Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers. I have to say that Christy is proving me wrong, yet again. Little sisters do that so often, don't they? Over the years I'd think I'd know exactly what she would do or say and then she'd do just the opposite. So, she did not die yesterday. She's still here – and even the nurses seem a bit surprised about that. I think she is aware of a bit of what's going on around her. The pain is mostly under control. We are, each of us, doing what we can to make the end of her life go well.
Since it is my nature to share what I learn from my experiences, in no particular order I'll tell you some of what I've learned:
- Everyone deals with death differently. People can say or do things that might make you bit crazy. It's a good idea to assume that everyone means well and not to take offense. I like to control my environment but in this case I'm finding that it's a lot better for all concerned to let people do what they want or feel the need to do.
- Be polite, especially to care givers. They have a job to do and by and large they are good at their job. We have been very lucky in that regard. How you treat the nurses and doctors has an impact on how they view the person in the bed.
- It's not a bad idea to tell the nurses and doctors about the life of the person they are treating. Christy can't share the fact that she worked in health care and in hospitals all of her adult life. Knowing some of the details makes the person in the bed a 'person' in addition to being a patient.
- Take care of your legal matters now. Christy put off getting her Texas will done. She was going to do it when her wound healed in a week or so. Too late for that now and Mom and I are going to have to go see the lawyer – today probably. I've heard that people don't get their wills done because it makes they are afraid of dying. Everybody dies and pretending you aren't going to is not going to save you. If you love your family, deal with your legal stuff. That said, Steve and I need to update our wills (and powers of attorney, and universla HIPPA form).
- Make sure you have a nice picture for your obituary and if you feel strongly about what you want written, write it yourself.
- If you know what you want done with your body when you aren't using it any more, be sure that you leave those instructions. Luckily we all know what Christy wants. For myself, just in case I get hit by a car on the way home: no embalming, cardboard box, cremation. Keep it cheap – expensive funeral gear drives me crazy. I would prefer to be scattered but I don't think that's allowed in the Catholic church. I'd be good with being planted on campus under a tree but I'll bet that's not allowed either. By then it won't be my problem. Plant me wherever. Oh – have a party instead of something weepy and serve wine and beer and cake. See, that's not so hard!
- If you are on 'watch' remember that it is really important to sleep. Share the watches so that you aren't so sleep-deprived that you can't think because you are going to have to think and make decisions.
That's all for now. I'll let you all know what happens. Thanks again for you good wishes.