Saturday, May 18, 2013

I am ready to start writing again. I think.

The last time I wrote anything for this, I was going in to see Gery, and he was conscious.  He was very sick, but conscious, and he knew who I was and who his parents were.

Four days after I wrote that, he died. 

I'm going to try to save all of my memories of that time for Sarah.  For myself, too, but for her.  She turned five years old one month ago, and if I don't keep Gery alive for her, she won't have clear memories of him.  But if I do, she'll have memories and she won't know what is her memory and what I told her or showed her through pictures and videos of the life we used to have. 

The brief update on me is that some days are great, some days are terrible, and most days are somewhere in between.  Sarah talks about him almost constantly.  So does my niece (at least with me), who is 8 months younger than Sarah is.  She was called Tuna Roll back when everyone had code names on here, but I haven't talked to her parents about putting her real name out on the internet, so she will remain Tuna Roll for now.  We miss him.  I miss him.  There are so many things that he did, that he knew, that he made happen for us - just his existence made our lives whole and we're not whole right now.  I don't know if I ever will be again.  I don't mean to make it sound like I live a bleak, sad existence.  I do not; I have family and friends who fill my days and my heart with joy.  I just used to have a husband who was my partner in all things and now I don't. 

So... the memories.  The short story is that Gery had pulmonary emboli (embolisms? there were multiple and the spell-check doesn't like emboli) and then he got pneumonia.  His heart failed.  They did a lot of things to try to save him, but it didn't work, and in the very end I asked them to make him comfort measures only, which is fancy hospital language for "PLEASE LEAVE HIM ALONE," which was what I had wanted to scream for days.  As much as I wanted him to get better, there was no Gery left by the time I said that.  He had had two brain surgeries,had a hemorrhagic stroke, had a piece of his skull removed to allow his brain to swell, had a surgery to place a filter in a vein to try to stop further pulmonary emboli from forming, his heart had stopped five times, and his brain had been assaulted and deprived of oxygen so much, so often, and for so long that he was never going to be anything he wanted to be. 

The only instructions that he had given me, and I had to push so hard to get just these, was that he wanted to live.  If he couldn't be himself, he did not want to be fed and watered and turned to the sun.  So when that was all that was left, I had to tell them to leave him alone.  I thought it would be hard.  But I knew when it was time for me to be the person I'd promised to be for him - all of that better or worse, sickness and health stuff.  I stood by him (literally and figuratively) until the very end.  I held his hand.  I kissed him.  If there's a way that people who are in that situation can possibly know how much they are loved, he knew. 

And with that, I've said enough for one night.  I'll be back because it's good for me to write and it's good for me to preserve this, painful though it is. 

1 comment:

heidi said...

Your strength amazes me.