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Topic This Forum helped me again last night Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By jcoff012 On 2014.08.19 13:29
We got a phone call last night that Carl's good friend had his second massive stroke in the last few months, and was resting at home with Hospice.

I let the news set in, then approached Carl and said I was sorry, and what would he think was appropriate...they live two hours from here...

He was beside himself, so I came on here to reread Al's note from the first stroke about allowing Carl to grieve and/or accept and process the information. Al, and others, you said I needed to not take this struggle onto my shoulders, to not shield him from life's pains. So, I didn't...

Wednesday, tomorrow, we are driving to see him, and Carl told him hello on the phone just a few minutes ago. This was difficult...seeing his tremors ramp up pre and post phone call, and seeing the effect the news of his friend's impending death is having on his own health, makes me so glad his forum exists. I am afraid that without your sage advice, I would have interferred with Carl's grieving process because I just want to protect him...

Again, this will be difficult at best, but he just said, "We have time to see him before he dies, and that is important. I have to tell him how much he has meant to me and to our lives. An honest, honorable man is a rarity and I need to tell him so...She said he has a week or two at most.'' Hugs and thank you all, Jane

By carman96 On 2014.08.20 19:57
Jane, that will be difficult but important to be able to say goodbye.
I don't really try to shield my husband but he just doesn't seem to react much, so I just say it once usually unless there are new developments.
Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
Hugs

By jcoff012 On 2014.08.20 23:36
Back home. Glad we went, but it was extremely sad and difficult. Carl and I sat by his bed for an hour, with Carl doing most of the talking and hand holding...it was appropriate and touching.

One thing that struck me. His wife is a caregiver now, too...SHE needed us there to take a break, to talk about the last 25 years, our two meetings in Hawaii *accidental, but fun*...and on and on...She looked tired but so very glad to hug us and sit with us. She graciously allowed us time alone with his friend, but I could see her pain and sadness as only another caregiver can.

It was a very long day, but opened up some much needed discussions about end of life decisions, who he would like to see before he dies, who he doesn't want to see...lolol....and so on...We talked about where we will stay during the funeral, since it will be in San Francisco, and more...Carl did better physically than I thought he would, but emotionally, it took its toll...We stopped to eat a late lunch, and a song from our daughter's funeral came on and the waterworks started, "Jane, that is oddly appropriate, huh?" The song was the last one from our daughter's funeral..."Here Comes the Sun"...Even after 31 years, it brings back the loss...and since we had been engrossed in talking about the upcoming services, it WAS appropriate.

Bottom line...it was rough, but I do believe saying his good bye was an important step for Carl. I was proud of him, as I fought back the tears watching him so lovingly bid his friend aloha...and he whispered that in the not too distant future, he would be there to help build something, so get the plans ready...*his friend was an architect* Hugs, and love you, Carman...Jane

By carman96 On 2014.08.21 09:53
Jane, I'm glad Carl got to say goodbye to his friend. It's good that it opened a discussion about end of life decisions. It's never easy, that's for sure.
I like that you had that song at your daughter's funeral. It beats the funeral March.
Of course you still mourn her loss, and I guess you needed to cry at that moment, so I think it was meant for you to hear right then.
Hugs to you and Carl.

By Mary556 On 2014.08.21 16:26
Dear Jane, I'm sorry for another sad loss for you and yours. God bless Carl's friend and all of his loved ones. It is a blessing to be so close to someone that it hurts so much to say goodbye.
You have spoken to us at other times about your dear daughter's goodness and beauty. Her love is always with you. I admire your grace and strong spirit.

By jcoff012 On 2014.08.22 23:13
Friday evening

We just received word that Carl's good friend died this morning at home. I am so glad we went. It meant a great deal to his wife and his partners that we drove up there. No service is planned as of this evening.

Thank you for listening. Next is the funeral. Hard part for Carl will be seeing so many old friends and colleagues who haven't seen him since he retired. But, he is the ultimate, kind friend...and will make this all about John, NOT him. Hugs to all, Jane

By mylove On 2014.08.22 23:32
Jane, I'm so glad you went too. Sometimes it's so hard to know what to do, but....you went with your heart and it was the right thing. It will be hard going through the aftermath, but you two are so strong in your love that you will make it through this challenge too. Hugs to you, and know that we're sending you strength and love.

By jcoff012 On 2014.08.26 12:21
Update...No funeral. It was his wish. We kinda thought it would be so...He was an extremely private man, no children, married 43 years, so we figured it would all end this way. Again, I am so glad that we drove up there last week. Carl was able to say his good byes. We sent beautiful white flowers to the house yesterday, so we did something...But, as my mom so wisely said, "Jane, I have learned we grieve for OUR loss and for what WE will miss..." And, she is right...Carl will miss his once a month lunch meetings and the good conversations about mutual friends, trips, projects they completed together...and I will miss the joy in Carl's eyes when he would return happy after one of these lunches. So sad to see him gone, but what an extraordinary man...Her "Johnny"...I will NEVER forget that show of the deepest affection between husband and wife...*I* cannot even begin to imagine him as a Johnny....LOL...Hugs, Jane


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