wings and things

Monday 9th June 2014

on June 9, 2014

Today I went into town just after lunch to spend the afternoon with Anthony at the nursing home. This has become the ‘norm’ now because a few weeks ago it just became too difficult to take him out and about or to the farm on a regular basis because of mobility problems. Over the last several days Ants has been quite content to just have me in a chair next to him with my arm around him, watching Judge Judy, Dr Phil and, if we are lucky, a good afternoon movie.

I usually stay from around 1.30 – 4.30pm (my new routine) and it beats the hell out of my old routine of taking Anthony on outings, or home, then being unable to manage. Even at the nursing home, I have been told not to lift, move, or even shift him in his chair, because he is now strictly classified as a 2-person lift.

This afternoon I entered Anthony’s room with wine and olives and my usual ‘goodies’ and he was asleep in his armchair. Usually I wake him up, but he looked too peaceful so I just sat next to him and quietly ate all of the olives. Suddenly a nurse entered the room to take his blood pressure because he had been asleep all day. He woke up but only slightly and the nurse and I struggled to get one of his arms free from his jumper because he was so limp and ‘out-of-it’. Well his BP was 190/110 – very high. This, and the fact that I couldn’t really wake him up enough to say goodbye when I left to go home, alarmed me a bit.

On the way back home to the farm, I allowed myself to think that Anthony might be dying. But my thinking of this possibility could not translate into a coherent thought because I cannot imagine him not being here. Despite the difficulties of home nursing, the transition to a nursing home, and all of the mini-traumas in between, I have not yet been able to imagine life without Anthony in it.

My father, Brin, died of a heart attack on this day, 36 years ago. He was only in his 50s.

74 responses to “Monday 9th June 2014

  1. ksbeth says:

    this is a very hard place to be and i know feelings are intense and all over the place. try to think of it as life process. as we are getting ready to come into the world, our body and all of its systems, slowly develop and come alive, until such a time as we are ready to be born. the process reverses itself, as we prepare to leave again, slowly, and surely winding down. both are very hard to imagine, as life before and after these events will never be the same. hugs, jules )

  2. Rhonda says:

    There are no words Jules, that will make it any easier. I wish there were, I’d say them a thousand times a day.

  3. Judy says:

    Julie, I have also found that loss becomes magnifed with the memories of other losses in our lives. As you are losing Anthony, I can understand why today is a difficult day. A sudden loss, like your father’s, adds so much to the grieving process because a person can stay in the “shock” phase for a long time. It might be 36 years ago, but I am certain the emotions and memories of losing him have never left you. I am so, so sorry for what you went through because it is a huge scar you are carrying. Now as you go through a “long goodbye” with Anthony you are trying to anticipate life without him and it is unimaginable. You are right, it is. Just know, that all of your pain over his fading from life is once again a grief process. The only difference is that it is just prior to the event. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that for me personally – I suffered watching my mother leave me with dementia. After she died, I realized my grief was not as overwhelming as I anticipated. I was so happy she was free from her tormented life. I wish I could hug you.

  4. Can’t bring myself to hit the ‘like’ button, Julie, but I feel for you and Ming. The aging process can be *such* a bitch. Keeping a good thought for all and most of all for peace and love in whatever time you all have left together…..

  5. I agree with Donna about the Like button, but we know it doesn’t mean we like what’s happening. When I click Like it’s more like saying, “I hear you and I empathize.”

  6. I wish I could come to the farm. Sit there after your visits with Anthony. And listen. What an incredibly emotional place you are in. I saw Beth’s comment and found it so comforting.

    I can only imagine how much you mean to Anthony and what YOUR presence and all encompassing love gives him.

  7. I’m sorry Julie I forgot to say I was sorry for the loss of your father. It doesn’t get less sad…losing someone. i think we envelope the loss into our fabric of existence.

  8. Terry says:

    I know how hard it is to even slightly think about a loved one not being there. When I did this with Al, I quickly dismissed the idea, pretending that it would never happen. Not until the last 12 hours of Al’s life did I finally get a grip and knew without a doubt he was leaving me. It will be three months this month and I am still not passed it. Love and hugs my friend. Cherish every moment so you have wonderful memories when you need them

  9. susanpoozan says:

    I admire you for rearranging your life to the new situation, you are a very thoughtful person.

  10. mimijk says:

    I felt strange hitting the ‘like’ button…this isn’t a post one likes per se. My hope is that today’s high bp was a blip, perhaps the sign of an easily treatable infection. I don’t know that one can ever imagine a life without a person they love with all they have. Maybe it’s the way our mind protects us from such paralyzing thoughts, our hearts holding the glue for two. I appreciate that he was so peaceful – and I also believe that it is not yet his time to leave for his next journey. That there is an inevitability to this, I can’t deny – for us all. But I am of the passionate view that love transcends time, the spirit of one’s soul remains with us forever. Or perhaps that is my ardent hope. It is the only way I can make peace with loss and find grace in each memory. xo

    • jmgoyder says:

      I sometimes get teary with gratitude and now I am for your kindness Mimi!

      • mimijk says:

        I get weepy with gratitude too Jules – something else we have in common…I am touched that you received this message with all the love and kindness with which it was extended. This is a marathon, not a sprint – and you are doing awesomely (not sure if that’s an adverb, but what the hell)..hugs, m

  11. Julie, I have missed you. Hugs. I can’t imagine the thoughts the run through your mind. I’m sorry for the loss of your dad and my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you as you navigate this journey with Anthony. ❤
    Diana xo

    • jmgoyder says:

      Hi Diana – I’ve missed you too but only because I haven’t been reading blogs lately. Thx so much for your support. I will be spending more time with Anthony, and less time on internet, over next few weeks/months, but don’t wanna lose touch! Jx

  12. So very sad for you, Julie. It’s so distressing to see a dearly loved one, gradually losing the battle. I feel the same when I go to visit my mom. Some days, she doesn’t know I’m there, and if she does, she’s forgotten by the next day. Sending hugs to you. xx

  13. letstalkaboutfamily says:

    Thinking of you as you go through this process. I think we tend to pregrieve as we anticipate the loss because of the long gooodbye. I am glad you found a way to spend time with Anthony that is physically easier for you both.

  14. jatwood4 says:

    Julie, I think I understand what a difficult process this is. My dad used to sit by my bed when I was in an induced coma, and somehow, I knew he was there. Anthony senses your love and caring on some deep level. The two of you have gifted each other greatly. I know how difficult and traumatic an anniversary can be, and I am so sorry about your Dad. Anthony does sense your presence and your love. My best wishes for a peaceful conclusion of Anthony’s life.

  15. Ahh Julie…sending love and keeping you and yours close to my heart.

  16. My Heartsong says:

    Hi Julie;
    I am reading a lot of wisdom from your followers about present grief bringing up old grief and cycles of life..I remember a motivational speaker addressing “hope” who said when you are in a situation where hope seems dim because the result will be the end, you can still choose to say “yes” to life while it is here. I agree and would add, taking one day at a time.I too, do empathize with you and send love and hugs to you and your family. Writing is so important, do keep it up as you are able.

  17. I feel for you in your grief as Anthony continues to fade.
    I am glad for you that you have developed a calming routine and this appears to give you some sense of stability and normality.

  18. What a difficult, difficult time. I like what everyone else said–I wish I could add something wonderful and comforting, but I know that words don’t ease the worry. That so many people care doesn’t make things better, but I hope it somehow connects you to the goodness all around you, which is there even during days like these.

    I supposed our minds think they ought to try to imagine a future that seems inevitable, but it wouldn’t really help anything if you could imagine it. I’m pretty sure that whatever we might imagine out our future pain and subsequent healing after pain, we can’t conceptualize anything that resembles the reality of it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure what to say, other than you are a very strong woman and I hope for the best.

  20. tootlepedal says:

    If a sympathetic thought from a virtual acquaintance can bring any comfort, please know that you always have ours.

  21. I’m glad you’ve realized some limitations in what you’re able to do.. physically and how it affects you also emotionally just because of the fatigue factor… Anyway Julie… it must be hard to see Anthony unwell…thinking of him too… take care… Diane

  22. A tough day for you with the memories xx

  23. Hard to click like when it’s the anniversary of your father’s death and your contemplations about Ants. Sending love to you.

  24. cecilia says:

    love, love darling. c

  25. He may be having a bad spell but he could come good again, it is sad to think about one day not having him in your life and I have no words of comfort for you about this

  26. artfulanxiety says:

    It’s terrifying when life changes. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to lose my father or mother and it scares the shit out of me – can’t even imagine how you must feel about losing him.
    All the comfort in the world to you, Jules.

  27. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I can only imagine the fears you now face, I can only hope for you that Ants holds on long enough to start the process. Ants is suich a lucky and lovely man for having the love you have for him as a daily gift. I wish like so many others who have posted that I had the words of comfort to help you throught this. Please take care, Bill

  28. dodsy says:

    Hello lovely. May i send you a warm and gentle hug, one comfortable cuddle that has no barriers, through space and time, from me to you. 💖💖 may tomorrow hold lots of sunshine for you and your loved ones julie xx

  29. Judith Post says:

    I wish I had some wonderful, meaningful thing to say to you, but words fail me. There are some things that are too hard for me to even think about, so they’re impossible to express. But my thoughts are with you and Anthony. I admire you both so much.

  30. Tiny says:

    I hope that all the wonderful words and thoughts of support and encouragement will provide you some comfort and strength. Anthony is blessed to have you on his side, even on days like yesterday, when he’ll just feel your presence and love. Sending you warm thoughts and hugs.

  31. I was so happy to see you in my inbox, I have missed you so Jules 🙂 It is so easy to believe that we are all going to go on, until that sudden jolt shakes and reminds us that we aren’t going on indefinitely. Your post is so thoughtful and deep, I feel your emotions through your words and writing about your dad reminds us that being here isn’t something to take for granted. I am sending you huge hugs. 🙂

  32. Vicki says:

    Just realised I missed this post, Julie, and can well imagine how sad the day was for you. Losing a loved one is always a shock, no matter how much the ‘leaving’ process spreads out over time as it will with your beloved Anthony.

    Only know that I am thinking of you and wishing you many more magic moments with Ants. He is a very special man and you have been very blessed in life to have such a great love and dear friend & companion.


  33. Such difficult days. 😦

  34. lensgirl53 says:

    Your post brought back a lot of memories from when my mother-in-law was also in the nursing home. It is a difficult place to be when you realize that the end could be imminent. “The end” may have been evolving all along but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

  35. oh julie i am so sorry. chris has said the same thing, that he can’t imagine me not here with him. sadly i can imagine it and worry about how he will cope. i find those moments when we are just sitting together watching t.v. or the cats, so enjoyable and touching. like us you two enjoy each other’s company even after all the years together. i admire how you just adapt and find solutions that work during these difficult times. sending love and big warm hugs my friend.

  36. janeslog says:

    Blood pressure can change suddenly then come back to normal. As long as they are keeping an eye on it and taking steps to sore it when it changes suddenly then hopefully everything will be okay.

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