Friday, October 05, 2007

Denial and Anger

I am doing fine. I think that I'm in the Denial/Anger stage of grieving, and I'm sort of watching myself in this process as if I were watching a movie. I'm sort of waiting for him to come home, yanno? Even though he hadn't worked or driven in 14 months, I still feel like he's going to call or come up the driveway. I actually asked the funeral home guys if they would call me if he should happen to wake up! One of the guys said, "Believe me, you're the first one we'll call!" They were great.

And I'm angry, but not at Michael or at Death or that he left me. I'm mad at our Hospice, who never seemed to have their act together enough to be here for me when I needed them. I'm mad at our long-term care insurance provider who couldn't give me ANY help without my filling out 20 pages of forms. Puhleeeze! I didn't have time to go to the bathroom! I try to smile while I drive, so that I won't cuss at other drivers or do dumb things.

A good friend came over yesterday and helped me to clean out Michael's closet. I'm leaving for the winter in Tucson in a couple of weeks, and I think that it'll be better for me to come home to less to do. The pharmacy and Hospice came the next day to get the hospital equipment out of the house. Gosh, it was tough to live with that stuff in my little house, even when I needed it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The end of one chapter

On Tuesday, 2 October, Michael died at home in my arms, with his sister, brother, and sister in-law right there, holding his hand. He had no discomfort or anxiety, and he slipped away gently.

He had lived for 13 1/2 months after the brain cancer was diagnosed. We did lots of fun traveling in that time, going to Tucson, to New England, to Colorado, and smaller trips to Louisville and Indianapolis. We were together almost exactly 26 years, and were married for nearly 25 of them.

Michael is being cremated and we're not having a funeral or visitation. Instead, we are going to have a memorial service at the Wegmiller Auditorium at the Bloomington (Indiana) Hospital at 2 pm on 21 October.

I'll be leaving right after that to drive my little Navion out to Tucson and I'm feeling very ready for that.

I'm doing well, and while I'm still sort of waiting for Michael to "get back," like he's at a meeting, I am feeling relieved because I don't have all the care-giving duties anymore. I'm feeling angry at the insurance people who couldn't get me set up with help with the care-giving (without filling out 20 pages of forms... like what makes them think that I would have time for that?). I should be grateful that they are giving me something to be angry at.

I'm joyful about the fact that we made it "till death do us part." I'm sad about Michael being gone, and I wish that I could get those last bedfast images out of my mind. I know that will happen eventually. I find that I talk to myself way too much! And I find that I stay up later than I used to.

Maddy and Eddie know that something's different, but they just can't put their paws on what it is. Actually, Maddy, who hardly ever jumps up on furniture anymore, put her paws up on her Daddy's bed on his last morning. Eddie got up on his bed and curled up at his feet, watching him breathe, but he was out of there when the company came. ;)

Here's a funny coincidence: when Michael was still doing pretty well, and we were talking about the future, I told him that when he died, I'd buy myself flowers every Tuesday. And then he died on Tuesday! I don't think he knew it was Tuesday, though.

I want to thank all of you who were so supportive of me through these past difficult months. It's you who've kept me going!