On the 10th of October 2012 I posted this:
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 agonising death from septicaemia. 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.
Preparing for Vic’s death was not easy. It was however a breeze compared to the actual pain after Vic died.
In a way I supposed I almost romanticized Vic’s passing. I knew that I would miss her. What I did not know is how much….I did not know that my mind would block out the suffering beforehand.
I thought I would always remember her cries, her tears, and her pain. I did not realize that I would forget her cries, pain, tears…. I remember her shuffling little footsteps down the passage, her soft kisses on my cheek, her gentle nature, her laughter…
I thought I would be relieved that her suffering was over – Nothing and nobody could have prepared me for the huge void in my life.
Today I know that there is excruciating agony after death. For the living…
I wrote “We will think of you and smile…”
Vic, today I know we think of you and cry… selfishly I don’t have peace.
Chaka’s is not the same without you. Nothing will ever be the same without you my Angel.
I miss you so much!!!