Stumbling thru life w/Grace

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Friendship & Grieving

I have played catch-up today, and read a lot of my favorite blogs that I have missed while my girlfriend Delta was here for a visit. We had a wonderful time, catching up on each others lives, and running around. We did lots of shopping, at several different malls, and went out to Rawhide, a small touristy western town set up in Scottsdale. We also got an old time saloon girl photo done there. (Which I'll post in my photo blog eventually) Went out for a nice prime rib dinner at Houstons, dressed up in semi- formal evening attire. Somthing I think she enjoyed. As this is somthing we normally never did in the small redneck town we lived in, in WA state. It was a very special time, that I will treasure always.

Unfortunately, we also received some sad news during Delta's visit. Especially sad for my husband. His father passed away Friday night. Kevin's dad was 87, and had lost his wife to Alzheimers 4 years ago. Kevin and I have had many conversations about losing his mother, and in general losing ones parents. This in some ways did not come as a huge shock to Kevin, due to his father's age. But it was out of the blue. One night Kevin has his normal nightly call with his father, and the next he was lying in a hospital bed unconscious.

By Friday night, the DNR paperwork was in place, and they were ready to unplug the 7 machines that were working to keep Chet alive. The timing of his death coinciding with the story in the media right now, has had both my husband and I contemplating the nature of death, and what we would wish, should somthing happen to either of us unforseen.

The mercy I see that Chet provided for his eight children, was that he had his Do Not Resuscitate paperwork in order. Which spelled out exactly what his wishes were if he were to be incapacitated, and unable to express his wishes. This gift that Chet gave to his children, during their time of grief is unmeasurable, as we can see from the story that is playing out in the news.

My husband and his siblings are not, nor were they plagued by arguments of what to do for Chet, and what not to do. Without going into the gory details, between a massive stroke, and 2nd and 3rd degree burns, caused by falling in the shower, where he lay for over an hour, his chance for any quality of life in recovery were slim to nil. And basically he lay unresponsive in the hospital for 24 hours. But Chet had put his paperwork in order long before the unforseen happened.

Now my husband and his sibs can mourn the loss of their father, remember the wonderful things about him, without any guilt over what was done. No one made that decision but Chet.

My husband and I were up Friday night until 4:00 AM talking about his father, and his love and gratitude for all his father had done for him over the years. I hurt for my husband, and wanted so much to take this sadness away from him. And all I could do, was just be there and listen, and hold him. Grief is a part of life, we don't like it, but it is. In this case, Kevin sees the blessings in his father's long life. But he will miss him, and feel this ache for many months to come. I am just grateful that there was not any legal or famalial battles attached to this natural part of living and dying.

Rest in peace Chet. You left your legacy of 8 kids, who loved you dearly. And you are on to your heavenly rewards, joined by your wife, and one of your sons.

And for my part, I promise you Chet, and your wife Teresa, that I will take care of, and love your oldest son with all my heart. Doing all I can to bring joy, love, peace and comfort to his life until we both join you in Heaven.

And on that note, I urge everyone to either fill out a DNR and/or Living Will. The drama, the pain, confusion and grief, need not, and should not be played out in the courts of law, or within the government. These are personal decisions that should be handled long before they ever have a possiblity of being an issue.

I say a prayer of thanks, that Chet had had the wisdom to deal with this for his children.

8 Comments:

  • Both my parents had living wills. In my case, Harry (dad) had alzheimers. Got to the point very quickly (a blessing)that he could not eat.
    Kinda a funny, the last time I saw he was unresponsive to most stimuli (sp). I leaned over into his face and said something like "Hi, I'm your son Sam." Nothing. As I went back to my chair, he said "Well, I think I handled that pretty well."

    Mom had a slight stroke and Mayo Clinic said "No problem; a bypass and she has at least ten more years." Surgery did not go well. We kept her on a respirator for 24 hours for a mircle. Nothing. We had the staff stop the machine.

    Iowa

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:35 AM  

  • Glad you had some fun times with your girlfriend. It's always nice to reconnect.

    Sorry about your loss. This is exactly what I have been saying all along about the DNR - wise decision indeed to have one. It eases the guilt and responsibility, and puts the onus where it belongs - on the person whose life is in question. You both have my sympathies.

    By Blogger Jay, at 10:21 AM  

  • Hi and thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoy it as well. Your blog is unique and have it booked marked awhile ago, for others to see on my fav's. I read your post and my Cat is named Delta . For Delta dawn, that song? lol..
    Thanks for coming! Im going to do some catching up as well.
    CB & JB : of Life & Health Blog.

    By Blogger I have moved, at 2:23 PM  

  • 3T-What a lovely tribute. My heart goes out to you and yours.

    By Anonymous Bitchitude a.k.a. GlassHoppah, at 4:49 PM  

  • I, too, am sorry for your family's loss. All who loved Chet will be in my prayers tonight. I just had this conversation with a girlfriend at lunch today, about how current events are such a reminder to take care of the living will. It is a gift to those you love to spare them from having to make those impossible decisions. Peace and comfort to you, Kevin and all of Chet's family.

    By Blogger Susie, at 6:18 PM  

  • I am so glad to hear you had such fun with Delta! I just love Rawhide and I better get to see that photo! ;-)

    You, your husband and his sibs are in my thoughts and prayers. How aweful for him, and for you. I am so sorry to hear. You make such a valid point with the timing here (the news and all) regarding living wills and such. I've been thinking about it alot too and well, frankly, need to quit pissin' around about it.
    God bless you all, and hopefully there will come peace soon...

    By Blogger Jade, at 7:03 AM  

  • I'm sorry for your family's loss.
    I have to say the one good thing to come out of this political mess going on with poor Terri is that it's forcing the issue of setting up DNRs and living wills for families.
    I'm glad Chet took care of that for your husband and family.

    By Blogger heidi, at 11:29 PM  

  • Anon,
    Taking a loved one off of machines is a very difficult choice to make. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Jay,
    Thank you for your condolences. And I am in complete agreement w/you on the DNR. I feel grateful to Chet and God that my husband did not have to be the one to make this type of decision.

    cb,
    I had fun poking around your blog. And will bookmark you, as soon as my redesign is completed.

    Bitchatude,
    Thank you for your condolences. My husband was touched, when I had him read the comments here.

    Susie,
    Thank you for your eloquent condolences. My husband and I both appreciated what you wrote.

    Jade,
    Thank you for your condolences. And prayers. Peace comes to my husband more and more. We trust God to take care of Chet. And the Living Will has taken on new meaning to us, since this has occurred. Thank God Chet had the wisdom to take care of this early. We are working on ours this week-end.

    Heidi,
    Thank you for your condolences. And you are so right. The importance of having the paperwork in order. You never know when it may be necessary. Thank you for commenting.

    By Blogger 3rd Times a Charm, at 12:42 AM  

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