Sunday, May 16, 2010

A new chapter

Dorothy passed away on Wednesday.

I've been either too busy or too exhausted since then to post anything. But I wanted to.

The past few weeks had been rough ones for all of us. She was declining significantly, was having some hallucinations, etc. and was overall just not doing very well.

On Tuesday she asked that her daytime caregiver call Heather and ask her to come down. Heather arrived late Tuesday evening, after Dorothy was asleep.

On Wednesday morning Dorothy's Hospice nurse came for a routine visit and told us all that Dorothy was not looking well (when they took her breathing mask off for just three or four minutes her color changed drastically) and guessed that she would not make it through the day.

I had stayed home from work on Wednesday and I was glad that I did.

My impression was that Dorothy kind of hung on until 2:30 that afternoon when her friend and counselor, Dr. Wallace, came over. Dr. Wallace went in her room and said a prayer over her. I went in her bedroom and laid down on the spare bed, just kind of watching everything. Heather had been in bed with Dorothy all day and Dr. Wallace and the Hospice nurse were there as well.

Dorothy had been on full syringes of Morphine every 30 minutes for about an hour and half. She was very obviously in respiratory distress and seemed fairly sedated.

Dr. Wallace asked Dorothy if she would like to take her breathing mask off. Dorothy hesitated and then nodded her head yes, which was the most significant nod I had seen in a couple of weeks. She was to the point of barely being able to shake her head or write anything so this was very noticeable to me. At this point Dorothy had also opened her eyes and seemed very alert. Dr. Wallace removed Dorothy's mask, continuing to talk to her in a very soothing voice and her nurse continued to administer Morphine. We all gathered around her bed.

About five minutes later she was gone.

We all stayed in her room for quite awhile, telling stories, laughing, crying, being together. Aslan (another caregiver) stayed the whole evening and was in the room when the funeral home came to take Dorothy. We had them go through her bedroom door to the outside, mostly to shield Heather from having to see them take her. I also felt this very fitting as that meant she left through her Zen garden.

Dorothy's son flew in on Thursday and his wife flew in on Friday. Heather has been down since Tuesday and Doozie and Blu came Wednesday and left Saturday. They are planning Dorothy's service for Wednesday so her mom, three brothers and one of their wives will all fly in this Tuesday. I go back to work tomorrow.

I spent a lot of time at my house in the couple of days after, just being there and not wanting to leave. Now that Sean and Heather have started work on the house to get it fixed up for selling, I'm trying NOT to be there because the whole place is torn apart. I kind of feel like I'm wandering, actually. I kind of feel like my home is being taken away. I don't like change and my whole house has changed. Nothing is the same. This morning I couldn't even make breakfast because there was a drill on the cutting board, piles of screws everywhere, paint supplies in the sink and various dishes and items on the counters. This morning they also had a load of bark dust and a load of rock delivered so I also can't park in my driveway. I have to time getting up in the morning just right so I will have hot water for my shower between everyone else's. And last night I got home at midnight from a family function and was woken up this morning by the sounds of a hammer and a drill.

I am trying to be understanding because I know they are getting the house ready to sell and also want it to look nice for the open house we are having after the service on Wednesday. But it is also frustrating because now that my job is over I WANT to spend time in my house but I feel pushed out by all the work going on. If I stick around I feel like I should be helping with the work. And I feel like I need to hurry up and claim what's mine so nothing gets thrown out or given away. But since I'm still living there I don't want to be packing away things that I am using.

They told me yesterday that I can't take the bed (which they are giving me) until the house sells because it has to stay in the bedroom with the headboard that is attached to the wall. Which means that when I move I won't be able to sleep in my bedroom for several weeks because I won't have a bed.

I'm just trying to find my way. To sort out what I need to do, to process my emotions and to stay sane (especially with going back to work tomorrow).

1 comment:

Diaria said...

I am sorry to hear of Dorothy's passing, even though it is expected, I can't imagine that it is easy.

At least you know that she is at peace now, and not suffering.

I'm sorry to hear that the place is a mess and you are having a hard time with it all. I guess it will all just be better when you get moved to Steve's place. Good luck with it all.