Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This night is crystal clear in my memory. I was 50 at the time with 2 teenage boys.I am so totally sad tonight as I relive the memories. I had a hospital bed brought into our living room a day earlier as he became too weak to climb the stairs to our bedroom.
The night before was the last time that we would spend in the bed we had shard for 20 years. We were both aware of what was on the horizon and there were no words of comfort left to say to each other. We lay cuddled in each others arms with tears running down our cheeks. How painful and how does one integrate that into the mind and emotional being, especially in terms of our profound relationship?
I had slept in the Hospital bed the night before as he insisted on lying on the couch but would have to get up and change him since had he had become incontent. He suffered from Stomach Cancer. He wanted to die on the couch. This night however. I said NO, you have to get into bed so I can change you without wrecking my back. I wanted to accommodate his wishes but knew my back couldn't deal with it any longer. I had been doing that in our bed for days before we had to move downstairs. He agreed reluctantly and I lay on the couch catnapping. I knew the end was near (he was as orange as pumpkin due to liver failure) and I was always listenting to his breathing. At one point he looked at me and said "Tutte, you have to get some sleep, it's been days now." I asked him how he was feeling, was he in any pain and his reply was, No, I just feel strange. I went to sleep for a couple of hours.
I had a restless sleep always with one ear on Arch's breating. By 7 AM I detected a change taking place so called my GP and he arrived within 20 minutes looking like he just got out of the shower. How many MD's do that today? In the meantime Arch had woken up so I cleaned him, brushed his teeth, washed his face and what else was necessary. He told me he was no in any pain. Then Charles my, arrived and took a look at Arch and checked him for various symptoms. He eventually made the decision to give Arch a shot of Gravol and some morphine. The first morphine Arch had received. Truly amazing that he hadn't needed any major pain killers. Before Arch fell asleep he made a couple of jokes. So typical.
It didn't take 10 minutes before he was sound asleep and Charles left. Before he did, he left me with 4 syringes filled with Morphine. He didn't leave any instructions with me but I have since thought that he might have done that so that I could apply and overdoze if I felt it necessary. Empathic doctors will do that. I didn't use them but would have if I felt Arch was in pain and I could have relieved any suffering.
Arch's youngest son had come out a few days earlier and took my boys to school and eventually headed off to the airport to pick up his sisters.
A couple of hours later after napping on and off the nurse arrived and we checked on Arch and he seemed to be sleeping peacefully. I offered her a cup of tea and we went into the kitchen. The phone rang that was next to Arch's bed and it was his good pal meeting my step-kids at the airport. As I was talking to him, I looked down at Arch and realized he WAS GONE. I was left in shock and speechless.
To conclude what was the most traumatic day of my life, I was grateful to have the nurse close to me.
I kept going in and checking on Arch and his eyes were at half mast to try to make sense of it. The nurse phoned my GP who returned immediately to pronounce Arch DEAD! Is there a word that has more impact than that? Of course I knew he was. The GP and I went and had a cup of tea together in the kitchen and had a good chat. He is such a wonderful friend and MD. While we were doing that Arch's children all arrived from the Airport and rather than them walking into the house and unexpectedly finding their Dad deceased, I met them in the driveway to prepare them. Needless to say they were all in shock. Not only by the news but by the fact that they didn't get to have the opportunity say their goodbyes. It was a situation that is very difficult to express. My GP left after having met all the kids.
We all entered the house and approached Arch's bed so the news could become a reality for them. There was a very long moment of silence and each person left as needed and we eventually met up in the kitchen. Then each person returned to say their final goodbye in private. When everyone had done that, I returned to clean Arch's body and his youngest daughter joined me. It was a very holy moment for both of us. It was our way of passing on our greatest gift by anointing his body.
After that I had to phone the funeral home. They arrived within 40 minutes and what happened next, is imbedded in my brain and I will never forget. Arch's body was still warm because he had been under the duvet and in walk two men with a gurney and a plastic bag. I had to leave the room when they put him in the bag and zipped it up and carried it out to the van. We all stood in the doorway and watched and I began hyperventilating. All I could say was "Here today, Gone Tomorrow". I don't remember anything after that until hours later. I don't know how anyone can integrate the finality of that event. I won't allow myself to think of it very often, but it needed to be expressed here as a conclusion.
My own children didn't know at that point. I will finish at a later time. Can't write anymore now.
My youngest son Ryan just turned 15, phoned and I felt I had to prepare him so told him the news. There was a long period of silence and I don't remember what words were spoken afterwards since he was at a friends house and they were driving him home. Not sure whether I did the right thing in telling him ahead of time. I felt he would want to know versus being blindsided. My boys are very different and integrate in their own way.
My oldest son Shaun, 17 arrived home and as he came through the front door, I rushed towards him, put my arms around him and told him the devastating news. I don't think he said a word, just got on his bike and rode around for several hours. Don't remember what he said when he came home. So much of these hours are a blank.
They were the worst moments of my life apart from telling them their father was dying. This was the reality of that news coming to fruition and I don't think any of us could really accept, nor knew what to do with it mentally or emotionally. It was like being in some Twilight Zone. I don't remember much of what happened after that. We were all in a total state of shock.
If I write any more on this topic, it will become an epistle so will end it here.
~ Tutte ~
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I have had to let go of the clock in terms of when I hand in the termination of my least since my back is not improving. I have a difficult time getting up or standing erect so there is no way I can continue packing or lifting boxes. From past experiences with my back, I know it can take a few weeks for it to heal so I made the decision to postpone my move for a month. In the big scheme of things it really doesn't make much difference but will alleviate any further stress from feeling pressured to pack and look for an apt. Perhaps it came as a blessing in disuise in that the right apt. for me won't be available until June. I hope that is the reason.
~ Tutte ~
Thursday, April 21, 2011
My Back has always been my weakest link and why I have suffered from 5 ruptured discs over 40 years. There is nothing more excruciating in terms of pain. I managed to cure myself with every episode despite seeking medical help. I would stay flat on my back for weeks with a heating pad and tons of Ibuprofen.
Yesterday as I was packing I lifted a box that was much too heavy for my weakened body and pulled a muscle on the left side of my back. What a blessing. Since all my ruptures happened on the right side. L3, L4 and L5. Always from a twist and bend. So although I woke up today unable to straighten myself up into an erect position, I know this will heal quickly. Took a day off from packing and just let my back rest.
~ Tutte ~
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A Friend reminded me that I have to give up my lease by the end of this month and it sent me spiraling and into anxiety until I realized this had to happen in order for me to reach my goal of rediscovering the core of who I want to be and the home that will provide the comfort to do that. It scares me because with my PTSD, having no control is not something I am comfortable with but I realize I have a month to look for something suitable and as The Universe has provided for me in my past it will again.
I will be finished packing in a week and then have a month to look for something suitable. I have accepted that I may not find everything on my wish list but it will definitely be better than the hell I am living in. When I know what I want I always visualize and focus on my intent and usually it comes to pass so I expect it will again.
~ Tutte ~
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Interesting that after becoming stressed out last week because I couldn't find any boxes, I picked up dozen today earlier in the week and then another dozen from the pet store owner I had approached. So between what is packed already and all the boxes stacked in my kitchen, I am really beginning to feel boxed in this tiny space. However I view it from a very positive perspective. I want to be finished packing by the end of the month so I can move as soon as I find a suitable place. I have some fear around looking for a suitable apt. in my price range because I live in a very expensive neighbourhood and worry about becoming discouraged. But that is projecting my fears. A bad habit of mine. I may find the perfect one with my first visit.
I am trusting that THE Universe will come to my assistance once again. IT knows exactly what my needs are and what I constantly visualize.
It sure does feel good to be making progress. Now I know I will escape this HELL.
~ Tutte ~
Friday, April 15, 2011
This is how I went to bed most of my life but for various reasons have been unable to for the last 13 years, the environment and my mind wasn't receptive. I so look forward to resuming this old satisfying and relaxing habit.
In the few years prior to Arch's death and my involvement with Hospice most books dealt with Grief and Dying and Arch would often tell me what a morbid subject I was focused on. As it turned out unexpectely, a few months later with all the informations I had garnered, it served me well with everything I had to face in the future as I had to deal with prognosis and the oncoming death of Arch.
My night table was always stacked with books. Hope it will be again with a different environment and new interests once I am released from the bonds of PTSD and the prison I have lived in.
~ Tutte ~
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Thank GOD it does. We must remember that the only thing that is Constant in Life is Change. Some more positive than others as we experience them but they are all ultimately for our Soul's Growth. It's a difficult concept when we are in the darkest moments of our lives.
~ Tutte ~
Spring is late this year and that makes me happy. It was and still is my favorite season but since I lost my gardens, there is always a gray hue of sadness since I am no longer able to enjoy it as I once did. I loved to walk around and see everything sprout and come into bloom. It was my passion after all.
~ Tutte ~
After spending the first few days scouring around for boxes I only came home with 3 but today I hit the Jackpot and came home with a dozen. That removes a lot of pressure that was building. Amazingly the more I pack, the more I realize how much is still left to do. There will be much less this time since I haven't accummulated anything in the last 7 years and am being so brutal about discarding.
I have no memory of how unpacked everything when I moved in here. I am sure I was in a state of shock. The challenge once I move is that everything will be dirty because I couldn't tackle both cleaning and packing. So contrary to the way I moved in the past. Everything was washed and polished but it will give me much to occupy my time once I have moved and that will be just fine. It will be so wonderful to start off clean and shiny and without any cat hair. The bain of my life until Myki sadly died. I still miss him and hear him rarely now in my closet. Perhaps he has moved on.
I will be very busy for the next few days.
~ Tutte ~
Friday, April 8, 2011
Hard to believe that now that I am so ready to move forward, the sheer detail of finding boxes to use for packing is almost impossible now that everyone recycles. I have spent all week searching and came home with just 1 box today. At this pace, how long will this move take? I will just have to persevere. Never expected this problem since in the past I could always get what I needed from the liquor stores. No longer. Had been told Friday was a good day so went today and NOTHING.
The Sun is out and all the spring flowers are in bloom so this spurs me on and I desperately want to keep up the momentum.
~ Tutte ~
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
After my wonderful encounter with Shaun today, I wish Arch had been there to share it with. Of course, I believe had he not died when my boys were in their teens, our lives and relationships would have been very different. That conversation would never have occurred or been necessary. Especially since Shaun was his Dad's favorite. Who knows what impact that had on the lives of my boys. Profound undoubtedly! They have reacted very differenly. No doubt, it was far more painful for Shaun since Ryan was more connected to me and still is. I have tried to imagine but it's impossible. I still remember Larry King talking about the loss of his father when he was young. It's a life altering event.
I wish I had the ability to walk along our local beach and discuss all this with Arch. Probably from the perspective of where he is today, he would be able to reassure me that I have done the very best under the circumstances.I believe I have.
I still think it's a huge tragedy for any child to loose a parent in their youth. Especially a father who was so young at heart, vibrant and humourous as Arch. Unless he had developed dementia, he would always have had that personality. Did until shortly before he died. I never met anyone who could make me laugh so heartely nor does anyone else who came in contact with him.
He was absolutely a most delightful man and a joy to live with.
~ Tutte ~
I am so grateful that despite the years of despair, I always maintained a glimmer of hope even when it seemed there was nothing to cling on to.
I expect since I held on to so much of my precious rosewood furniture when I moved in here, I must have known this would never become my permanent home. I am so grateful today that I did. I have had this since I bought it in my 20's and is so much part of what I consider my HOME and my life. It did create a huge problem here but I never regretted it. I haven't seen my beautiful coffee table for years, it's in storage but one of my most favorite items. I just couldn't part with it. Rosewood is beyond affordability today. As is the type of Danish craftmanship. It's not the price of it that has value for me but the beautiful grain in the wood and rich color. It can't compare with Ikea or particle board. I had to sacrifice my beautiful bedroom suit but that was acceptable. I had no choice but I did with the rest and why I held on to it.
Hopefully I will be able to recreate the type of living room I have enjoyed all my life prior to moving in here.
~ Tutte ~
I am slowely moving forward towards the light of my escape as I continue to pack. It's a difficult task as I can only pack one box and then sit down for 10 minutes. However, no doubt by the time this is done, I should be much stonger on every level. So glad I didn't put a time frame on this move. It will take as long as it takes. Baby Steps but ever forward and I feel good about seeing empty spaces.
I had the profound pleasure of seeing my oldest son Shaun today. This after a year. He appeared very happy to see me with a smile from ear to ear and gave me a huge hug when I left. Not sure what his problem is except that he told me he has become a recluse and doesn't talk to many. I can certainly relate as my phone is still off the hook. However it warmed my heart and reassured me that our relationship is fully in tact.
Then went to see my MD who continues to provide me with free drugs via samples. What a sweetheart he is! I hope he never retires even though he is getting close to that age. He has been my Medicinal angel for the last 15 years.
~ Tutte ~
Saturday, April 2, 2011
In the past few years and especially 3 weeks ago with what happened in Japan we are constantly reminded of the destructive power of Mother Earth. They supercede all the subtle and beautiful wonders and we mustn't forget them. They are what brings life to the planet whether through the seasonal changes, biology and the healing power and wisdom of our own fragile bodies.
Mother Earth is to be respected and revered regardless of how destructive at times. She is doing what is in her nature and history whether we understand it or not.
~ Tutte ~