Quick update…

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.

 

17 thoughts on “Quick update…

  1. Thank you for sharing. After going through the death of several family members, the points you make are very important including making a will or trust. We went the trust route to make it easier for our daughter to handle our affairs. And, we told our kids specifically what we want-and put it in writing. They thought we were being morbid but its important to talk about these matters BEFORE they happen. And yes, most people do not want to think about these things until its too late. Again thank you for sharing-and tell everyone to put what they want in writing and give copies to family members.

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  2. I admire your courage and candor. My mother wasn’t well known to our friends because she was in a nursing home for nine years before she passed. We had an open house and displayed her quilts and other handiwork. When visitors had gone, we had a private sharing of memories of Grandma. Hoping for all that’s good for you and your family. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Thanks for being so open Becky. Went through this a few times already and the family members who were prepared made difficult time oh somu h easier.But we need to update everything too. Prayers are with you all.

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  4. You and your family are in my prayers. After losing my husband to bladder cancer in April of this year, I definitely agree with the experiences you pointed out above. I also will be praying for your sweet Momma who will go through the loss of a child. Thank you for keeping your “fans” informed of the events going on in your.

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  5. Dear Becky,
    Having been off line for a few days, I’ve missed your latest posts about Christy. I will just pray for strength for you and your family. Your candor is amazing, and I couldnt agree with you more on all points. I think a “living will”, (besides the “regular one”) sometimes called “Advanced Directives” is the best gift you can give your family, so everyone knows what your wishes are, regarding your care, if you are not able to voice them for yourself. God Bless you, and your family.
    Bernie

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  6. Bless your heart and thanks for sharing. Just last Friday, we had a conference call with our lawyer to update everything since our wills, etc. are 18 years old. I hope that things go as well as possible for Christy and your family.

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  7. You are all in my prayers. One more suggestion for those who sit with their loved ones during their final days. You never know what they are able to hear. I remember when my grandfather was in the hospital after his stroke and was gravely ill. My aunt kept talking about him as if he wasn’t in the room, and said some horrible things. When she left the room, my dad went over to my grandpa and held his hand and told him how much he loved him. My grandpa started to cry… tears rolling down his face. So we knew then that he had heard and understood everything she had said.

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  8. Best wishes to you. May God be with you and your family. You must have been a spectacular sister and I admire you for that. Thanks for the funeral comments–mine to a T; I have said as much to those close to me.

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  9. Interesting and practical thoughts! My husband and I are re-doing our wills as well and it’s a bit challenging as we have no kids. Thus we have to be very clear so the nieces and nephews know what we want done…. Take care!

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