anybody does.  I would happily be there with him to hold his hand when he passes. I think I am the strongest, most spiritual person in the family for this situation.  The problem of course, is that I have two little kids to look after and I have no options for child care.  I feel really helpless with being here, an hour away - and being limited as to what I can do to help. 

I'm making a pot of turkey soup right now.  Because in the aftermath we'll have something comforting to eat.  And also because I need to do something wholesome right now to ease my hurting soul.

As if a pot of turkey fucking soup can do shit to make any of this better.


babyinterrupted said...

I'm so sorry. What very hard days.

I don't know if this helps or not, but I've been around of people who are dying (part of my job) and have found that they often die when their loved ones leave. Somehow, they seem to wait. Naturally, nobody knows why this is, but it happens a lot. So if he dies when no one is there, don't feel guilty about him being alone - he may, in some way, choose that.

babyinterrupted said...

sorry: "around a lot of" (skipped that, somehow)

serenity said...

My husband's great aunt recently passed away, and it was similar to what babyinterrupted said. Despite the fact that they had an around the clock rotation of people to sit with her, she died when her daughter left the room to use the ladies room.

Either way, there's not much I can say to ease the Suck of losing someone you love. I am sending you virtual hugs, sweetie.


Somewhat Ordinary said...

I am so, so sorry, Tara. It is all so shockingly quick. I hope if he is alone when he passes that you don't feel guilt about it. My friend's father passed recently and they were there non-stop. They knew it was going to happen any minute so she and her brother sat in silence all day. They got distracted by an employee (they run a business) and were busy talking about it-no longer sitting in silence. After the conversation was over they realized he had passed. It was like he wanted to be alone and since they wouldn't leave the room he took the opportunity when they were busy talking.

Again, I'm so sad for you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that this has to happen. It is hard.
And to be yet another person to add to what the previous three commenters said, the two of my grandparents who passed away over the past few years also waited until family had left.

Anonymous said...

My dad passed away from brain cancer 2 years ago and he did just that, waited until my mother left and his sister was there and quietly passed on. It was very peaceful. It was hard on my mom and my brother and I to accept that we weren't there, but I too feel that it was his choice to go then. Remember that hearing is one of the last things to go..he's proving that by squeezing your hands and waving his fingers. My dad listened to my youngest daughter on my cell phone the night before he passed. He couldn't interact in any way- he wasn't opening his eyes but when I asked him to squeeze my hand if he could hear her on the phone, he squeezed very tightly. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Just Jen said...

Oh Tara, I am so very sad while reading this. I do not have any words of encouragement, but just know that we love you guys and think of you non-stop. Huge hugs. XO

Emily said...

I didn't comment on your last post, sorry. Regarding that post, you are not evil. You have valid feelings and emotions. You have a household to care for, and 'milking it' is not cool at all... That being said, being through what I went through I can give you the other perspective. I was not in control of my shit when my dad died. I really don't even remember much of it, I think I blocked it out. I do know that *reality* was not something I had a concept for. It did get better, but honestly? He didn't need to be so extreme, and you also need to be there foe him (which I know you already are). It's FUCKING HARD when someone dies, I know you are going through some of the grief right now, so you understand... it's profoundly hard. Mind fucking hard. You both just need to hang onto each other for dear life and forgive one another of things you might do that are very out of character.

About what's happening right now. I am so sorry. You're right, he should not be alone. I relly hope his wife will want to be with him. Maybe right now it's hard for her to think about that, but better to be with him then regret it later. I hope that you & S will have another chance to say goodbye. I know it sucked for the kids not to say goodbye the last time, but I know that in your father-in-law's own way, he already said goodbye annd had his special moments with them.

Just my opinion, but I really hope S or his mom will be there. They won't regret it later. As horrible and as sad as it is, it is a last moment that will hold so much love, peace, but also ache and loss.

I wish you all strength and peace during this time.


Emily said...

I'm so sorry Tara - its all happened so incredibly fast your heart must be working overtime to keep up.

I think sometimes its easier on the dying to know that the ones they love most in the world don't have to actually watch them die. You've said your goodbyes and he knows how much you love his son and grandchildren. He knows your strength and the incredibly high level of caring you are capable of.

I'm sure your soup will be much needed as will your strength but please know that we are all alongside for YOU - and if you need anything - especially a place to vent - we're here for you! xoxo