Grief support groups, condolence advice, funeral etiquette and more
A continutaion of the "When a Spouse or Partner Dies" thread.
Latest Conversations: 1 hour ago
This might be a rough time for many of you. Do what you feel you need to do to get through it. Remember, someone is here almost all the time to talk to you.
Started by Andrew Berenyi Jr.. Last reply by Steve Jul 14.
Started by Chris Sky. Last reply by Mary. Jane Jul 1.
Started by Sandfly. Last reply by Marsha H Jun 6.
An update: Dear friends, I am sorry that I've been absent. I needed time to reflect and regroup and inadvertently distanced myself from friends here and elsewhere.
I was sitting with my unresponsive husband two years ago tonight. I had made the impossible decision to remove life support after it became increasingly clear to me that he was no longer "here". My sweet husband stayed with me so that I could "talk" to him until the next day (July 22, 2015) at 3:29 a.m. My husband was very precise - I could not say It was at 3:30 a.m. - it wouldn't suit him.
The doctors predicted that he would likely pass before 7:30 p.m. On occasion, I looked at the clock in the room. I thanked him for staying with me at about 10:00 p.m. We were married on 8/22/92. We celebrated our anniversaries monthly. I gratefully realized that he was going to stay with me so that we could celebrate our 22 year and 11 month anniversary. Wow.
Today has been a good day. I am thinking of buying a second home at the beach. I heard from my lender today and qualify for a loan. I am still numb. I now know my financial parameters and am actively searching for a beach house. I continue to talk with Bob and discussed this idea with him. He wants me to be happy and told me to go for it!
I have family in this area (Bob's cousin and his wife). I called our cousin this evening. First, I thanked him for dropping everything and driving up to support me two years ago today. I then shared my crazy idea. He and his wife are excited and also want it to happen. They invited me to stay with them while I look at property and offered to help me to find the perfect place.
Sara, I continue to discover so many commonalities between the two of us. The doctor asked if I wanted a post death medical examination. I asked him if he felt it would help the hospital to have that information. He said no. That made my decision easier.
Today has actually been a good day. I continue to remember only the good times of which there were thousands. I've been smiling all day.
Enjoy your week off in August. That sounds awesome. Debbie
Debbie........It seems like Bob and Ken died of a similar reason, infection. Ken had a kidney transplant. The kidney was working fine but somehow he contracted Klebsiella, an antibiotic resistant bacteria. It took the doctors 2 months to put a name to the infection. The infection was really taking a toll on his liver but ultimately got into his blood stream and he went into cardiac arrest. Due to his kidney function, they couldn't do a catscan with IV contrast so they were giving him an oral contrast to try to look inside him as best they could to find the infection hoping they could surgically remove the infected area. He had daily catscans that last week as they were looking at each area individually to find it. When he died, the lead doctor asked for my permission to do an autopsy. They want to look inside to see what was going on in the hopes of helping someone else in the future. Ken had always been about paying it forward so I gave my permission but I didn't ask for the results for myself. Like you, I feel no good would come of my seeing the results and it wouldn't change anything. Also like you, Ken will always be the love of my life.
Take all the time you need to de-stress. I have a week off in August and am looking forward to doing the same thing.
Sarah, Thank you. I am concentrating today on all of the happy times and memories from our life together. It helps to focus on the positive. We had some amazing experiences and I am blessed beyond belief to have spent so many years with him by my side.
Bob's death was not from any particular illness. He was fine and apparently healthy until he was not fine or healthy anymore. I declined an autopsy knowing the cause was not going to change the outcome. This was a personal decision. I don't want others on this site to misinterpret my mentioning this choice. I could have gone either way but came to this decision based on prior conversations where he made clear that he didn't want this option.
His death certificate attributes his death to multiple organ failure due to toxic shock syndrome. The medical team was not able to discover what was attacking his body and causing the massive infection that hit him in a NY minute. They pumped him with series of antibiotics and continued to add machines. He had also made clear that he did not want to be kept alive artificially. I had to make the impossibly difficult decision to remove life support. I then held his hand for the next 14 hours and took it all in.
He remains the love of my life. I am blessed beyond measure. I will continue to move forward. For now, I am taking a couple of more days off from the hustle and bustle of life to just be.
I hope you are doing as well as can be expected. Debbie
Debbie....I'm sorry you've been having an extra hard time lately. It's so hard for those of us who watched our spouses suffer with illness. Those moments keep flashing and we relive them over and over. I too still relive the last days of Ken's life. For the first 14 months after he passed, I couldn't close my eyes at night without those last couple hours playing out as if on a big screen. I had no control. I hope you're feeling a little better. I also hope that along with these tough memories are the good, fun memories of your life together.
Thinking of you.
Marsha, Thanks for your sweet post. I've been absent for a bit. I hit a very rough spot about a month ago as I began reliving the events of two years ago. I gave myself time to just "be". I read the book, Option B, and joined the FB page. I find that the posts are overwhelming - so much pain and grief. There are supportive posts too but the raw posts are more than I can handle presently.
Two years ago today I was sitting vigil with my sweet husband in the critical care unit. He was receiving incredible care - a team of more than 50 professionals were trying desperately to determine what was causing mounting multiple organ failure. The team leader was brilliant and kind. It seemed that every time I saw him he said "we have to talk about your wishes." I responded that we had just talked about my wishes a short time ago. He responded that "he has gotten worse". I thought to myself: how could he be worse? His lungs, kidneys, and liver had failed. The doctor responded that he had recently suffered two strokes and his cells have now failed. Incredible. I quickly received an abbreviated course in critical care medicine and realized that the best medical team available anywhere was not going to be able to make a difference in the outcome.
Fortunately, I had supportive family and friends that came to be with me. I continued what would end up being an 89 hour bedside vigil by his side. I held his hand and communicated with him.
I am remembering each and every moment of that day while feeling so blessed that this lovely man and I spent so much time together. God bless. Debbie
Dear Deb ... It's always wonderful to see you post. I miss you! Happy you like the song and as I said, 'pretty much says it all.'
Mary.Jane ... Sorry, but I laughed so hard over that story. I don't like spiders either! I can see where you would be grossed out. The other day I went to put garbage in my green bin and there were maggots everywhere. I was beside myself! It's the hot weather causing it and the neighbors I've talked to have the same problem. Suddenly it got cooler and they completely disappeared. It's the disappearing that gives me the creeps! LOL
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