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Archive for November, 2013

Leaving the hospital


I called the funeral home, and the kind gentleman that answered the phone said they would be right over to pick her up.  I went back to let the girls know that the funeral home was on their way, and that Andy did not want to see their mother laying there so I was taking him home.  They understood, and with that I emerged from the recovery room and we left with our entourage.  I had hoped that the girls would leave soon too and get some rest, but was glad we would not be there for the emotion of them leaving.  I offered for Andy to ride home with Zack, but he said he would stay with me.  I like that Andy can draw strength from me during difficult times.  On the way home he said he felt it was all for the best, that he too wondered if his mother was dying and knew her stay in a nursing home, would not be good.  He said he never wanted the last image of his mother to be of her dead, but he did not want his sisters to face her without him.  I told him he could work hard to replace that image with a happier one, especially since the prior four days had lots of unpleasant images we needed to block out. 

My entire account is available at http://www.createspace.com/3469034 or at Amazon.com, just type in the title of my book, LIFE WITH CLARA – ONE CAREGIVER’S JOURNEY.  I appreciate all of your comments and wish all caregivers the strength they need to cope each day!  

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I’m not as much of a planner as I thought.


Moments later a nurse came out and asked to speak with me.  She asked me if we had pre-arranged funeral plans, we did not other than the secret obituary I had saved on my computer.  The nurse handed me a brochure explaining what documents would be needed to make Clara’s funeral arrangements and asked what funeral home we would be using.  I told her I would gather the information and give it to her as soon as I could.  Why come to me, she had been back in the area with Clara’s daughters?  In times past, I had tried to feel Clara out on this subject.  I remembered once telling her that Andy and I had decided if something happened to us, we would want to be cremated.  I asked her if she had any feelings on that matter and she simply replied, “Once I’m dead, what do I care, I won’t know what is going on.”  That was the most I could get from her.  I went to Andy and told him that the hospital needed to know what the funeral arrangements were.  He said if it was up to him, he prefers cremation, but that whatever his sisters decided he would support.  That was the next problem.  How do I bring this subject up when they are sitting and mourning with their dead mother?  Andy said he could not go back again and see his mother laying their dead.  By now, Zack had arrived, and Andy seemed like he was scolding him telling him he didn’t have to come.  I told Andy that Zack wanted to support him, stop being the parent for the moment and let Zack do just that.  Andy truly appreciated it, but felt bad for Zack to drive over by himself on this cold, dark night into such a stressful situation.   I asked Andy if it was okay with him, I would go back and try to see what his sisters feelings were on the funeral arrangements.  When I did, one of the girls was sitting on the gurney with Clara, the other stroking her head.  I wondered if this was a typical difference between men and women.  Andy could not stand to be next to his dead mother, the girls could not stand the thought of leaving her side.  I asked if I could ‘visit’ with Clara for a moment and they said, “Sure.”  I needed my time with her.  As I went around the other side of the bed I stroked her face a bit.  Her leg was out a bit from under the covers and she had deep, dark bruises on her leg.  I wondered if the one bruise on her lower leg was from when her foot got trapped under the weight of her leg when she fell getting out of the shower.  There were areas where her skin had broken down during the four day hospital stay.  Another wound was obviously from surgery.  I wished that when she coded two days before she was never revived.  Looking at her purple bruises and incision was sickening.  How sad that this poor woman had to go through surgery for nothing, but still felt relieved that her death was peaceful.  I was lost in my own thoughts for a few moments, then told the girls that I was sorry to have to bring this up, but the hospital needed to know what funeral arrangements we had in mind.  They were very gracious about it, and one had strong feelings about which funeral home she wanted her mother’s services held at.  I asked if they wanted a plot or a mausoleum and the same one said she did not want her mother buried in the ground.  I did not have the courage to even ask if cremation was a consideration, because I felt it would be an offensive question to them.  So it was decided which funeral home would be used, and the cemetery was not as specific, as long as they had a mausoleum.  I asked if they wanted to be involved in making the arrangements, or if they wanted Andy and me to take care of all the details.  They both said they wanted us to make the arrangements.  I went over to the nurse to inform her of the decision and she said we needed to call the funeral home and set things up.  Thankfully, someone knew what to do!  I returned to the waiting area and briefed Andy and he said, “Whatever they want.”  

My entire account is available at http://www.createspace.com/3469034 or at Amazon.com, just type in the title of my book, LIFE WITH CLARA – ONE CAREGIVER’S JOURNEY.  I appreciate all of your comments and wish all caregivers the strength they need to cope each day!  

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