So, my grandfather is dying......I like to just get right to the point you know. He's been sick for a while with recurrent prostate cancer. We found out about 6 months before Isabella passed away and he's been fighting it ever since. Up until last week he's been doing pretty good considering he is in his seventies and the cancer is everywhere in his body, eating him alive.
That is until last week.
My mom called me and said they had decided it was time for Hospice. Of course they wanted the Hospice nurse we had and I agreed that would be best. I loved Isabella's hospice nurse, or rather I love her. She is an amazing woman and became my friend over the months she spent stopping by once a week to check on us.
The trouble with all of this is what it's doing to me mentally. The flood of emotions and memories is almost too much to take. It's left me remembering all the bad days and the last week of her short life. I hate that week and I hate thinking about it even more. I still wake up most days wishing it was all a bad dream and that I have three healthy, beautiful children. Will I ever give that up? Will I ever find total acceptance?
Ironically enough I feel as though I do not know what to say to my mother who is losing a father or my grandmother who is about to lose her life companion. I have harbored such resentment against those who did not have the perfect words of comfort for me and I here I am, stumbling awkwardly. A taste of my own medicine I suppose. Death is uncomfortable to be sure and I find myself with this huge chip on my shoulder constantly thinking "well, their loss is not like my loss.....they aren't burying a CHILD". Or even "OK, he's old, he lived a long, happy life, Isabella certainly didn't get that!" Man, I totally cringed even typing that. It's awful.........but painfully true.
My mom did really piss me off the other night with some of dramatics. We were talking about her decision to place her dad in Hospice and how difficult it was for her and she literally said: "You just don't understand what it feels like to put SOMEONE YOU LOVE IN HOSPICE, IT'S LIKE YOU ARE GIVING UP ON THEM AND ACCEPTING THEIR DEATH." Ex-fucking-cuse me? I don't understand what it's like???? I literally could not even form words with my mouth I was so shocked. I mean, yeah, she's under some stress and she's facing her dad's death and all that so I should probably cut her some slack. But seriously? I think I fucking DO understand, like five million times MORE than she understands. Are we really going to compare the death of a dying old man to my daugther who never even got a real shot at life? Really? Are we sure about this?!
I in fact, absolutely know what it's like to put "someone you love" in Hospice. I can remember signing the DNR papers on my daughter, my child, my breath like it was yesterday. I can remember the people, the emotions, the fucking smells of that day. I can remember how Isabella was sweetly napping in her crib and I could hear her soft breathing on the monitor as I literally signed her life away. Just like that. Oh, but I don't understand. Please.
The problem, is that nobody understand ME and what I've been through. None of my friends, none of my family. Nada. I've searched high and low for a support group, email group, and have come up empty handed each time. There is nothing more isolating than losing a child, nothing more painful. I will say it loud and proud: If you haven't lost a child, you just don't know.
And hopefully, if you are lucky, you never will.