Posted in Chronic Pain, Family, Family Life, Grief, Palliative Care, Religion in my world, Terminal Illness, Uncategorized, Vicky Bruce

Is there pain after death – post 2


A pensive Vic…. 2011

Two days ago I reblogged a post “Is there pain after death” written by a Dr James Salwitz.  This post elicited some comments – mainly from Vic.  Vic has started reading the odd post of my blog.  In a way I am truly okay with it but on the other hand I find it difficult to blog my fears and emotions knowing that Vic may read the post.  I find that I have become guarded in what I am writing.  I am thinking that I should blog about stuff that may allay Vic’s fears….

Yesterday Vic asked  “Mommy, I know what we believe in but what if there is more pain after I died?”

“You read my blog?” I asked.

“Yes” Vic replied.

“Sweetie, I believe that when the time comes our loved ones will be our guardian angels and hold our hands whilst we cross over….”

“I know that Mommy but what if I am still in pain… What if the pain does not stop?”

“Sweetie, the pain that continues after death is the emotional pain that belong to the loved ones that are left behind.  That is what the post is about…..”

Tears welled up in Vic’s eyes and she said “I know that Mommy but what if I am still in pain… What if the pain does not stop?  What if your pain does not stop?”

Andrew, http://lymphomajourney.wordpress.com/, commented as follows… “Even before one leaves, I always thought it more difficult on my family to watch me go through what was pretty aggressive treatment than on me.” 

sbcallahan, http://thedrsays.org commented…”this is one of the difficult things about being the one who leaves. to know that your loved ones are going to suffer more than they already have is heartbreaking.”

“how to die? I have watched many die over the years and the range is as you would imagine. there were those that just could not let go and suffered every indignity to their body and soul. of course others went quietly with love around them. I have not decided if I want to be alone or with loved ones by my side. is there a way to make it easier for them? would they rather receive a phone call with the news or be at bedside? either way it will hurt them, not me of course as I am the one leaving. I would be lying if I said I don’t think of how I will miss so much. the thing is I have had so much, so much more than others and it seems selfish to complain. what they will go through is tremendous compared to what I will go through. I will sleep eternally and they will live. the best I can hope for them is peace of mind and future happiness. I want them to think of me and smile as I do now thinking of them.”  http://thedrsays.org/2011/03/

I am beginning to think it is easier to be the person leaving than the one being left. I have always known that about relationships and breaking up but now realize that it is the same when someone you love is dying. My husband became suddenly angry and I knew there was something wrong. it is so unlike him to get angry over nothing that I was completely off guard. we had been watching the movie “steel magnolia’s” and he asked me what Julia Roberts was dying from and I told him kidney failure. later when he was able to talk, he shared that it had reminded him of my own kidney failure and near death. we live in limbo waiting each week for blood tests to know if I am back in failure or good for a few more days. I don’t really think about it and when he shared his fear my heart ached. The sad thing is I have no fear and realize more and more how hard this is for him. I know that he will be fine in the end but it is hard for him to imagine he will be fine without me. It is so much harder to be the one being left behind. http://thedrsays.org/2011/03/25/the-one/

Vic so often tells me how worried she is about the family.  She worries about how the boys, her dad and I will cope.  Whether we will cope…. whether we will be able to get over her eventual passing….  Andrew and sbcallahan write about their fears… for their loved ones.  It is a fear that all terminally ill people appear to have.

My Mom died a bad death!  Two weeks after major surgery she died an agonizing death from septicemia   We could see the gangrene spread…. She was burning up with fever and no amount of pain medication could dull or relieve the pain.  God alone knows what went through her mind because she was ventilated.  When my Mom finally died we were so relieved.  We were relieved that her suffering was over.  We were traumatized by the dying process not her death.

As a family we have lived with Vic’s pain and her excruciatingly slow journey towards death for the past eleven years.  For eleven years we have heard her scream with pain, moan with discomfort, we hold her hair back when she is doubled up over a toilet bowel, vomiting until she fractures a vertebrae.  We have nursed open wounds, changed colostomy bags…. We have watched our daughter and mother suffer the most horrendous symptoms.

So baby, if you read this post, know that we will miss you.  We don’t want you to leave us behind but we want your suffering to end.  We will continue to love you until we are reunited one day.  You have to trust us that you will always be “my baby” and the boys’ mummy.  But know that we will be grateful when your little body is freed from its pain and suffering.  You will be at peace…  You will not suffer more pain after death.  We will mourn you but we will also be at peace…  We will think of you and smile…

It is okay to let go my angel child.

Author:

I am a sixty something wife,mother, sister, grandmother and friend. I started blogging as a coping mechanism during my beautiful daughter's final journey. Vic was desperately ill for 10 years after a botched back operation. Vic's Journey ended on 18 January 2013 at 10:35. She was the most courageous person in the world and has inspired thousands of people all over the world. Vic's two boys are monuments of her existence. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend. I will miss you today, tomorrow and forever my Angle Child. https://tersiaburger.wordpress.com

29 thoughts on “Is there pain after death – post 2

  1. I am a retired nurse and this is a beautiful journal of your love and devotion. I agree that it is easier to be the one to go first. My husband died 17 years ago and I still miss him. I know he is at peace and past all flaws of this life. He is nearby at odd times when I need his energy. Blessings to all of you. Barbara

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  2. i think it is great for her to read your blog, however, if it keeps you from being honest about your feelings maybe regard this as a journal and therefore “private.”

    does vic have a living will? here we use that to legally state what measures we want the medical community to take on our behalf and gives the family power of attorney for medical related decisions.

    keep talking about your concerns and let her talk about hers. this really needs to be an open discussion for the whole family.

    wishing you continued peace of heart and mind

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    1. Yes Vic has a living will and a DNR. She was asked by the Hospice Doctors and Staff about this. They are well aware of her wishes. We do talk a lot. I don’t know if one can ever be 100% honest because we are sensitive to our loved ones feelings. Hope you have a good weekend!

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  3. I like and I dislike this. I like your thoughts on the subject – a hard subject – but I dislike the fact that you are even having to think about and face these questions from your daughter. The last thing any of us want is to watch someone we love suffer toward death – that is almost worst than the loss, itself. Keeping you all in my prayers, Tersia. Thank you for sharing your heart. It’s meaningful, worthwhile stuff. Keep writing. :)

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    1. Graeme I have read your blog and I so wish that I could find the peace I so desperately crave and you so obviously have. I battle to see a God of Mercy. There is so much pain and suffering in the world. The Passion of Christ was certainly the one movie that changed my entire life and my outlook on a God of Mercy. I envy you the peace you have found. Thank you for visiting.

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      1. Hello Tersia, thank you for replying and continuing to be so vulnerable. I wrote a story in the form of 2 blogs on 25 and 26 June, Q178 & 179 – they need to be read in order starting with Q178 – I think I wrote this story for you. Graeme

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  4. It’s amazing that you have that openness with your daughter and the living fear and pain is going to be there. We are made to feel loss and sorrow. Especially when it’s our children. I am truly sorry for what is happening and watching is not easy. Just enjoy what time you do have and make the most loving memories you can. You both seem amazingly strong and I don’t even know you. The love you have transcends these moments.

    Praying for you all.

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  5. I haven’t told any outsiders this before but after my dad died three years ago of cancer he let us know that he was okay. Dad’s grandson, M was dad’s favourite. Dad had welded a chain link bracelet for M a couple of years earlier because the latch was always playing up. When we were saying our last goodbyes to my dad, minutes after his death that bracelet snapped open and dropped to the ground. I truly believe he was telling his grandson who had taken his death harder than anyone else that he was okay and not to worry. Whatever journey my father was on, pain was not a part of it. Bless you and your little girl.

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  6. with tears and understanding I am here again bowled over by the strength you have Tersia. I have had chronic pain for almost 30 years and it is a cake walk now in my mind. I wish there was some powerful drug that would allow the masking of pain we need not for communication that something is wrong. Also a medication that would keep us alert It seems like it should not be rocket science.

    Tersia I am asking that with all you have going on if you would please accept this Reality award. you know how much inspiration you give me on a daily basis I wanted to give you something back Please handle this award in any way that works for you No expectations.

    Come back to my blog when you are ready to read more. ~ Gentle hugs today ~ BB

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      1. You are the epitome of grace my friend. You accept this award on your terms and when you want to. No pressure because there are no expectations. I would love for you to put award badge on your blog whether you decide to do the full response, just some, or none. Just so the award is showing on your blog because you deserve it, and a hundred more I admire you greatly tersia as a woman, a mom, a grandmother, and and a writer. This award is perfect for you.

        Take care my friend ~

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