It Was On Friday

Well Barbara, it was on Friday, June 18th, that your suffering and the emaciation of your body came to it's merciful end.  The cancer had ravaged you so completely that what once was a buxom, 280 pound, vivacious woman, had become an 85 pound, sliver of a body that I barely recognized as you.  But I know it WAS you. And although you could not speak, and you could not see, you would not let go.  For 22 days, honey, I tried to feed you, and you would not eat.  I tried to give you water, but you would not drink.  But you could hear me.  The hospice nurses told me you could, and I believed them.  So every night, before I went to sleep, I would hold your hand, tell you that it was O.K. for you to go, and kiss you good night, my tear drop landing on your cheek.  I would go up to my bed, and Sparky would take my place by your side.  After a fitful rest, I would get up and go to you.  You had not moved.  You lay there breathing slowly, yet continually.  And another day began just as the previous one had ended.  Throughout each and every day, your friend and neighbor, Debbie, and your Brother, Phil, would stay with us, and we were helpless to do any thing at all for you, save keep you clean, cool, and full of morphine.
Your hospice Nurse, Nancy, had just left after praying for you and singing softly to you.  She was surely an Angel sent from God Himself, helping to ease your passage from Earth to Heaven.  What would I have done without her?  How could I have managed?  Her compassion and her love for you was nothing short of a Godsend to us all.  I remember at 2:30 that Friday afternoon I was standing by your side, just watching you breath so very slowly.  Each time your tiny chest would rise, I knew you were still there.  When you began to breath quickly, I knew your time was near, yet I was not afraid.  I remember getting Debbie up from the couch where she had been resting.  I asked her to go get Phil.  The three of us and Sparky stood quietly by your side.  I held your hand.
Moments that seemed like hours later, when your breathing stopped, we were all frozen in time.  It was as if I could feel your spirit lingering in the air above you.  Then you were gone.  He had finally made your place in Heaven, and you were gone. 
I called Nancy with the news of your passing and she came right back to us to arrange for the "business" of death.  She called the mortuary and the coroner.  The Southern California traffic was heavy on that late Friday afternoon and it was not until 6:30 that evening when Fernando from the mortuary knocked on the door.  This man was as unobtrusive as one could imagine.  He ever so quiety and respectfully wheeled the gurney into our living room and by the bed there where your lifeless body lay.  He softly asked me if I needed another moment alone with you.  I told him I did not.  With the grace of a saint, he folded the sheet around you, and in his strong hands, he lifted you onto the gurney.  And when I looked at your bed, you were gone but there he had left a single red, long stemmed rose where you had been.  And after 22 years, I was all alone again.  Then the tears began.  Sometimes it feels like it was only yesterday, yet it will be three months tomorrow since you left.  And it seems like a very, very long time ago all the same......
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcXqujmJF4c

Replies

OnMyOwn2010
OnMyOwn2010

Thanks for sharing...I will mark 2 months on the 22nd...and yes, it seems like it was only yesterday, and yes, it seems like a lifetime...grief is such a paradox...
Hugs, ~E~
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for sharing Joe - I know how tough it is to relive those moments.

f~
deleted_user
deleted_user

sure heaven door was open JO wonderfully written especially liked another day started as one ended once had husband in coma 2 years remember it well like those words x
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank you for sharing.......like Floyd said.......it is tough to relieve those memories. Thankfully, in time, it\'s the memories of happier times that come to mind more readily and the ones of \"the end\" come less frequently.
Hugs, Dianne
bgoodwin44
bgoodwin44

THANKS, For sharing JOE, I Always Remember Too,

Lost My MOM on A Wednesday, It was Easter Week.....

Love Ya,
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for sharing Joe. That had to be hard to write as I was crying reading it. I lost my husband on a Friday also. It\'ll be 2 months on the 23rd and his birthday the 25th...gonna be a long weekend. Hugs and prayers, Judy
Joeinaz
Joeinaz

Hi Carol...That \"rose\" thing was simply magical. I don\'t know where he had it or how he managed to slip it under her, it was just there, and way to cool....Joe
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank you for sharing such a difficult story. I have found on this journey we are blessed to meet many kind strangers out there. The man with the rose was one of them. Take care, Sandra
deleted_user
deleted_user

Joe, thank you for sharing. It brought tears to my eyes to read your post, to read of your love for your beloved Barbara. How your friends and Sparky were there for the two of you and the nurse. All angels sent from God to be there with you.

Hugs, Carla
inmemoryofhattie
inmemoryofhattie

Thank you for sharing this. It is hauntingly beautiful.
I just know your wife was surrounded by the best love and care, she had you and she knew that and felt that as it surrounded he.

I am truly so sorry for the anguish and agony .
deleted_user
deleted_user

I know that the flashbacks can be so difficult but also a necessary part of the grief. I wish you peace. Thanks for sharing your sorrowful story. Hug, Donna
Joely
Joely

Joe,

That was a lovely post, esp. about something that is so painful to remember. I love the rose idea! That is a unique memento from a funeral home, very sensitive. Thank you for sharing.

On the 21st it will be 33 months since I lost my husband of over 38 yrs. It has been FOREVER since I heard his voice, felt his arms around me; and just the other day that he was here. Self-contradictory, right? That is what can be so confusing. As ~E~ said grief is a paradox.

Hugs, Joely
deleted_user
deleted_user

unbearably sad,Joe.....then...peace finally came to her...and now you are slowly awakening from your long sadness into a new day....try to remember more of the good times....as I do when I say to myself \"You would not have him stay in all his pain.You would have him go\"....