My soulmate is gone
John died 14 weeks ago, just 9 days after his 56th birthday. He only had one thing on his bucket list. We were supposed to have time to take a chemo break and go to the Grand Canyon. Instead the lung cancer spread quickly, and just a couple of months into chemo, we were told it was time for Hospice. The previous day we were told it was in his spine. The following day we were told it was now in his brain.
Luckily I asked the right questions and listened to the doctor. I was able to round up the troops and both daughters and all 4 sisters came to see John while he was still in the hospital. He was sent home the day before his birthday. All of the above and his mom were able to come to our home for his birthday party. John really wanted no part of it, but allowed us to sing Happy Birthday to him once the pain pills he had been rejecting finally took effect.
The brain being affected meant he was a very difficult patient, and the day after his birthday we moved John to a Hospice in care facility. I moved in also. I went home during the day while his daughters were with him, as I was still completing some work I had previously taken on. The last couple weeks went so very quickly, no time for any planning.
Everyone went home and I stayed with John at the most amazing Hospice House. He wasn’t eating already for about a month before going to Hospice. It was so very impossible to watch him waste away. He was skin and bones, literally. I had made plans for a friend to bring our dog to see us that Friday. John passed overnight before that could happen. I was able to climb in bed with him his last night and hold him and cry quietly. He did not like to be held while awake. All of his senses were heightened, and touch was not comfortable. I held him for a long time, until I started crying too loudly, and I feared bothering him.
I sent an email to a friend that night before going to bed entitled “not long now”. How right I was. The nurse woke me at 11:30 to see if she should give John oxygen. For comfort only. He fought it tho, so we did not push it. At 1 the nursing assistant woke me to tell me the nurse was checking on my husband. They called time of death 12:47. I was able to climb in bed one more time, this time with my husband’s shell. He was already gone.
The next weeks are a total blur. Hard to believe it has been 14 weeks already. A day has not gone by without tears. I cannot imagine taking all the steps needed to ever look at John’s pictures and not cry my eyes out. So many triggers. Daily, hourly.
I know he would want me to laugh and love life again. Right now I can’t imagine finding joy again. I did get a glimpse when my grandchildren came for a week last month. They helped me spread his ashes, and when we went by one of the places where he is, the 6 year old called out “Hi Grandpa John!!!!” in total joy. It helped me put some perspective on the matter. Spreading his ashes helped to bring me some peace, as I was returning him to the places he loved the most.
I am grateful to be able to give myself fully to the grieving process this next year or so. I sold my accounting practice to be able to spend John’s last years which turned into months with him more completely. I’m open to what I will do when I recover. I had both of my hips replaced at once 10 years ago and listened continuously to the song I hope you dance. And I did again. Though I can’t right now, I do plan on dancing again.