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Stopping Life Support


cindylouwho2

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Although at the time it felt like the only right thing to do, the penalty box is unforgiving. I am barely surviving most days with this burden. I have told no one, although, I believe some know, it is not discussed.

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Cindylouwho2,

Although I can't speak to this from experience, and not even from a human standpoint, I can tell you that I've heard this same heavy guilt from countless animal lovers who have loved their companions as their own children, and of course must deal with this decision more often than we do with our human loved ones. I can tell you that when there is great love, that guilt always arises, no matter WHICH decision is ultimately made. In my case, I did NOT euthanize when, in retrospect, I should have, but could not have known beforehand and had many reasons why I didn't. However, the guilt remained, regardless. And on the other hand, there are just as many who decided the opposite way and their pangs are just as strong. If there is a right answer to each situation, then most of us never know what it is. We all want to be perfect and make the perfect decisions, and that just doesn't normally happen. No matter who our loved one is, these feelings are completely common to all. And if it is killing you inside, you need to talk about it, get as many perspectives as you can from others, because you will likely eventually come up with most of them yourself anyway, but it may take a lot longer, and you don't need that guilt eating away at you any longer than 'necessary'....which it usually isn't, but we hang onto it until we can see there's no need for it....or until we can truly believe and accept we made the best decision possible under the circumstances, given what we knew, or didn't know, at that specific time. It has taken me 5 long years to come to this viewpoint and really believe it to be true and trust me, you don't want such guilt to eat you up for that long if you can do something about it earlier, to work through it so your mind and heart can resolve it. There was an article on guilt I came across on the web....if I can find it again, I'll let you know where it is. I think the key is in your very statement..."...AT THE TIME it felt like the only right thing to do..." That's the ONLY place that counted AT THE TIME. You were not in the future yet, to question, to wonder, to consider any new information or thoughts you hadn't had yet. Do you see what I'm driving at? You may need to review, in writing, not just in your head, all that transpired in the time preceding your decision, in order for you to understand all the aspects that helped you decide what to do. And then you may need to ask yourself the opposite, really BE in the possibility, FEEL what you would have felt, had you decided otherwise, along with what the most likely scenario would have been like for your loved one...and see if one way might have been just as bad, or worse. You may not be up to this exercise yet, though, as your grief hasn't subsided yet, and it's hard to attempt to bring on even MORE awful feelings when you're not ready to take on any more. It's no easy task, taking on guilt, but it's well worth the effort, WHEN you're up to it. ( if I sound a little detached, it's only because it's late, so I apologize, but wanted to reply right away ) PS. For your other posting, I'll be replying to that, too, but in a different forum - I'll let you know which one once I figure it out.

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Since I'm just starting to delve a bit more into my brother's death, this topic is now in my mind. My brother was taken by his 'wife' to Emerg., but not before she deliberately stopped first for "some food" for their son. By the time they arrived, he needed immediate full life-support. After 5 days, he never regained consciousness ( he'd had a hemorrhagic stroke in his brain ) and she made the decision to stop support over the course of his last morning. I never got to see him as I don't live there and had no money left for more travel after my Mother's death 2 months prior. Now I wonder if I, as his sister, would have had the right, over his common-law spouse, to make this decision instead of her, being an immediate blood relative. It never even struck me at the time, as I was still in shock over my Mother's death, and his stroke only added to my numbness and lack of thinking ability. I don't think I would have decided much differently, although I may have given it more time, but still I feel guilty for not even having the thought in the first place. The only comfort I have about it is knowing that my brother wouldn't have wanted to live with disabilities anyway....we'd JUST discussed this kind of thing mere weeks before.

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i was overwhelmed with anger and sadness when doctors told me 'we have to let her go',about my mother. she was put on a ventilator in intensive care, and steadily her condition got worse. now when you're anxious, i don't know about anyone else, but when people from the medical profession tell you that your loved one is practically days away from death, for me, i felt guilt for allowing them to let my mother go. she had all kinds wrong with her, multi infarct demential, pneumonia, diabetes etc. in their eyes, it was ok to let her go, but in my eyes those doctors and nurses were, at the time, the most selfish people on the planet.

In the end, she did go,they moved her from ITU to palliative care, or a normal ward, can't remember, they took all her tubes out and she only had the oxygen mask and feeding tube and they 'kept her comfortable'. i don't know everything that happened when she was in that state, but the only life support she had at the time was the mask. i tried putting myself in her shoes, while at the same time wanting her with me just because she was my mum. utter selfishness in my opinion, but i wanted nothing more in the world than to have my mum with me, no matter what. but you know the sad thing was? she wasn't my mum anymore. i couldn't get my head around the fact that this enormous stroke took her away from me.

even today i still apologise to her when i talk to her photo, for what she went through. i didn't have any control over what happened, just the staff telling me what she was going through and me going 'oh yeah' like a dozy lemon, and not having the guts to at least stand up for my mum, maybe suggest things to the staff to help her out. it's pathetic the way i just let things breeze along for god's sake. i was told my mum contracted MRSA while in hospital and i went 'oh' and that was it. not even a protest or anything.

i'm sorry to go on here, but it made me feel angry thinking of it, so i had to get it out somehow. i've been reading things about her illness and it gave me an idea of what she went through. i don't think i'll ever forgive myself about this.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sorry Sue, I don't see some of the posts, or go "post surfing" if I'm too tired. I'm sorry your sweet mother went through so much in her last days. There isn't one word of what you said that I would call selfish. You devoted yourself to her care, and while you wanted her with you, this was out of love, not for a negative reason, such as your desire to force such a dear lady to buy you a new car or something like that. I hope you can come to the place of self acceptance and forgiveness. You're a loving, caring child who tended to her mother with devotion. Not one of us is perfect. We all have areas wherein we make mistakes and transgress. I am confident your mum saw only your love in her last days, and she only looks down from Heaven upon you in love. My wife's dystrophy will ultimately end in either a stroke or heart attack, neither of which I wish upon anyone. She had a very bad day today, and was so bad her doctor talked of hospitalizing her. I spend much of the evening crying, just to release my own stress. I hope you have a good weekend, and get to go out and do something you enjoy. Spoil yourself a little. You deserve it. Mark

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Mark i'm sorry for being a pain....when i read your post before, i cried for about half an hour solid. i saw my counsellor yesterday, told her about the grief i felt, and she said 'she knew you were there' and that was it, tears and snots. then reading your post today, a heavier spell of crying. I'm going to call it 'healing tears', cos they seem to fall by the dozen.

i found your words very comforting too. i'm not sure i can say much today as im tired from crying (i always feel tired after a hearty cry), but on the account of your wife, as confusing or bewildering as it seems, take each hour as it comes. Both you and your wife are in my thoughts and prayers.

i'm going to rest for a bit now, and i wish you both calm thoughts and warmth at this time.

talk soon

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I believe your precious mum knew you were right there too. I don't just say this. She knew it. There is something about crying that does heal. When we cry, our tears release an enzyme that lowers the stress we feel. Crying is good for us when we're under great stress or grief. Thank you for your comforting words. Today, I really do need every word you wrote. Today is the 5th, the morning of her first day in the nursing home. She starts as out patient care, coming home at night. When her health deteriorates, she'll be placed permanently, getting the care she needs. For me, I feel whiney and guilty for being unable to care for her as I ought, as I wish I could, as I feel I should as her husband. I love her, yet the stress buildup is eating at me. Perhaps it's time for my own medicine; time for a good cry. I hope you are able to rest well and dream of your precious mum and of a happier time, perhaps when you were a little girl, playing a game with her or learning something new and exciting with her. I pray the new day will bring you comfort and peace. hope we may talk again soon, Mark

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Mark, although i know it's kind of strange that my mum knew i was there, it's beginning to dawn on me that yes, she felt i was there, because the disbelief of death sort of 'mixes in' with not believing she could sense me there. i'm sorry if that dosent make much sense, but you see what i mean? i can also relate to the stress/anxiety of a loved on going into outpatient care. my mum went into permanent care at a nursing home here in England, and that was the weirdest thing to go through: mixed emotions, missing my dad who passed on the same year, me having my spinal surgery, all at a young age (14) it was like 'whoooomph!' for me.

I understand how you must be feeling, but i suppose if it may help looking at it in a different way? it's only natural you're going to feel the way you are in terms of caring for your wife physically, but as you know, in terms of severe stress, the body and mind can only deal with so much. The feeling i'm getting is that, perhaps the most 'coping' or 'accepting' way, is that there is undying love between you and your wife, no matter what goes on. There's good bits, not-so-good bits, confusing bits, as there is in every marriage, and each one is unique, but as very hard as it is right now, perhaps overwhelming emotions and the physical aspects it can have, as the time goes on, that love between you and your wife will never die. Just like me and my mum, she had lots wrong with her, but spiritually that love is beyond words. (oh god, give me a tissue!!)

anyway mark, wow, that was a touching subject, i'm more 'awake' today than i was yesterday, and i hope i've worded that right above, what i've just said.

take great care of yourself, thoughts and prayers to both of you. hope to talk soon.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, you make perfect sense to me. For such a young lady, you have such great wisdom! Now, that said, I also can shamefully say that my wife and I have been through such intense stress that we've argued over things we would otherwise never bother with, things that we'd perhaps even agree upon, yet, it's the stress alone that can draw us into thinking that we'd be better off without each other. Truth is, at the end of the day, she's the one I want to watch the sunset with, the woman I love with my whole being. I would never leave her, no matter how much stress we're going through. If I have to go through a stressful time, such as a terminal illness, I want to go through it with her. You may say men are insecure, which may have a degree of truth (to what extent I'm not confessing - tee hee), but if I am, she's the one who knows how calm my fears. You are completely on the mark by saying that my love for her will never die. I'll accept God's will if He takes her to Heaven so He can free her body from the pain of this illness. But, no matter what happens, He'll never get me to stop loving her. When I look across the room, I don't see her now, the woman beat up by this disease. I see the beautiful woman I fell head over heels in love with years ago. If this is a defense mechanism, so be it. I keep a prayer for you, and hope you are able to take extra special care of yourself. If you ever want to email me, you are welcome to. My address is bluesbass72@yahoo.com. Please try to rest well, and be sure to eat well too. Our thoughts and prayers are always with you. We'll talk soon, Mark

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Mark, i think i get my 'wisdom' from my dad! I hoped i made sense in that last message i sent as it was rather rushed typing it, i was at a resource center, which has the internet and someone said 'time's almost up guys!' and i was like 'yikes! let me do this first!'

I think everyone, absolutely everyone goes through knee-jerking stressful situations, and then they beat themselves up for not doing this or that right (i've done it many a time and i've had massive headaches as a result). i think what you said about the marriage thing, you love your wife with your whole being, that somes up the love of a marriage in my opinion. As for men being insecure, i just don't get it that men have to be 'mr macho' because today's society won't hold much acceptance that, shock, horror, men are can be just as emotional as women. in fact, i won't go into it but it gets on my nerves that men feel as though they have to hold back the tears when they get emotional. Insecurities are what make us human, we go through every emotion known to the human race.

i had mixed emotions towards God before my mum died, i was saying 'take her', 'don't take her' then when he did, i felt relief but then i saw bright red and called him every name you can think of under the sun. It's funny, i've lost an important person in my life, my mum, but when it comes to saying 'sorry for your loss' to another bereaved person, i'm sort of at a loss for words. but i suppose saying something like 'i'm here' or 'i care', that sort of thing could maybe help. i'm going through an anxious time myself with my health, big pains in my back, ridiculous painkillers, all that sort of thing. thank you for your email address, i'll consider emailing you. I'm comfortable with talking to you on here as well.

anyway, you take care of yourself too, warm wishes to you and your family.

sue

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Mark i know this isn't an appropriate place to apologise for something that's not related to this bit of the forum, but you may have found a message i posted on Grief Support, Coping With Loss or some other page like that,after i read other posts from you and other people, and i feel bad for reading something that's very sensitive to you. i'm really sorry for 'nosing around'.

i hope you forgive me for this. With what you and your wife went through, my heart goes out to both of you. i posted the apology on the other page that i looked through, and seeing as we're coming on this part often, i send my apology to you here too.

take care and hopefully talk soon

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, you have no need to apologize. I may write something on this site that would be sensitive, which is okay for you to see. I've accustomed myself to being read by others here. If I don't want the public to read it, I email it (and for those issues of private nature, you and those who know me are welcome to email anytime). Thanks for the "Mr Macho" line. I act like myself, and my wife appreciates this. The fake humanity of Mr Macho isn't for me, or us. Always be yourself, and when you find the right one out there in the world, true love will blow your mind - it's worth the wait. I'm a little stressed today. My wife is in the day treatment at the nursing home, but our care management people placed her on the waiting list for a permanent placement, as soon as a bed is available. When she has a placement, she will "live" at the nursing home, and be able to visit home occasionally, but not every day. I'll write more later, but for the moment, I'm going to spend a little time with her. We need some time together to adjust to all this. Please take care of yourself, and I trust you understand that I see no need for an apology. Hope you can rest well tonight, and do a little something special to spoil yourself. I'll write again soon. Mark

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mark, thank you for putting my mind at ease about the apologising. In terms of love, there is someone out there for me, i know there is, but right now there is someone who i know that, everytime i see him, my stomach does somersaults and my heart beats faster. i met him last year, but because of complications i have with myself at this time, i'm taking time for myself. i still have feelings for this person but health issues on both sides meant we split up. i regard him as a good friend.

I understand about you wanting to spend time with your wife especially with all this happening to both of you and to try and adjust to. My thoughts are with you and your family.

i'm going to have the longest bath ever, to soothe myself, and i wish you and your wife all the rest and love you need.

speak to you soon. thinking of you.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I'm sorry for the way life can be, stepping in and trampling what you want to be. With time, your heart will heal, and you'll be able to devote yourself to a loving relationship. With time, he'll see you are more than worth waiting for, that he'd go to any extreme to be with you just because he loves you so much. With this, I must temper myself by saying, have patience. You are going through enough emotional trauma now. You don't need more.

I was able to see how well the nursing home cares for my wife, which has freed me of the stress of her care. Yesterday was my first day for sleeping in ages. Now I feel great. My wife is being assessed for permanent placement as soon as there's an open room. I'll keep you posted on these things.

Good to hear you're doing something just for you. I hope the long hot bath was relaxing. Take care. I'll talk more tomorrow night. I'll keep a prayer for you. Mark

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Mark, i'm really happy for you that you feel a little better after seeing how the nursing can attend to your wife with care. and sleep does you the world of good too. like you say there's a lot of emotional things going on for me now. i'm meeting up with a friend of my mum's tomorrow, Jean, she used to be my mum's nurse, then she got promoted to being Sister and now she works locally. i have to tell her what happened, i can guarantee i'll cry buckets. she knows my mum has died, but dosent know why. it's hard when you get people coming up to you and asking 'how's your mum?' and you kind of look at the floor for 10 minutes before speaking.

anyhow i'm glad you feel relief that your wife is getting the care, as it can put both of your minds at rest too. i'll write again soon, i didn't have the hot bath after all as i was glued to the TV! i will tonight or tomorrow, and when i do, i'll stay there for as long as i can muster!

take good care of yourself, my thoughts are with you and your family.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

It's okay Sue, you may watch the tv. At least you gave yourself a little time for relaxing. Thanks for the supportive thoughts. We were very busy over the weekend, but I tried to stay in touch a little. I installed new flooring in our living room, which my wife loves. It's a nuisance to move a wheelchair on carpet (giggling). We love the nursing home, which is giving her better care than I ever could. I understand what you're going through with Jean, and I'll be here to hold you up with a kind thought and prayer while you cry. Since I've been hanging out on this website, I've learned something about crying. It's perfectly okay to cry, to release those intense emotional feelings that try to overwhelm us. Crying frees us of them, so we can move on and see better things. To stare at the floor before speaking sets us up for what we need to say, and sets up the one we're talking to for what they need to hear. They see the silence and know that what is ahead will be painful and upsetting. I always let people cry, or otherwise sit quietly when they must, so they don't bring more hurt to their souls. After I have another nap, I'll be back to give you more update on whether my wife will be hospitalized tonight. Either way, we'll let you know. Take care of yourself, and have some fun. abientot, a tout alheure. Mark

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mark,i've already sent you an email through personal messages. coming on here gives me comfort though. like i say it was difficult telling jean about my mum, and i remember now, she said 'i'm sorry i wasn't there'. i just sat there shaking slightly as it was painful telling her. your right about the staring at the floor bit. i just fidgeted about a bit before telling her, and also being aware of using suitable language as her 11 year old daughter was sitting beside me too. i somehow thought it was rude to stare at the floor before saying something, incase the other person took offence in some way. but i think you've summed it up, it prepares the talker and listener for what you're about to say/hear. when you say 'see the silence' do you mean feel the atmosphere, to some extent? i know exactly what you mean though.

yes, i can relate to the pushing a wheelchair over the carpet, rather bumpy! what type of flooring is it? i find the wooden flooring (or laminated flooring, if thats the wording over here) very nice and fresh looking, easy to keep clean too. i think it's really good you both love the nursing home too, it makes such a difference if the new environment is pleasant to live in. the home my mum had low grounds, no stairs. it was lovely, especially in the summer where you could open the patio doors/have a barbecue. have you heard of The Corrs and U2 (Irish/british bands)? people played a lot of their songs at the home, like at teatime or someone had a tape in their car.

Anyway, the weather over here is very very hot at the moment, so please forgive me if i don't make much sense with being uncomfortably hot cos i just want to keep cool!!

i'm praying for you and your wife and i'd like to extend a caring thought to your personal aide too.

warm wishes

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Hi Sue, thanks for the prayers. I think they weren't joking about global warming; we're getting 35 to 37 C daily, since Saturday. I pity the guys in le Tour de France, peddling in that heat. I'm thankful our home is air conditioned.

I know of those bands, and had the opportunity to meet two of U2. Bono is a great guy. It's odd for me to have met pro musicians my age, like U2. I don't talk about the musicians I've worked with publically, to avoid "issues". I hope you understand and accept this. I'd gladly email you to tell you who I've worked with.

You're perfectly on the mark about the "atmosphere", and "seeing". It's almost like the silence reaches in and touches our souls, then we emotionally see the sorrow of what lies ahead. It's a preparation for an overwhelming emotional state. We need these to keep from overloading our psychies and having a complete psychological breakdown. I'm fascinated with the human mind.

We love the barbecue too. In the afternoon, our back deck is in the shade, kind of (no trees in the area), so we like to sit on the deck and grille something for dinner. I grille corn on the cob, potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil, and anything else.

My wife applied for disability benefits, which should be approved soon, seeing that she is in a nursing home. We are getting excited about the idea of having a second income again, which will allow us to consider buying a new home. We'd like something a little larger, which is a necessity with two wheelchairs in our house (her and me). In the meantime, we installed a laminated floor to eliminate the carpet problems (no more bumpy rides, or getting stuck where the foam backing is too thick, and I'm too tired to push my way out of the situation. We laugh at such things, rather than let them upset us. Our youngest son (13 years old) helped with the job of the flooring, and I'm proud of him; he has a natural ability for this kind of work.

Thanks again for your dear thoughts for me and my family, our aide too. Our aide is a special young woman, more like family than an employee. Take care of yourself, please. Try to stay cool. My prayers are with you. from my NY 'burbs, your friend, Mark

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Hi mark, you're very welcome. i apologise from the start if i don't make sense cos i'm frustrated with being warm all the time, so this will be a short message!

I can't believe you've met Bono! he's one of the greatest musicians ever...i listen to U2 a lot when i miss my mum. Emotions at the time of listening to them can be very powerful to me. in terms of atmosphere and seeing, it's something you don't need binoculars for! it can be a very intense feeling, like right under your nose.

You're making me hungry saying about barbecue foods! i think it's strong memories that keeps our loved ones alive, especially with places that hold meaning. I wish you and your wife good luck with the disability benefits, and even more so if you could buy a larger home to, as you said, accommodate two wheelchairs. i hope it goes well for you. yes, i wondered what the floor was! i love laminated flooring, it's easy to keep clean and fresh and of course easier to move things over it.

i'm sorry this is short, i'll have to go get cool somehow, but i'll write again soon, hopefully a lot more awake!

love and warm thoughts to you and your wife, god be with you both.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Hi Sue, I'm in music, so it's an occupational issue, a privilege. Sounds like you're sick of the heatwave too. I've grown so fed up, I'm beginning to think about moving back home to Canada. Although, the air conditioning helps us to stay cool as long as we stay indoors. We love our floors, which seem to collect no dust like the carpeting did. This also helps us to breathe well, as we have those nasty allergies. (achoo). Take good care of you, and please try to stay cool. I'm thinking of you, with a prayer. Mark

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hi mark, yes i'm sick of the heatwave! i don't have air conditioning but i open my window as far as it will go. Take care of those allergies (like me, achoo!) and also take care of your heart. i'm trying to get my head around things at the moment, so bear with me!

i'm thinking of you and mary. How is your personal aide?

warm wishes

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I sat quietly today, reading a book, enjoying my air conditioner. There's not much else to do when the tempurature is hotter than a normal human body. I'm very patient about things, so take your time with thoughts. My aide is this amazing young lady, about the same age as my younger daughter (the one I've yet to find), and she has this thing about tatoos. She likes Harley Davidson motorcycles (so do I), and she looks like a tatoo advertisement for the company. Once you get past her appearance, she's a great help in our home, and very trustworthy. Without her, I'd be lost. She gives us the best care. However, she's marrying in October, so we'll be losing her. We hope to buy a new home by then, larger, so we can hire a live-in aide. This creates a whole new set of issues, but I'm sure we'll manage and be able to find the perfect match for our needs. Thank you for thinking of us, as we think of you. Our prayers are with you. Take good care of yourself, and try to find the coolest place and hide there. If you find a swimming pool, so much the better. my best to you, Mark

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mark, i'm glad you took time to read a book, i like reading too. one thing i can't get my head around is being patient. before my mum died, my patience was tested a real, real lot. i had to be patient every second, every minute, even more so in her last few days. god it was tough! the little things that i wouldn't normally be bothered about, like making a cup of tea or deciding whether i wanted salt on my chips suddenly seemed like great subjects to concentrate on at a time when i was really 'out of it'. i won't go into it but at this time in my life, i have to be patient.

Your aide sounds very interesting! the tattoos sound good too, our medical professions wear white coats (yawn) or their own smart clothes. i hope you and your wife can find another suitable aide, or a live- in aide. i'm sorry to be personal, but i wonder what your wife is thinking of? you know, how she's feeling today, what wonderful memories she has or what she thinks of the sky. it sounds really simple, but i wondered what my mum was thinking/feeling before she died, how she felt when i was near her. i know now there was love, but i mean, did she think 'who is this girl?' or 'her hand feels soft',that sort of thing.

anyway, i hope things work out for you both with getting your new home etc, keep enjoying your air conditioner too.

warm thoughts to you both x

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I was away for a few days, doing something just for me. About time I took my own advice??? hehehe. I played a concert. I read what you wrote on patience. I understand, and with all you've been through, and all you've lost, having a little less patience is acceptable from my perspective. When a person is dying from a long term illness, such as my wife is, there is a condition the "survivors" go through called "pregrief". I can be sitting with her on the couch, and burst into tears like she just died that moment. Sue, there is nothing "abnormal" about grieving. Everything you experience, everything you do, are all perfectly normal. When your behaviors become dangerous to yourself or to others, then it's time to get you some help. You've lost a lot, too much, for one person to deal with alone anyway. Being able to talk with someone about your grief, the fears, depression, the feelings of abandonment, whatever else that may go along with it, this is all perfectly allowable and good for you, so you can heal emotionally and get through the time of grieving. This time is all about you. It's okay to feel a little selfish about it at times. Don't let it go to your head, but use it to heal.

Thanks for asking about my wife. She's such a sweet woman. She was a teacher for nearly twenty years, dedicated to the children, and she loved them all. Maybe it's just my love for her, but then, I also know the school director who thinks the same, but we both think she's the best teacher the school ever had. Her home time is spent making this a real home, so very beautiful. She's responsible for the flower beds, where she plants a new theme every spring, but also has another bed of lilies. She also loves the aroma and light purple of lilacs, so we planted several around the property. Inside, I do the carpentry work, but she does the pretty work, like the wall paper borders, choosing to decorate the bathroom in an African theme, and then decorating my recording studio in Native American (all her idea, cuz I'm Native American). She's helped shape this family into what it is, one that plays games instead of watching the tv, going out in the boat together; I guess you can see the theme here of "together". She's amazing. I'm so in love with her, I can remember what she was wearing the night we met, almost 21 years ago (down to the Chanel #5). So, what's she thinking of? One of her most prevelant thoughts is that I move on after she's gone. As painful as this is, she wants me to find someone else and remarry. I told her over and over that I can't promise that. I'm too in love with her. She's not afraid of what's ahead. Not one bit. She honestly wants this to be over, so she can be free from the pain. As much as I want her to stay here with me, I don't want her to hurt; I understand the pain, so I tell her when she needs to go to Heaven, just go. I can wait my turn. My heart may be broken for a few years, but I know we'll be together forever. We hold onto that like it's a bucket of gold. Love is priceless.

Take good care of yourself, Sue. Our thoughts and our prayers are with you. I hope you're eating and sleeping well, and trying to stay out of the heat (as much as you can). We're here for you, friends when you need to talk or cry or even scream and punch a pillow. hugs, Mark and my sweetie.

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Mark, i'm glad you did something just for you! i hope the concert went well too. you're very right about the pre-grief, because before my mum got moved to a different ward to 'remain comfortable'. i spoke to my step mum about how i upset i was, and i felt as though i lost my real mum anyway. The stroke took her personality away, so physically she was there but her characteristics weren't. i think when i say about grieving being "abnormal", i mean about it being so damn intense, you can't ignore it. A friend said to me that i should talk to my mum for an hour, a day and then leave it etc. That let me to explain to him that i know he means well and that he's trying to help, but i'm beginning to accept how my body and mind react when i grieve. it's because the feelings overwhelm me sometimes, the tears, the numbness so i take time out to lay on my bed and calm down after it. i know my mum and dad want me to be happy so this thought kind of tides me along when it gets too much. i talk to them in the photos and i keep saying 'you have to understand what i'm going through is painful, so bear with me and i'll be ok', so i get the feeling they understand. You have such kind words mark, they help me, and others too. thank you.

Your wife sounds like a very remarkable woman, i would have loved to have met her and you and your children. i smiled with delight when i read about your recording studio being the African theme, wow wow wow! i also love aromas from candles, that sort of thing and african music is wonderful too. my favourite colours are pink, lilac, blue, i love pastel colours. My mum loved pink, so she was dressed in a pink gown for her funeral, she looked very warm which was what we both wanted.

uh oh, i have to go now cos this centre is closing, but i'll write back soon, i want to write more. You take care of yourself, and love and hugs to you both.

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, if there is any one part of grieving that is "normal", it is this; that it's "abnormal", and in exactly the way you mean. Intensity is everything in grieving. Please keep this thought, that you are the key to your own grieving. Nobody can tell you how to do it, what your grief should be like, or if you do it right or wrong. This is 100 percent about you. In this sense, you have every right to be selfish. If you want to pray to God, go ahead. If you want to talk to your dear mum, it's your choice. I'm a hippie from the Woodstock Age, and we had a saying for this. "Do your own thing". You are doing nothing wrong, not at all. Thanks for the compliments on my studio, and especially what you said about my dear wife. She's my whole life and world. I'm working on a project for a friend, and you may have given me an idea for some of the musical expression for it by something you said. Now, I don't usually tell anyone what they say when this happens, so I don't "jinx" myself while I record the idea. Thank you for saying what you did, and after this is recorded, I'll tell you what you said. The friend I'm recording this music for gave me an idea for my wife's funeral by asking about what songs we'd like to play, which made me think of songs that meant something to us, and others that described her in some way. One song that is so very close is the country song by Alabama, Close Enough To Perfect. I can't hear it or play it without crying like a baby (I'm such a softy). As I close, your friends and relatives all need to accept and remember that your sorrow is your own, and they need to heed your advice and "bear with" you. Somehow, I get a feeling that the way your mum looked for her funeral may help you with your sorrow, just knowing how beautiful she looked on that day. I hope you can get some rest, and please, Sue, try to take care of yourself. I'm here to listen and help you all I can. hugs, luv, from both of us

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Mark, i can't believe how well you can describe grief. i went out with some friends yesterday to a place called Birkenhead that's just outside Liverpool. There was me, 2 other friends and 2 children and we were going on this day out. To cut a long story short, there was a major hiccup in travel arrangements. We were meant to go through a tunnel in the car to get to Birkenhead, but as things went very wrong, we ended up getting the train there. My mum married in the 1960's in a place called Hamilton Square which is in Birkenhead, and ironically, our destination was Hamilton Square. at first i felt happy being there, taking in the sights etc but then i began to snap like crazy, wanting to get moving, then wanting to cry like a baby. Just waves, mixtures of emotions.

As for your project, i'm very intruiged by this idea i may have given you! i hope it turns out well for you, because the things we choose for our loved one's funeral, like music and pictures etc, is a very personal thing. Have you heard of the British band called Keane? One of their songs Somewhere Only We Know was played at my mum's funeral and it just gets me everytime, i stare into space or cry like mad. She heard it before she died too, so it seemed fitting for her.

Thank you for your advice on the dealing with grief. It's been 2 years now, but i think no matter what anyone says to me about how i should/shouldn't grieve, i've come to accept how i deal with such intensity of feelings. it's like you said, i grieve the way i do, i have to accept how my body and mind deal with deep sorrow that i feel. Everyone is an individual. i'm happy that you can understand such a complex issue, but at the end of the day i live with me for the rest of my life.

anyhow, i'll make sure i get the rest you need, and do let me know how you get on with this project!

((((((((((mark))))))))))))) ((((((((((mary)))))))))))

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, perhaps I describe it well because I've suffered through it. Jennifer Kacy Lee was born Oct 16 1974, and died May 22, 1996. Her mother was so distraught and guilt ridden by her part in the adoption and her drug habit, she took her own life by heroin overdose in January 1997. My heart is most torn up caring for my sweetie though. I don't know how much time she has left. There's no way of knowing this - it's not an illness like cancer or heart disease. Our family is close, so we support each other. We also fall apart together. I'm concerned that when I fall apart after her death, they will follow me down this path of emotional turmoil. My greatest worry is my grandson (5 years old) who is too young to understand.

I hope your whole trip was happy and fun, even if the moment in Hamilton Square was so upsetting. I hope your friends were there to lend you a shoulder to cry on. If you should run out of shoulders, I have two here you may cry on anytime. You will find there are many sights and sounds and smells that will remind you of things, and these will bring you to tears. This is the nature of grieving. It's a rollercoaster ride. You may find everything about the day perfect, but one small thing will remind you of the day your mum had to discipline you for something, and you disagreed, and that's the day you ran off to your room crying, vowing to never speak to her again. But, later that day, you both made it all better with hugs and cookies. Mums are good for that you know. Remember everything about her, good and bad. Her memories will guide you through life's worst and darkest moments. Without my grandfather's memories, I'd have a struggle like no other.

I haven't heard of Keane, but in the 70's, I played a lot of UFO's music (this makes me feel as old as a dinosaur). I'm going to look up their website, and load the drivers for my sound, so I can hear their stuff.

It's okay to stare blank when sorrow makes you hurt. It's okay to cry like a baby. This will take you time to get through and heal. In time, you'll begin to hurt less. I promise you this. You'll always remember her. It's been nearly twenty five years since I lost my grandfather, and I still miss him, and I still cry. But, the painful days aren't there like before, only once in a great while.

What you wrote was about Africa. She decorated part of the house in African. We have relatives in Africa who are missionaries. This makes a perfect fit for this theme for her funeral. No, I won't wear some silly looking robe. I wear crazy enough clothes. Now, if you come up with ideas for decorating the church, feel free to email them to me. I can just imagine what you can come up with for ideas. My creativity is limited to what I do for work, not interior design.

I hope you have a great weekend. Try to behave, but also, do something special just for you. We're thinking of you. From both of us, ((((((((((hugs for Sue)))))))))). We're always here for you. Please go spoil yourself a little. I'll write soon. I'm going to catch a nap. I'm tired. luvz, me

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mark, sorry i've taken so long replying to this part of the board. as daft as it seems, i don't feel like i can say much at this point (god, some penpal i am!!), i'm going back and forth with grief so it takes it out of me. this is probably the shortest reply on here! i'm sorry.

i'll write more when i'm 'with it' cos right now, i'm without it as my mum would say.

luvz, luvz luvz and hugs hugs hugs xxx

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, you say more in five words than some can in five hundred. I know how to read between the words, a social worker habit. I know you hurt, so here's a nice gentle hug for you if you need to cry, and if not, you can enjoy the hug. luv ya, Mark

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Sue, I am sorry for what you are going thru but I can relate. My 15 year old son is in ICU now and his body is slowly dying. He has been on a vent for 5 years now and I feel his time is getting close. His lungs have hardened and his gall blader is deteriorating. Honestly, I feel he has suffered enough and I am ok with letting him go but that does not make it any easier. For 14 years I was able to keep my marriage together but it fell apart last year so now I dont get to spend every day with my child like I always did. His illness has effected his brother and sometimes it does feel like the world is falling apart. Regardless of what happens, I know that it will eventually get better and Jason will be pain free one day and that alone keeps my head above water sometimes. Sorry for stealing this thread, You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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alwaysmyjennifer

You aren't "stealing" the thread. This is why we're all here. I am so sorry to hear of what you are facing with your precious son. I also am sorry that the streses and fatigue you've been through for so long has done so much to your marriage. I am truly sorry. My Jenni died after being raped. Nature didn't intend for us parents to face losing our children. Please feel welcome and free to write here anytime about any issue you find important, or that you want to talk about. We're always here, willing to listen, willing to help all we can. For now, just put a life preserver on to keep your head above water. If you feel overwhelmed, write out your feelings, and let them be freed. We're here for you. We will be praying for you and your son. May you have what you need for each moment, for each day.

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Guest and mark, hello to both of you xx

Guest, my heart almost fell to my stomach when you said about your son being in ICU. i still have very strong memories of my mother's time in there. i'll be honest it was the scariest thing i've had to face in my lifetime. Im really sorry with what you're going through at the moment. i send my prayers and thoughts to you. As mark said, you're very welcome on here, we're here to support each other.

Mark, well, what can i say?? such kind words for people out there. i have a photo of my mother in ICU in my memory, and it's one that reminds me never to take things for granted. it's also one that made me want to hold her hand, but i didn't know what to do. Out of all this, i still have truck loads of love for her.

love and warmest wishes to you both

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Never for granted, Sue. When my wife was first diagnosed so long ago, we found information online about the dystrophy being a terminal illness. Afterward, I was unable to find that site until today. Thank the Lord above for it's rediscovery. We need the information to give the doctors. Thank you so for your prayers and sweet thoughts. Your kindness is heartwarming. We both appreciate your friendship, you, and the many things you do for us. You're a dear friend. Hold onto every precious memory of your mum, the sweet woman who woke you in the morning, fed you, and sent you toddling off to school. She's the one who bandaged the booboos, dried the tears, and held you when it just hurt too much. Mothers are special. Hold onto the memories. I'm sending you a few more of those 000001100000. Cyberspace does something in the translation, but if you "nuke" them, they'll spring right back for you. Just don't burn them, hon. I have no idea what a burnt hug smells like. in a little while, we'll talk more. til then, luvz, Me

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christinecolo

I just had to pull the plug on my mother. She took a terrible turn for the worse last night. They took her to ICU and put her on life support which was totally against what she has always told me that she wanted. I can't get a flight out of Denver until 5 o'clock tonight because of the holiday so she may not be alive when I get there. She is in the hands of people who love her and extremely sedated...as I wanted her to have absolutely no pain. I know I just did what she would have wanted, but I just ended my mother's life and my heart is breaking.

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alwaysmyjennifer

Christinecolo, I am so deeply sorry to hear this. I am sorry that you are going through all this now, doing what your precious mother wants, and allthewhile knowing. . . I will keep you in thought and prayer this weekend. Please remember to take a moment here and there to take care of yourself, eating, drinking enough water, also your emotions. If there is anything we can do here to help you, please ask. We are all here to listen and help each other.

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alwaysmyjennifer

Oh, Sue, that can never happen. I have a bunch of hugs for you. Here's a little installment for your cushion, and more on their way in the morning. I've been a little out of sorts with other issues, which is why I wasn't on the website. This has nothing to do with you. I'm really okay ((((((((Sue)))))))). luv ya, Mark

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Mark, thank you for your wonderful hugs....luv u! people deal with issues in their own ways, so i'm saying a prayer for you and i hope things are ok with you and your family.

luv ya

sue

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mark, i apologise for the '2 for 1 message' here, but i just wanted to say Thank You, through here, for being a really good, understanding friend. You're genuine, warm and kind hearted and i admire you a lot.

with lotsa love an hugs to you and your lovely wife mary x

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Awww, ((((((((((Sue)))))))))), it's quite easy to be such when I'm in the company of such a friend as you. Now, you have no need for apologies. Please get feeling better soon. Here's more 000001100000 for your cushion. The missuz sez hi, and extends her love. luv you 2, Mark

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marky, i'm beginning to feel better! still a bit bunged up, but i'm breathing better and eating more. mary!!!!! i love you madame!

mark, i have a question for you...why is it, during this part of grief, each spell of crying, punching pillows and the like, i get suicidal thoughts cos i keep thinking i wont make it?? Be assured that i promise won't take my own life, cos there are a lot of people who care and love me (i've finally begun to believe this!). its just feelings i get when 'heavy grief' overwhelms me.

sorry to alarm you in this message, but i just wondered. perhaps going through such pain, letting go of it will make way for pleasant memories.

hhmmmm

love you both!

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I'm so happy to hear you're on the mend. Now we can stop forcing chicken soup into you and give you the yummie tomato. I'm sure you'll enjoy this more. (smiles) The question you asked. You are similar to my daughter in that sorrow brings on these feelings of an overwhelming burden. I think you get this way because you are a sensitive, caring, young lady. You may tend to be overwhelmed by things only by your compassion for people, for those you love, and yourself. You love your mum so very much, you'd give any price to have her back with you, yet, as you face the stages of grief, these awaken the reality that this can't be. As each stage fades into a more comfortable, workable feeling, you are less likely to react. It's kinda like an orphan child looking for adoptive parents. These precious kids have what is known as reactive attachment syndrome. They want to love and be loved, but are afraid of the level of commitment and risk, because they've been hurt or suffered a drastic and painful loss. You suffered a painful loss, so you don't want to face each new level of "commitment" to the grieving. This is what overwhelms you. Does this make sense? ((((((((((Sue)))))))))), through the pain of your loss, you have gained a friend, two friends, and we love you, we care. I also see this can sometimes overwhelm you, so my wife and I adjust to your needs accordingly. We do care about you. Here are a few more of her special hugs and cuddles for your cushion (from me and her? you ARE special!). Please do take gentle care of yourself, and let us know how you're feeling tomorrow. We're thinking of you with prayers. we love you, the M&Ms

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Mark, i'm still coughing a bit, i got some cough syrup, so this beast of a cold is finally easing!

the first thing i thought of, when you said 'these awaken the reality that this can't be', it was 'WHY????' i have a feeling of dread inside me. i'm tearful typing this! yes i understand what you're saying, but oh god, that's just made it more real. i got pains in my stomach. no, i don't wanna face it. christ, i don't believe it. no, no, no, it's too painful. id rather have indigestion than this pain.

i'm going to hug my cushion for a while. oh god. i'll come back when i've stopped crying. i'm gonna punch something,i'm angry that this could be reality. Flipping no!

luv you

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I'm here. Hold your cushion. It's full of hugs and cuddles and love. Just cuddle. Cry the tears out. There are so many things to deal with, thoughts and feelings, ideas, dreams. Try a cup of soup or tea to warm yourself, and then sit and cuddle, and cry. Crying is okay. Whether I think of Jenni, Brenda, Christi or my wife, I often cry. Please do take gentle care of you, my dear friend. My (((((((hugs))))))) are yours, and I do love you, Mark

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mark, i felt so so angry. i couldn't speak or do anything. i've been trying to work this out, and i think you hit the nail on the head. it's just when it rang true, i was like 'nooooo! for god's sake, no.' if this gets any harder, then i probably wont be here. alive, i mean. i sometimes feel like i'm a brick holding my cushion, not a person holding it. i'll try though.

thank you and mary for your hugs x

sue

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, you have taken a huge loss, and you have a distinct need. Does any of this have to do with your loss? Do you feel like you want to accept something, but also run like hell from it too? Let me try to bring up the feeling - if I say "I'm right beside you", what happens? Good feelings or bad? When my wife and I give you hugs for cushi, good or bad? Sue, I love you. We'll get you through this. I promise you. You hurt very deeply, but we'll get you through this. Please take gentle care, and write me. I'm going to be on email. If you have messenger, I'm on that too. I'll email my addy. I do love you, M&Ms

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mark, i usually have this talk with my counsellor, but i'll try to explain. I feel like i can never, ever accept my mum has gone. i don't have the strength too, and i don't want to cos if i do, then it means it's real. i don't want it to be real. i think that's why i turn into a puddle of tears when i cry real hard. it's easier to be gone, mark. that's why i get those thoughts. i've told myself i want to go through the pain, but then when it gets painful, that's when i want to run a mile or 10.

i feel like life is bearable when you say 'i'm right beside you',but that does not bring my mother back, then something else triggers the pain. i'd probably feel better punching my door, ok, so that gives me sore knuckles. i've dealt with tantrums in counselling too. i think that with being older now, i feel grief a lot more; i don't remember feeling it when my dad died cos lots of other things happened to me at the same time, like nearly changing schools, having surgery etc.

i don't know if that answers your questions, but i tried. like i say i discuss a lot of this in counselling, but i appreciate you asking as a friend.

whaddaya think?

luvs

sue

ps, i prefer you not to promise me things, because this is placing stress on you to do the promised thing. My mum promised me a lot of things, but didn't stick to them. i've grown up just believing i'll do my best, therefore it stands realistically. i trust you'll understand me, and not promise, unless you know you're not under stress for such, 'specially when it comes to grief.

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alwaysmyjennifer

Sue, I understand about the deepest parts of grieving. We all are so vastly different in our experiences, and in our grieving. For me, losing Jennifer was like a deep cavern, totally black, complete isolation, absolute pain, nothing but confusion. I would have died to given her life again. It was like a Picasso, abstract. I had to accept her being murdered. Then it changed. There is a place of change in the grieving experience. It takes time and patience for it to be found. I understand and appreciate what you said about promises. Please accept my retraction of that. I would not say such knowing more of you, and I do deeply apologize. I dearly enjoy and honor the friendship you are so kind and gracious to share. I'm happy to know you are able to do so well in counselling. In the States, a counselor will most often address only one issue at a time, but you are fortunate to be able to deal with so many things as you are. This is good for you while you grieve. Mary and I think of you often, and pray for you as well. Do take care, and please give yourself the treat, like the hot bowl of soup. Again, please accept my blunderous ignorant American apologies (sorry, Sue), and know that I extend this with full humility. My sweet wife and I do wish you the best of day, and hope you are able to rest well through the night (keeping warm), and that you are feeling well. With our hugs, M&M's

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