June 16, 2013
I started writing this post a year ago. WordPress tells me I last updated it in December. I may actually finish editing it and publish it this year. And I’ve scheduled it to post while I’m off doing something that will hopefully make me forget all about it.
Jesus. I just wrote the title and realized it’s a double entendre. I was intending to write about Pops’ death
one two years ago. But… I suppose it applies to Right Guy and our losses as well. Fuck. That’s another post. Or not. Since he doesn’t talk.
Anyway… here’s the disclaimer. Death is not pretty and neither is this post. Seriously, stop reading now if you think you might not want to hear about what it’s like to die. In this case, of lung cancer. But I think the end process is similar regardless.
Not every death is like this one. I’m sure there are people who go peacefully in their sleep – really and truly. Someone more flowery than me might have described Pops’ death as just that – if they hadn’t been there in the hours just before, they might have said he died peacefully in his sleep. If you had found him in the morning that’s what it would have looked like. But he didn’t.
At least, not from MY perspective. Right Guy says different. I suppose he’s seen more horrible deaths. In the grand scheme of things, perhaps he’s right. But I have no basis for comparison. To me, my father’s death was traumatic.
I watched him struggle to breathe for hours. It was painful to watch. I kept giving him more morphine with the hope of him not knowing he was struggling to breathe.
I was with him all night. I saw the labored breathing. I kept him as doped as possible. At the time I wasn’t even completely sure I wasn’t overdosing him. I was trusting Right Guy’s medical advice – not knowing whether he was abetting euthanasia (he wasn’t). I just saw how clearly difficult it was for my father to breathe and I desperately wanted to make it easier on him – in any way I could (can you imagine?). If euthanasia had been explicitly mentioned at the time I likely would not have said no, although, I couldn’t have done it myself.
I can only hope now, as I did then, that he was too doped to know what was going on. That he was, in effect, sort of asleep and not aware in any way. Unfortunately, I won’t ever feel sure of that. He struggled so much to breathe, I find it difficult to believe that he wasn’t aware of it on some level. But I hope. In the same way I #hope that
I can become pregnant with one tube and old eggs I will one day have a child.
He died in the wee hours on a Saturday morning. The day before Father’s Day. Friday afternoon the Hospice nurse had said she thought he would make it through the weekend. Which was kind of disheartening actually. It was clear to me that he was suffering quite a bit at that point. For it to go on for the whole weekend seemed cruel. But death is often like that.
But it didn’t happen that way. He tanked. FAST. More or less. He was gone just about 12 hours after the Hospice nurse left. It didn’t seem so fast at the time. I had given the newly hired nurse the night off and taken the overnight shift myself. And Right Guy happened to have that night off and came to help.
Neither of us had any clue Friday evening that we would be awake all night. Or that 12 hours could feel like an eternity.
In the end, I did what he asked. What he had asked me to do eight months before. He had asked me to be there with him at the end. He was afraid of dying alone (I think). I don’t think he knew what a burden that might be for me. He just wanted someone there with him when he went. And I understand that. And I wanted to be there for him. But, just so you know, this is a MUCH more difficult task than it sounds like. It’s not only hard at that moment but it’s something you carry with you… forever.
Last year I relived that night. Apparently the date of his death matters less to me than the way it played out. I was up all night that Friday night with him. And last year, on that Friday night, I was trapped in a hell of living it all over again. SO many things are blurry in my memory after his death. But that night… I remember it vividly with remarkable detail. I’m writing this before Friday night. I can only hope that this year it will not be as bad.
There’s a lot more to this story. Maybe, one day, I’ll get it all out. But for now this is it. His last day. The day before Father’s Day. Forever imprinted on my brain.
December 11, 2012
The state of the Fox is not so good right now. OK, so nothing horrible(squared) has happened. But there’s enough horrible and a healthy dose of annoying to make the Fox fly off the handle lately.
In the last 2 weeks the following have occurred:
- A friend died. Suddenly. He wasn’t a close friend but he was a good guy always willing to help out. I can’t count how many times he ‘fixed’ my toilet after I bought my first house. But I hadn’t spoken to him in 2+ years – not since before my move and before my father got really sick. He died suddenly. Unexpectedly. In his home. I have not yet heard a cause of death so I have to start wondering if the rumors of suicide are true. Despite the fact that I know he used to work a suicide hotline in a former life. WTF? I don’t want to ask the person I know would know because I know it would upset him further.
- I went to a meet up. By myself. It turned out to be a bit of a meat market but I met a girl (who was hoping to meet a guy). I’m trying like hell to make friends in this new town of mine. And I thought I had. We clicked. She has a niece and nephew and two cats and is also new to this town. We left the meet up and had dinner, exchanged phone numbers, texted a couple times to make sure the phone numbers worked… and then…nothing. No further response from her. I suck at life.
- My bossy boss (the highest up boss) decided that I should not be allowed to work remotely more often than one day every other week. Despite the fact that 80% of my job can be done from anywhere at any time of day. He sees it as a seniority thing. My coworker is senior so she can work remotely once a week. One of the reasons I chose my profession is because it is flexible and can be done from anywhere. I would have had to quit my old job if they had not been so flexible when I had ectopic #1 followed by Pops’ cancer #3. All this time (almost a year) I thought that all this scrupulous keeping track of employees was a federal thing – no. It’s due to the boss. That’s a culture I don’t want to be a part of.
- And now my uncle has died and was apparently quite adamant about not wanting a funeral. Of any kind. No funeral, no memorial, no wake. And so I have to grieve 3000 miles away by myself (almost, Bro is here) while the rest of the family gather on Xmas (well the 23rd) to remember him. I could have dropped everything, paid twice the normal fare and flown back East for a funeral. But I already have other plane tickets purchased for Xmas. WTF? For everyone else (besides Bro) it’s just a matter of an hour or two in the car. They can get back to their regularly scheduled Xmas plans pretty easily. Why are we the red-headed step-children? I’m starting to understand why Bro has been absent from so many family functions over the years. They don’t schedule them at times when he has any hope of attending. And then they criticize him for not coming. I am just SO pissed at my cousin right now.
So to recap… I’m gonna have to start looking for a new job since I can’t work for someone who doesn’t value me appropriately. Hopefully no more friends will die but, let’s be honest, the generation before me is all in their 70s and my family doesn’t have the best genes – or at least the men don’t. They’re gonna start dropping like flies.
And then there’s that looming FET.
FET#2. That I’m not quite committed to. Because it’s über scary.
My therapist’s homework for me this week was to call my old clinic and ask about transporting the frosties to determine whether I’m comfortable moving them out here. I called the old clinic yesterday. And again today. A message has been sent to the lab. In my previous experience, it takes the lab 2 weeks to return phone calls.
My other homework was to talk to my boss about this working remotely nonsense. My immediate boss is cool with it – it’s his boss that is not so much. I did that today and found out about the aforementioned culture.
So… homework done.
But I still suck at life. And I’m still sad. And pissed.
September 8, 2011
I think I thought that once I reached Seattle everything would magically fall in to place. How naive of me. Everything still sucks. I’m slightly less stressed because I’m not working right now. But then that just makes me stress that there’s no money coming in. And I have two mortgages and a rent to pay – with the help of Right Guy and what’s left of my father’s bank account. The money situation is not dire but you never like to know that all that money is going out and hardly anything is coming in.
My house is finally on the market but then my HOA decided to get bitchy with me… AGAIN. The city took a little longer than usual to pick up some “bulky” items from my curb and the HOA had a conniption. That is the LAST thing I need right now. They make my blood boil. They have never been nice or even reasonable to deal with. In fact, the board president has publicly berated me twice. Maybe I shouldn’t have weaned myself off those anti-depressants and anti anxiety pills.
My father’s house is not yet officially on the market because the person I hired to clean it out has fallen behind. Most likely in order to collect more money for the job. This was all supposed to be taken care of while I was on the road. I could have had it done, for free, before I left. I had many people volunteer to help. But I had promised this person he could do it. And now it’s taking longer and costing more. That’s what I get for being nice.
Did I mention that I made that cross country road trip with my dead father’s ashes? No? Well… I may be cracking up a bit. I took him to see Custer’s Last Stand at Little Big Horn Battlefield. I thought he would like to see it. I’ve gotten very used to having his ashes around – something I NEVER thought I would do. I hope my brother can make up his mind soon about what to do with them or they’re going to become a shrine on my mantle. Which is something I never wanted and still don’t want. But the longer he stays with me the harder it will be to see him go. I think my brother is experiencing the opposite sensation. I guess we all grieve in our own ways.
Speaking of grieving… I am definitely NOT out of the anger stage. I was better for awhile but my fuse is still very very short these days. Everything pisses me off lately. And it didn’t help that I arrived in Seattle to find that Right Guy had completely hosed my computer. I had to reinstall windows. I assume he was looking at p*rn while I was away – which doesn’t bother me. Except that he should do it on his OWN computer which is a MAC and not screw up mine. 😛
And then there’s this FET cycle. With everything else going on I’m barely focused on it. I forgot my shot this morning. It doesn’t seem real. Except that I know that if it doesn’t work I will be devastated. In my current state there’s no other possible outcome in the event of failure. It simply doesn’t feel real. It is the weirdest cycle yet. I’m not obsessing over it since I have so many other things to deal with. Which is sort of good. But sort of bad. Maybe this was not a good idea. Maybe I’m still too stressed.
OK, I think I’m done venting. Thanks for letting me. As usual I feel like a whiner but I’m trying to cut myself some slack.
July 12, 2011
This time I’m not going to apologize for going AWOL. I’ve been swamped. Which has been good. Being super busy means I don’t have time to break down – at least not very often. I’ve just got to get through the next two months and then I can start to process all this.
Here’s what I’ve been doing:
went to the courthouse to file the will and figure out what comes next
making phone calls (Soc Sec, VA, retirement, life ins, health ins, bank accounts, etc)
filling out forms, endless piles of forms from all the entities listed above
faxing documents and forms
my house was packed and shipped (Momz and my bro helped me)
now I’m packing up Pops’ house
I now have three separate addresses and the bills that go with each. Trying to stay on top of what is due when is about as stress free as sticking a fork in my eye. It’s not so much the money – I haven’t been doing any fertility treatments lately and I’ve been saving for the move and I still have access to Pops’ money. So I’m OK there. For now anyway. But trying to make sure everything gets paid on time, canceled at Pops, started in Seattle, canceled at my place…. OY cubed.
And I have another MRI coming up. Which means I’m wondering about whether I’ll be able to, and *should*, try for a FET before I move while it’s subsidized by my current company. If my body is healed up, then I could do a FET for $600. Pretty sure I’m not gonna get that deal anywhere else.
In short, I’m trying to stay busy. But my brain is ALL OVER THE PLACE. I have a short fuse these days. And I’m pretty much useless at work. Although I have been coming in and sitting at my desk for a week now.
Mostly I miss Pops – the Pops I knew 10 years ago. And I can’t seem to wipe the memory of his last few hours. And the moment he died. And how quickly he became ice cold. I need to make those images go hide in the back of my mind. And bring happier ones forward.