I’m not really sure what to write.
Both of my parents started having more severe health problems over the past 7 years. My Dad had several heart conditions, and a few severe bouts with pneumonia. My Mom, bless her, she had a heart attack and some coronary issues as well as diabetes - which she unfortunately didn’t keep in check.
Both of their health issues snowballed around 3 years ago (03-2017) and it started with my Dad suddenly losing the use of his legs (no medical explanation was ever found or provided for why this happened). After this happened, Dad couldn’t stay at home any longer (due to this, other health issues, and his weight) and he had to be put into a skilled nursing facility. My Mom, due to a minor psychological break caused by her unmanaged diabetes, was a pure wreck. She was hospitalized the next week due to an unknown health issue. She was later diagnosed with CAD and end-stage renal failure. Because of her various health issues, she was not a candidate for kidney transplant. Mom, being stubborn and as independent as she could be, ended up in an assisted living facility within a few months by her own choice.
My Dad slowly dwindled down from the man I always knew and loved - my best friend in this life, my hero - to a very shriveled, miserable shell of his former self. In the last year of his life, he started to develop a kind of dementia - forgetting who visited, names of people outside the family, simple things.
My Mom, she stayed pretty healthy - as much as she could. Her major issue over the last 2.5 years was she hated dialysis (three times weekly) and would skip it here and there. Her decline was gradual, but it was a hard, steep decline in the last three months we had her. Soon after initially being diagnosed, she started to develop a form of dementia. She would forget (more often than normal) when she had eaten, if she had taken her medicine, things like that. In her final months, her dementia went to an unreal level that I had always feared I would see. She started hallucinating and became increasingly paranoid and so very easily agitated - even getting angry at me explaining that she was using the wrong words for things sometimes.
it was so hard to see them both start to go. I told my wife in June of 2019, I knew my parents would not see Christmas. She thought I was being overly morbid and tried to encourage me - I was just being realistic.
In July 2019, Momma started openly talking about being ready to go. She was tired of dialysis, she was tired of the pain - the second most heart wrenching conversation I know she had was with one of my brothers when she turned to him in a super clear moment and said, “I’m not going to get any better, am I?” “No, Momma, there’s nothing they can do in the long run...”. In August, Momma decided she was done, she was ready for nature to run its course, she was ready to meet Jesus on Heaven’s shore. We were told by doctors it would be an optimistic two weeks. The most eye opening moment that this was really happening was when I was at her bedside talking to her while she was writhing in pain from the poison in her blood, to have her turn to me, look me in the eye and say, “Honey, I’m dying.” She was gone in four days after she stopped treatments, died the day we were to do the hospice paperwork - 08/19/2019 (63 years old).
by this time, both of my parents were in the same room at the same facility - my Dad was the one who discovered she had passed.
My Daddy went on a deep decline after Momma passed. They put him on hospice care within a week and then took him out of it. But within two months, he had been rediagnosed with congestive heart failure - he decided he was done, he was ready to go home to Momma to see her and the Lord. The doctors said without treatment, it would be quick, but no idea how quick. I signed the paperwork authorizing hospice care the day I talked with the doctors - it was the day he passed - 10/11/2019 (65 years old).
Here it’s been six months for Momma and four months for Daddy... and it still feels so fresh and painful. Angry, sad, depressed, alone (even with my wife and daughter with me), angry... it just doesn’t seem right, still. It still hurts so badly when my wife talks about showing her Mom or Dad something new our daughter is doing (less than a year old), I think that I’ll do the same - only to painfully remember that I have neither one now to share in these moments. Joy flips to depression. And here, on top of it all, I still fight with the idea that I am somehow complicit in their deaths because I did not force medical interventions - perhaps that’s true.
Most of the time when I am alone I spend thinking of them. I can’t sleep some nights (like tonight) because when I close my eyes I see them and I can’t stop crying.
I just had to find someplace to share what is going on inside. I really just, I don’t know...