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Our last meaningful conversation was on 6/24/09. The next morning he called me from a routine Dr. visit and said he wasn't feeling good. I heard panic in his voice and tried to help him relax. We spoke 2-3 times in a short span of time and then I got a call from the hospital to come as soon as possible. Fred went into cardiac arrest. He was revived after 35 minutes or so but even after he was weaned from the respirator, he was never himself. He died 7/8/09.

I've been doing pretty well since Thanksgiving but it seems I'm taking another dive. I'm not sure if I'm feeling worse because I can't sleep or I can't sleep so I'm feeling worse. I lay in that big King sized bed, using up only about 2 feet of it. I hug one of his pillows and reach my hand out to his other pillow. I want to think about him and see him in my mind. I think about his laughing so hard he was in tears or the way he wore his baseball caps. I want to experience these things again but it's too much and I break into tears and sobs and those oh so familiar sighs.

As I'm writing this it's becoming clear to me why I'm having trouble. I operate some group homes and one of our client's passed away this week. She also arrested, was revived, went on a respirator, came off, went into hospice and died. I visited her and her family while they were in the hospital and hospice. I was there the about 5 hours before she died and heard her labored breathing and thought it sounded like Fred before he passed away. I was strong for this woman's family and wanted to be with them because I knew how hard it would be for them.

So, I suppose that experience is playing a toll on me now, after the fact. I do want to mention something that happened while I was reliving this scenario with my client and her family. When Fred was moved to the hospital's hospice unit he died just four hours later. I was pretty much convinced that the extra morphine and the patch they put on his chest hastened his death. I felt guilty that I had made the final decision to go the hospice route. When my client was moved to hospice, I expected her to die quicky as well. She didn't. She kept breathing for about four days. I felt some relief from the guilt.

So that's my story and here I am at 2:45 a.m. in front of my compture screen again. But the tears has stopped for now and I'll try to find some sleep again.

- Fredzgirl

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Dear fredzgirl,

I'm so sorry for your loss. You both were obviously very close and I completely understand what you are feeling. I too don't sleep, I get maybe 3 hours of fitful rest laying in our bed avoiding facing or even glancing to my right so I'm not reminded of Krystal's absence.When I can't sleep I spend countless hours every night staring at a computer screen through tears wanting to cry out to everybody.

And guilt is something that haunts me constantly. The last day of Krystal's life I called early from work to remind her of something insignificant and that was the last time I spoke to her. I called and texted throughout the morning but received no reply. I sensed something was wrong but I figured I'd sort it out when I got home. Devastatingly, she was gone by the time I got there. I'll always regret not going home that morning.That feeling lessens a tiny, tiny bit every day but just as I feel that I'm better I'm slammed back down and it seems harder and harder to get back up. But we do and we will continue to get back up. What else can we do?

With each others help, care and support here we will all slowly heal, if heal is the word.

Get some rest as you can and feel free to email in the small hours, I'm usually up.

Peace and Love,

John

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((( Hugs Fredzgirl & JohnG ))) As I have many, many times before I wish I had some magical words or wisdom which would erase all of the pain we cotinue to experience as we walk this grief journey. I'm sending love and prayers your way, hoping it helps to know that you are not alone. December is a tough month. I, too, have been experiencing waves of sadness as my heart and soul longs to have Brian by my side. I never understood how hard this grief work can be. I never understood the depth of the pain and the anguish. Sometimes I experience pockets of peace and I think that healing is forthcoming. But then I hear a song, remember a conversation, or see a picture and the reality and finality of this loss again becomes almost more than I can bear. I hope that if we continue to lean on each other the burden that each of us carries will become just a bit lighter. I pray that we are all able to find those moments of peace and solace. And I pray that one day the memories will bring smiles rather than tears. Please know that I am keeping you in my prayers and that you are wrapped in the loving arms of God.

Peace, love, and blessings,

Linda

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My heart goes out to you - I recognize so much of me in your words. And isn't it amazing how sometimes all it takes is to start writing things down for something to become clear. Magic of the pen, or in this case, the keyboard.

Take care,

Korina

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