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Broken Butterfly

So Much Pain

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Broken Butterfly


Hello! I am new here. My name is Elizabeth. I'm a mother of 5 and have a wonderful husband. We live in Oregon but are going to move to Ohio.

On two levels I am dealing with the loss of a parent. Almost 15 years ago my father passed. I was never really able to grieve for him because I'm the one who always had to be strong for everyone. I miss my dad do much that at times it physically hurts. 

Now my father in law is in the hospital and not doing well. He had a heart attack. He flat lined but they got his heart beating again. He is also on a ventilator so he can breath. They had him in one hospital but transferred him to another (before they transferred him my husband saw him for 5 minutes) hospital. When he got to they other hospital they put him in ICU and no one is allowed to see him not even family. The doctors fear that there is brain damage from when he flat lined but won't do brain function tests until 72 to 90 hours after the incident. The doctors really do not want to resuscitate again I'd he were to flat line again but there was never a DNR put in place. He is also nonresponsive. He also is having what appears to be seizures constantly but they are not sure.

My husband and his brother are on the same page when it comes to all of this. Their dad would not want to live on machines and as a vegetable (if there is brain damage). His girlfriend on the other hand is not ready to let him go. I understand not wanting to let him go, I would not want to let my husband go; but that being said I would honor what I knew he would want. My father in law is a former Marine and he would not want to be kept alive like this. It is about dignity and quality of life. (I work in the medical field and I've seen a lot I'd death and I've seen a lot of families go through this).

There are so many things going through my head right now. PTSD from when my dad was sick and he died. Also that I don't want and am not ready to lose someone else. Aside from that my husband told me about when his mom passed and how he handled that. He did not handle it well he was close to her (became close to his dad when his mom passed). He pushed everyone away and was very angry. It was the real start to the problems in his relationship that he had at the time. He and I have talked about this a few times and how he would react when his dad passes (we started talking about this a while back when his dad was put on dialysis and on a kidney transplant list). He said that he will probably react one of two ways. 1) he will push everyone away and retreat into himself 2) he will be angry at the world and push everyone away. I told him that I was afraid that his father passing would destroy our relationship. It scares me. I love my husband like no other ever and I don't want to lose him. He even admitted he was afraid that it would destroy us as well. It's like my worst fears are coming true.

I don't know how to help him. How to help myself...and then we our kids...three who are special needs (two of the special needs kiddos will be able to understand but not the other one) the youngest is going to have an even harder time with this. 

Once again I get the role of being strong for everyone. My heart is breaking and I'm so scared right now. I understand my husband's pain and how much it hurts to lose your father. I understand the guilt that come with it from things unsaid and left undone...or over things that happened that should not have.

Thank you for reading and allowing me to join this group. Sorry this is so long.

UPDATE: The doctors think my father in law has the Coronavirus. They tested him still waiting on results.  And the way he would have gotten it is because his girlfriend took him (with his already compromised immune system because of kidney failure) up to Washington to see her brother who is a nurse and was exposed to it from one of his patients. 

Also because my father in law's girlfriend does not like me or our youngest child she will not allow us to be there.  Now I agree our daughter does not need to be there...but I am part of this family. I was willing to put our differences aside but I guess she is not. I was so hurt by this that I immediately started crying angry tears. And the reason she does not like me is because I defended my husband when she and her family attacked him on social media and I don't put up with her crap (thing is I never resorted to calling names or cussing like she and her family did). 

I'm so broken hearted right now.

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Mark Coz

Im sorry for you Elisbeth,

Maybe you are now not the one who has to stay strong and let it go more. Besides you learned from the past. You know yourself better now and try to take care of yourself all the way. Remember, if you dont take care of yourself first, how can you be there for others?  

Take care and let come whatever may come. Life isnt in our control. Bless you and your family


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Valerie Lockhart

Hello Broken Butterfly,

I am truly sorry for your trials. I can relate to your experience. My brother was on a respirator, and his medical decisions were made by his wife (they had been separated for over 15 years). He also had a "girlfriend" of 5 years, but she had no rights in deciding who could visit my brother nor make medical decisions. Because your father-in-law is not married to her, his children are the legal next of kin.  Your husband can exercise his rights and speak up on your behalf. Secondly, regardless of how painful it may become, your husband must make decisions based on the best interests of his father.  This is easier said than done. My mother also preferred to die rather than have a tracheotomy inserted to keep her on a respirator for over a month. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life. I would encourage your husband to review tests to confirm if there is any brain function, before cutting off life support. If his breathing improves within the next two weeks, your father-in-law may be able to respond to questions by blinking his eyes. Thirdly, pray for help and guidance. Our heavenly Father is always available to listen to our prayers and will guide you in the right direction. “He [God] will surely show you favor at the sound of your cry for help; he will answer you as soon as he hears it.” - Isaiah 30:19. May God strengthen you and your family during these troubled time. 


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