Saturday, December 15, 2018
My husband stepped off this planet and entered Heaven’s Gates yesterday morning at 8:05 a.m. – Sabbath Rest; how wonderful is that? He had been struggling with chronic pancreatitis since August after a series of events led to a flare-up that set in and would not be controlled. St. John’s Peace Health hospital was in over their heads from day 1, and told us that he needed to be treated at OHSU but there was no available bed there for him until November 26th. The 4 medical teams there that were assigned to Hubs for his specific situation were fantastic from the get-go: they made us feel like family and treated Hubs very well, and did everything they could do for him that would not be in serious conflict with what we believe in Faithwise. And Hubs agreed to everything they wanted to do to help him when it did not include actual resuscitation actions – towards the end he did agree to 4 blood infusions to boost his red blood cell count, and he did agree to allow the breathing machine when he underwent a failed procedure to drain the pseudocysts on his pancreas.
Despite everything being done, Hubs started seriously going downhill this past Tuesday when his breathing became very strained due to the excess water weight from the rampant edema that had spread from his legs to include his feet, arms, and back, as well as his painfully extended abdominal area. Hubs and I knew he was dying; it was just a matter of time – very weak, nauseous, hot to the touch w/no fever, and in severe back pain. The docs knew it too but they did not state it until Thursday morning. Wednesday Hubs and I prayed for a peaceful passing and listened to the Teams trying to be cheerful (their faces and body language did not match their pep talks; they were very somber). We knew that Hubs was seriously fighting for his life at that point, but he adamantly refused the breathing machine 4 times when it was suggested; and I don’t blame him. It is painful to experience and to watch someone use, so I supported his decision to refuse it, and that led to Hubs being placed on a “comfort care” regimen to keep him as comfortable as possible until the end of his life on this Earth.
Friday was filled with activity that only a death scene can stir up: everything was removed from his person (feeding tube, heart monitor, IV drips, ect.) leaving only the nostril oxygenizer. I called every family member and gave them the news as well as the option to come see him for the last time if they wanted to do that … or could do that. Those that were local and fairly local came; those who could not leave their jobs because there was no replacement workers, or those who lived too far away and could not get an emergency flight – like our granddaughter in Connecticut and our daughter in Nevada – did not, but they called.
Doctor Morgan came in periodically and asked me how I was doing. I had been at OHSU constantly since he was admitted, staying all day and all night, going home only once a week for a 4 hour stretch to collect mail, throw in a load of laundry and take a shower before heading back to Bob so he wasn’t ever alone (the time span I chose to do home stuff was when he was having x-rays, imaging, and doctor consultations): the rest of the time I was on the spot 24/7. I packed and kept a duffle in the room with juices, paperbacks, and clothing; I was there with him for the long haul. I said I was “doing okay; we are prepared for what is happening: death does not frighten us.” She asked if there was anything I needed. I said, “I need this to hurry up.” Looking at my husband I wished with all my heart that we could go back to August 29th BEFORE Candy Scott stormed our front porch with neighbor Ron’s ridiculous paranoia and her egomania accusations and insinuations which led directly to the nightmare we were painfully experiencing. Docs think that he had passed a gallstone at some point before that event and the stress of the encounter with Candy irritated the already inflamed internal area and that things careened out of control making the situation deadly. That makes sense because nothing else about the insidious illness does. As I watched my husband struggling to breathe and speak I wanted so badly to have the ability to rewind our lives and go back to August 29th when life was good and we were enjoying our life and looked forward to more good times.
Physical death came slowly through those 24 hours. It was very hard to experience and watch. A few times he would shake off the effects of the pain killers he was given to look around and try to talk, but the death rattle and wheezing was so loud I could not hear his voice even with my ear pressed to his mouth – that upset me because he was trying so hard to speak and I wanted him to know that I was there for him. But I could not understand what it was he wanted me to know. He did tell me again and again before he was too weak to speak that he loved me, so I am assuming that is what he wanted me to know. His room was packed with family members that came – his son Alex, youngest brother Kerry, oldest sister Merry and her youngest daughter Tiffany, me of course, his middle sister Bonnie, his mother, our granddaughter Alyna and her fiancé Liam. And the room was also filled with the phone calls that came in and I put on speaker so everyone, especially Hubs, could hear the speaker – our granddaughter Krisalee, in Connecticut, our granddaughter Brianna, who could not get time off from her local job to visit the room, our daughter Sara, in Nevada, who could not get an emergency flight. The only family people absent were Hub’s youngest sister who couldn’t pull herself away from her $$$$ counting tower to come until the next day (too late as usual; same sister who could not visit him in ICU in September because she had an upcoming business deal she didn’t want to miss), and our daughter and grandson … and you all know, if you have been reading my Blog and FB posts, why they could not be in attendance, a middle brother who for whatever reason of his own did not want to come, and a beloved Aunt who was on vacation and would not have time to get back here in time. Everyone who did make it stayed until 9 p.m. Around 10 p.m., my middle sister called in tears saying she just heard ‘through the grapevine’ (aka, FB) and was ‘so sorry’ … I hung up on her – if she wants absolution, she will have to go to whatever god her believes in to get it; the way she and her husband treated us in October was and is inexcusable. I can’t deal with her narcissistic BS right now and I refuse to allow her to use my husband’s death to assuage her guilty conscience; I forgive her, BUT she will have to carry her selfish burden alone – I don’t want it. My youngest sister called and I appreciated that; though our chosen lifestyles are vastly different, Carla did love my husband and they never had cross words. Still have not heard from my brothers and I don’t expect to.
I felt a LOT of emotions during those long torturous hours of endless waiting. I felt numb, angry, sad, joyful, jealous, frightened, bold, and mournful all at once. I felt numb because this was something I could not control, and it was spiraling out of control with alarming speed. Of course, Elohei knows best and He had everything under control; I just did not want to feel the loss so I shifted into ‘numb’ mode. I am angry because Candy Scott and that bastard neighbor Ron set this situation into action with their petty ridiculousness and refuse any responsibility at all. I have forgiven Candy because she is nothing but a tool, but Ron is a selfish and unrepentant murderer (killed his wife with his continual smoking even though she was suffering severe COPD … and he killed my husband with a stress-induced illness that stole his life). I am angry because when I get home there is no way to avoid either of these people that have killed my husband and ruined my life. Forgiveness for Ron will have to come from Elohim; I can’t right now; I don’t want to. I felt sad because my life with Hubs is ending and yet taking too long to end – I wanted his unrelenting pain to end and I wanted to hang into him as long as I could too. I was sad because he was suffering and that could not be avoided. I was sad because our life together was ending and I was powerless to stop any of it (the illness, the wrapping up of 44 years together) from happening. I was joyful because soon my longsuffering husband would be freed from a bloated and pain-wracked body that refused to cooperate with getting healthy again. I was joyful knowing that my husband would soon be trading his agonized body for a brand new one specifically designed for him personally that will never again know pain and decay. I was joyful because shortly he would be in the presence of Yeshua, walking Heaven’s streets of gold; I was joyful knowing that! I was jealous because I want to be freed from my decaying body too, to be with him as he will be with Yeshua. I want to be with my husband; instead I am being left behind in a decaying world with an aging body to now go through life alone, bereft of the warm and friendly companionship and unconditional human love my husband lavished on me. I was jealous of my husband’s approaching journey which leaves me behind for a while until I can join up with him again. I was frightened because I will be alone without love or companionship for the 1st time in 44 years. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t know how to be alone – ALL of my life was a life centered around the love of my life. I am frightened of the future. I am frightened but not fearful. I felt bold with a boldness to move forward despite feeling sad and frightened. I must move forward; I cannot stay at Heron Pointe with my husband’s killers on the premises. I want to honor my husband’s dying request that I stay in the house he provided me with, but I have got to sell and move, and I will be doing that alone. The grandkids want me to move to Oregon where they can keep close tabs on me and be assured that I am doing okay with their periodic visits and checking up on me – can I trade a country life for a city life? Maybe. I feel bold enough to do that, but would that be the right thing for me? I will seek Elohei’s wisdom and guidance and move forward boldly no matter what is decided. I felt mournful because my husband presence would soon be leaving me and I love him and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. But I must let go; it would be selfish to keep him here in pain and misery. I do not mourn as the world mourns … as those with no hope; but I did already feel an acute emptiness at the loss of my husband in my life.
Yesterday after Hub’s spirt left his earthen vessel and entered into a celestial body up yonder, Kerry gave me a ride back home where Bonnie and I took care of business at the funeral home before I came home and started getting used to a life of widowhood. It is strange and I feel kinda aloof from it. I mean, I am still me; and I haven’t fallen apart like everyone seems to think I should. I figure for 3 decades Hubs and I have talked about approaching death and how we would face it and deal with it when it happens, so I was pretty prepared for yesterday’s unfoldings. Plus I have cried rivers since this whole nightmare started in August: I am cried out right now. I do have weepy moments like when I was at the checkout line in Wal*Marts yesterday afternoon digging around in my purse for my wallet and saw Hub’s wallet next to mine. Or when one of the kids call and we get to talking about the good times with Hubs/Grandpa. That’s to be expected. But I had my melt-down moments in the dark and lonely hours of hospitals, so I believe those times are past me now. Though I am a widow, I refuse to cloak myself in despair or bleakly mourn. Hubs would not want me to do that, and our Faith forbids it. I refuse to get lost in the depths of depression and break like a fragile object (like everyone expects) when I would much rather put all my energies into rejoicing that my husband now has a much better life in a much better place. I am happy for him, and that makes me happy ;-)