Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Watching Uncle John slowly die is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. He told me yesterday he was in the midst of a great transition, that this place is not a permanent place and he was preparing to go to a more suitable location. The ravings of a dying old man, or the absolute truth?

I realize now, and the end of this phase, that I was NOT being lazy by not writing every moment down-instead I was living it to the fullest extent, and will recall what I need when I need it. I'm glad I had that little bit of insight-it gave me some comfort.

I feel such guilt-because he did ask for help when (in my opinion) he was in his right mind and could have made a decision to go easily. The pain of feeling responsible for his suffering is unbearable at times. Logically, I know I didn't give him Parkinson's. Logically, I know I took this task on myself. Logic logic logic-it's so cold, colder than the grave. The grave seems warm and quiet, with no shaking or tremors or fear.

Death does not frighten me-this living half life I see in front of me scares the bloody hell of out me. And sometimes I wonder what good I do anyone by not looking away-why I feel compelled to witness it. I'm pretty much on auto-pilot with this one-doing what I feel moved to do, blindly feeling my way along the dark cave walls with the tips of my fingers. But at least I'm feeling the walls, not stumbling around in the dark crying for help.

Of course, that is where the spiders hang out. (I'm sorry Teri, I couldn't resist, and thinking of you shivering just then made me laugh out loud my friend).


Teri C said...

I'm glad I could make you giggle a bit in this sad time. Don't beat yourself up over things that cannot be undone, just move on and learn. I did.

Big hugs to you and your family.

soulbrush said...

i agree, guilt is the hardest thing...and guess what? we all feel it even if we have done our very best...it's the 'my loved one is dying' thing....you are doing this because you need to do this. fullstop, end of....i too fear that twilight between here and there, with someone sitting there watching my every breath! ugh! big big hugs right now for you debs.

Mim said...

Oh Deb - I so agree that you have done your absolute best with time with your Uncle and your fierce love and damn it all attitude. No matter what you might think - death comes in it's own time, and a witness is an act of love - at least that's what I think. I agree that it truly sucks to watch someone you care about suffer, or not be themselves but there is something so ritualistic about it all.
I'm rambling - just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. Big, big hugs to you....

MuseSwings said...

And I agree as well, that you are doing what you need to do and can learn from the experience. Forgiveness - if it is truly an issue here- is all up to God and he certainly forgives far more readily than we do ourselves.

sukipoet said...

You are by his side, a companion as he completes his journey. That is a lot. So hard to watch someone die, though. My SIL dies in August at home after a long illness. Each day towards the end was so hard. Finally she lapsed into a coma and one can only hope she was pain free. Her skin so pale, alabaster. I was there right after she died. Hospice nurse came too. Hmmm, life/death/life as Clarissa P Estes says, is a strange and wonderous thing. Big hug to you.

studio lolo said...

I don't see a bit of reason for you to have any guilt. I think the most important thing is what you're doing right now. Being there, fully present and loving him. As hard as this is, I believe it's enriching your life because it's taken you to another dimension of understanding. It's Uncle John's gift back to you.

And only you can write a touching post and have me laugh at the end. That's a gift!
Hugs from me, too. I think you know we're all sitting there with you.