wings and things

Dress rehearsal

on September 18, 2016

It’s now been a bit over a month since I thought Anthony was on the brink of death. In the space of a couple of days, he had suddenly become unable to chew and swallow food in the ordinary way, and, on two occasions, had been unconscious for several hours.

The fact that these two ‘end-stage’ things happened in a matter of days convinced me that Ants was definitely on the way out – soon. I was catapulted into action, messaging family members, making appointments with funeral directors, our lawyer, meeting with my best friend, the Anglican priest who blessed Anthony with the last rites, picking songs for the funeral, and asking nearly 20 people to be pallbearers ….

And then, as my new friend Moira described it, Anthony “did a Lazarus”. Okay, so that is all very well and I am glad, but the panicked anxiety and anticipatory grief I felt during that week has left a bitter taste in my brain. I feel as if I have been tricked, deceived; here I am all ready for Anthony’s death but the joke is on me because he is still beautifully alive, holding my hand and watching a movie with my mother and me… today.

Ming, our son, our one child, always gives good, sensible, pragmatic advice to me. He is an absolute rock of a person and has had to cope with Anthony not recognising him several times recently. Ming is philosophical about this because he already knows how dementia works.

No dress rehearsal prepares anybody for the death of a loved one.


19 responses to “Dress rehearsal

  1. no matter how prepared we think we are, we just aren’t when it happens.

  2. tersiaburger says:

    Nothing can prepare you. Having “everything ” in place allows you to focus on “the rest”. The sad thing Jules is that it wil not lessen the grief. You are “being set up” for compound grief….I wish I could pour you a cup of tea, bring you flowers and hug you. It is close.

  3. Rhonda says:

    Hugs Jules…your in my heart and thoughts xxxx

  4. Your heart has taken a beating Julie. I’m glad Anthony is there for comfort right now. He’s a tough one that man of yours. ❤

  5. No it doesn’t.. and the ‘flip-flop’ of emotions taxes your energy and feelings of well-being.. Diane xx

  6. It’s a horrible disease Julie. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. ❤
    Diana xo

  7. What you say is so true–I guess all you can do is enjoy your time with Anthony. Would be so nice if we could walk around without stress–but it seems to be an impossibility…..

  8. ksbeth says:

    i know it was and is traumatic, but try to think of it as not having to worry about the details when the time comes, you can just focus on feelings and emotions – hugs to the three of you

  9. I don’t think anything can prepare on for the death of a loved one, when it happens it will still come as something of a shock.

  10. Vicki says:

    I pressed the ‘like’ button to show I have read this post, but the reality is that the eventual passing of any loved one, despite it’s inevitability, will always be a shock to the emotional state and cannot be ‘liked’.

    I can’t imagine how hard this see-sawing of emotions must be for you (and Ming). It’s easy for others to be pragmatic and you may even try to be pragmatic yourself, but that doesn’t mean to say coping is the same for each individual.

    Sending lots of love you way, Vicki x

  11. Judy says:

    Julie, i am always thinking of you. It’s true that you can’t really prepare for when it happens. But I am going to offer a different thought. You ARE grieving. I really believe that once Ants is gone – you will discover how these years of anticipatory grief were harder. It’s kind of like dieting with ice cream in front of you. The wrestling of emotions and trying to treasure every moment is overwhelming.
    When the time comes, you will be surrounded by support. And then you will forge a new existence. Right now, that existence seems bleak. But you have no idea what is ahead for you. I predict you will emerge into a new life. It will take time and seems incomprehensible right now.
    All you need to know is that your feelings are valid and not needless worry. You are facing a huge loss and coping with the unknown.
    I’m glad you can write and share your feelings. So many people love you, including me.

  12. So sad to read your post. Hope you are getting lots of support for you too.

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