My Grief Challenges

In Kathy’s Room September 3, 2015

   Apparently, it has been 33 days, since I last posted. I am hoping this post will get me back on track.                                                   One More Talk It was recommended to me to write about a happening in Kathy’s room.  For whatever reason, I have not wanted to face it. I am still so unsure of why it occurred. I thought I could ignore it.                At the first part of July, while in Moscow at the Nazarene church with my family, I learned I cannot ignore the happening, in Kathy’s room.             I am a back row, aisle sitter. My family has their favorite row near the front. When it was time to be seated, I was sure to make everyone go before me, so I could be on the aisle. I do not remember why, but there was a moment of nothing-then to my right, the curtain started moving. Why ?             Then, this past week I was startled out of a dreamless sleep.  A motion somewhere ? I awoke and I could smell a fire smell. For me that is odd—because I cannot smell smells. I got out of bed to check the house. There was nothing: no burning smell, and no sound-anywhere. I quietly slipped back into bed. The fire smell had been on my side of the bed. The fire smell was gone.  What was that about ???

 So, here goes.                                                                                                                               It truly  was a thrill to meet my older sister, Kathy.  She had put her ALL into that June 13th.  As her husband, Tom, had told me. That next day, Sunday, Kath was having extreme difficulty breathing. I was sure it had something to do with too much fluid.  Tom, Rob-their son and I were going to rotate nights in Kath’s room. We wanted to make sure she knew she wasn’t alone and if she needed extra help during rough moments, we were at the ready. My night was Tuesday, June 16th. We were all exhausted. Trying to make sure Kath was being taken care of, to the nth degree.                                      I was curled up in Kath’s chair. I could hear her every sound, but frequently looked to my right, double checking. There was a light on in the bathroom, at the back of us, so plenty of light. Kath was sleeping restlessly. Somehow, I dozed off.  I was startled awake. For which I chided myself. Not a noise came from Kathy. I was SO upset, at myself,  for falling asleep and letting Kathy die alone.    

I looked to my right, hoping Kath was breathing calmly ? There was no movement, whatsoever.  I remember the tears filling my eyes. Kath’s head was facing the wall.  I was holding my breath assessing the situation. I was about to get up.  Kathy’s head turned to me. No breathing movement, no blinking. She had her glasses on. Pristinely cleaned, as she had taken care of them earlier that night.  

I stifled a gasp.  As I looked at Kathy, it wasn’t her. It was Shawn’s head after he had died. He just starred at me. No blinking, no breathing movement. Nothing. Just an eery, blank, black eyes stare. I think I held back tears. I was afraid to move. I believe I was asking God what was happening. I know I started beseeching to God. Let Shawn talk to me. Please God, let him tell me I did everything I could,  for his life. Let him tell me that I didn’t make mistakes. I implored God to let this Shawn tell me he was okay. I earnestly bid God to let this Shawn tell me he didn’t hate me. I needed to hear this Shawn tell me that he didn’t fault me for his death. I wanted to hear Shawn tell me he didn’t regret having me for a Mom. I needed for him to tell me~~~ANYTHING !!!   Just one more talk~~~I begged God !!! I just wanted to hear Shawn’s voice one more time !   I just needed to hear his voice, one more time saying, “love you Mom”.          NOTHING !!!   Just an eery stare~~~                                                                                                                                                                  After several moments, Shawn’s  silent head, turned slowly to the wall. I heard a strange breathing noise. The head turned back to me. It was Kathy, blinking and breathing hard, but, just starring at me. Tears were flowing.  I was afraid to move.   Kathy continued her labored breathing. Then her eyes closed for a few moments of restless sleep. The next day she was admitted to the hospital.                                                                                                                                                      There is a new ache since Kathy died, June 28th, in the early AM.           All these emotions make me think of a song by Skillet: One Day Too Late.

       Since Kathy died, I find myself in a strange funk. Her death happened sooner than I expected.                                                                             I had enough time to do my summer drive-mostly to visit my parents and Melissa and the Grands. This year worked out time wise to visit with relatives who had traveled to the same area-what a blast Melissa and I had had.  You get through it.  I also learned from a mom who’s son had died 7 years ago, that the missing pain continues to hurt, one just learns how to handle it-even if it means leaving a room for a moment or 2.                      

Regarding Organizing:                                                                                                              I have been working hard at organizing to organize, so I can declutter and possibly learn to minimalize.                                When I returned home,  from my summer drive, I knew I had enough time to begin organizing.            The task was an overwhelming dread !!!   I decided I needed to chunk it down. I looked at my book shelf and began taking down books I no longer wanted. Fact is, I hadn’t looked at them in 5 years. 1 shelf, then 2. With 3 shelves unloaded. I was ready to tackle the whole bookshelf.  I put Bob’s extra books in the now vacant areas. Then, I found myself shuffling things in the office. Which led me to the garage.  If I could move things around a bit, I could fit more big shelves in the main area of the garage,  for Bob’s computer and wood working tools…                                                                                                                       Bob came up with his own project. Pressure washing the deck, so it would be ready for staining. This meant moving my many pots of trees, off the deck. I was forced to deal with an object I had not wanted to use since Shawn died—I did try-once.         For many years, I used to love pittin’. wpid-20150809_094748.jpg It had wheels, so it was easy to roll around on the deck. I loved munchin’ on Lil’ Smokies-roasted on the open flame.  I, now, cannot stand pittin’. I cannot stand any fire type situation. My pit had to go !!!                    My sorrow brought joy to a newly married couple who were thrilled to have my pit and some of the firewood.       We even  found other friends who were willing to come and get the rest of the firewood.                         Don’t tell my husband, but now I need to fill the void the pit left, on the deck. Humph-another tree ?                          

Regarding Exercising:                                                                                                                I have been working hard regarding my eating and exercising. My brother, Marlin has been helping me with various food calculations.  My doctor is focusing on teaching me to eat, regularly~~~ugh !!! Eating is not a fun thing, for me to do.                                                                                                                                    

I have figured out how to wear my FitBit Zip (using elastic and a plastic buckler) so steps can count while using my rebounder, palates chair-and better placement for Leslie’s walk videos.
Memories knock the wind out of me.   


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