Friday, July 11, 2014

As We Near The End

2009
We are seeing the changes take place. The ending of a life. His time is coming. Our Hospice doctor came on Thursday evening, along with the nurse, to re-certify Richard for Hospice. He has been staying more in bed the past few weeks. And becoming quieter. And sleeping more. The Hospice doctor gave us her judgement, as close as anyone can predict. We all know that we are living on God's time. Not our time. But the doctor said, "it will be days; probably not much longer than 2 weeks." I have had time to let this soak in. I have watched him closely the past 24 hours. I see death lurking nearby. Standing in the shadows. But I have seen him here before. So it is really hard to tell. I know that I have been married to a tough old man. He has pulled through before when we thought it was the end. However, this time I am seeing other things.

He has withdrawn. He stares at things I cannot see. He mumbles, but I don't think it is to me. I tell him often that I love him. I let him know we will be okay. I respect his 'space.'

He has reduced the amount of food and fluids that he wants to take in. Sips of water. Or a cold sip of Root beer. No food yesterday at all. Today a cup of jello is all. When he's done he no longer opens his mouth. He pushes the straw away with his tongue. His eyes appear more sunken. There are times I hear a gurgling or rattling noise. In the nursing field we called this the 'death rattle'. It stops if I change his position. Or we can administer drops of Atropine to help. 

His hands are cold and at times blue. His feet are still warm. I do not yet see signs of mottling. It is changes in his circulation.His heart rate is slow and irregular. 

He does not communicate at all. It is hard for him. I don't push it. We've said all that we need to say. I know how much he loves me and the family. He has told us all often. He showed us by the way we lived our lives. I don't think there is a doubt among any of us that this is the best man, the smartest man, the kindest man, the most sensitive and loving man that we have ever known. 

His time is coming. Death is anxiously standing in the shadows. I look away and back again to see if he is still there. He is....waiting, watching, knowing that soon he will be accompanying a very important man from this earth. And we will stay behind!

29 comments:

  1. Beautiful writing Paula. You sound like you are at peace. Praying for you!

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    1. I am at peace Fancy. Thanks for the prayers!

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  2. Paula - you are so eloquent in your time of letting go and sorrow. My prayers are with you always, and my wish us for you both to be at peace.

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  3. ((((Paula))))) ((((family)))) So beautifully expressed in your sorrow and pain. I pray it is a peaceful passing. Now you are left behind, but one day you'll be reunited and it will be for eternity.

    betty

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    1. Thank you Betty....I just pray that it does not drag on and on.

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  4. This post is one of your most beautifully expressed writings. “He is….waiting, watching, knowing that soon he will be accompanying a very important man from this earth.” My goodness, Paula.
    Peace be with you and your family.

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  5. You described everything so wonderfully, as befitting a good nurse. I wish you the best. I know you dread what's ahead.

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    1. Thank you Snow. Yes, I would be lying if I didn't say that I really do dread what lies ahead. But I will make it. I have two kids to think of.

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  6. I agree ... this eloquently-spoken post has touched me like nothing you've said before. Praying for peace. Nothing else matters.

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  7. Beautifully written and moving. Wishing you peace.

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  8. This post brought tears to my eyes. That doesn't happen very often. It is clear that he will exit this life with grace and dignity. Peace to all of you my friends.

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    1. Thank you so much Elaine. He will exit just the way he has lived his life....graceful, dignified and strong!

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  9. Paula, this is beautiful. Sending you much love.

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  10. This is so perfect and sad and so full of love. I am thinking of you and your family and praying for peace for you all. I can't imagine how hard this must be. Hugs to you, my friend.

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  11. Dear Paula .. this expresses it exactly .. we just do not know - and it can come, then a brief recovery comes in .. for my mother it was a year later ... but it does look as though you have all the wonderful right people in place, and you know and understand what is happening .. this is just so heart-warming .. your love for Richard, your husband of many years shines through ... with many thoughts for these coming hours and days ... he will hear you and be with you .. wherever he is - with many many thoughts and peacefulness ... Hilary

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    1. Thank you Hilary. It is the ups and the downs that are killing me right now. I just pray for peace

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  12. You have been on my mind even if I have no communicated. I pray for you guys often. I am here for you. I love you Paula and you are a strong woman. My definition of 'strong woman' has changed drastically over the past 4 months and you my friend, are stronger than most people I know. I will definitely be praying for all of you. Love you.

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    1. I think of you often Cristy! Thanks for stopping by

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  13. Big (((HUGS))) Paula. I'm more sorry than I can say that this time there will be no rally. Being at Peace is a good place, though. I'll keep you both in my prayers.

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  14. Sending you my love and a shoulder to cry on. Hang in there Paula.

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