CCrane4512 Posted October 24, 2019 Report Share Posted October 24, 2019 I'm new here. Thank you for accepting me. I've lived grief since my divorce. I know it well. Grief has walked with me for nearly a decade. He's been my traveling companion, as I have ambled down this fracture pathway which is my life. Most days, I can ignore him. I find the strength to look away from him, but he's always beside me. Occasionally, he will reach across the path and nudge me... tears flow... heart breaks again. I pull it together, and move along... alone. On Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 10:50 p.m... Grief... who had only quietly strolled at my side these 7 years... lunged across the cracked pathway, and dove into me head first. My breath was gone. Life drained from me. My father slipped from this life in the sterile, unfeeling CVICU of our local hospital. There were so many feelings, I didn't know what to do... what to feel... how to move. My brain was misfiring. Part of me was relieved. Yet I mourned. I wept. I smiled, but there was so much guilt. At the same time so much release. Doctors called us all in at 9 p.m. His vitals were slipping. They knew he would not make it through the night. His Advanced Directive was clear that he only wanted comfort care. No extraneous measures keeping him alive. I stood by his bed as they extubated him. As they stopped providing the medications that kept his heart beating. I was there when he took his final breath. I kissed the top of his bald head, and told him how sorry I was, as I told him goodbye for the last time. Why relief? Why a smile? Dad had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Atypical Alzheimer's. He was becoming a different person. He wasn't aggressive or mean. He was suddenly effervescently happy. He was telling corny jokes (completely contrary to his character). At the same time, forgetting some. He was losing his balance. He was falling some. He was having problems chewing and swallowing. At the end of September, a grand mal seizure and subsequent fall sent him to the ER by ambulance. He never left the hospital. I didn't have to watch him slowly wither away. His passing was just 5 months after his Alzheimer's diagnosis. 11 days of tests, and observation. Congestive heart failure. Realization that his prior bypasses could be failing. Heart Cath... he coded on the table... and somehow they managed to keep him alive. I think his spirit (if one believes such things) left his body during the Heart Cath. His body was being forced to live by medication and machines. My dad already made his exit. Keeping him alive seemed like a desecration. I regained some semblance of conscious thought about 10 minutes after he passed... but reality is, I was a walking corpse. "We have to call his sisters. His sisters need to know." My mom, through her tears, "No, it's too late." "They will never understand if we don't let them know." Robotically... my fingers numb... I searched for the numbers through eyes blurred with tears. I called both Aunts to share the horrible news with them. Their brother was gone. My daddy was gone. It didn't seem real yet. I was taken aback, as Grief had remained so quiet... seemingly content to walk along with me for so long. Not a word spoken. The occasional tinge to know that he was there. Always a reminder. Always a distant sadness. A melancholy shadow over a life which should seemingly be full and free and happy. Now, I vacillate between being utterly numb, and bursting into tears - usually at the most inopportune moments. And the regrets. The things I told him we would do together. (Even though he was 76, he was like a big kid at the end with the Alzheimer's.) The Fish Fry I promised we would do. The homemade peach ice cream I told him we would make together. I kept telling him in the hospital that we were waiting to do his great granddaughter's birthday party till he got out of the hospital. All of that washes over me daily. I think the worst of it is the fact that in his child-like mind, he went to sleep thinking he was going to be fine, and wake up. But he didn't. I think of rubbing his feet for him before they put him under. Washing his face. With my whole being, I don't know how to process this. I will never be 'right' again. I will never heal. I am irreparably broken. Yet, reading here that I am not alone makes a huge difference for me. Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your heart. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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