Author Topic: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:  (Read 3212 times)


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From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« on: March 15, 2015, 10:29:06 PM »

I know you know my story and my thoughts on the questions you pose. I decided to add a comment here about goodbyes. I truly wonder how many of us really say "goodbye". I know I didn't. Barry and I had had many, many conversations over the 18 years we were together about life and death. He had already long outlived his prognosis when I met him. When I decided I would follow my heart and marry him, we had already had talks about life and death. I was fortunate to get a long talk with him the night before he got sick the last time, when he asked me if it would be better for me if he died a quick death or a slow death. Talk about a tough question! (I told him what was more important was that it was a good death for him.) He woke up sick the next day and died a week later. We also had a talk three days before he died after he awoke from a coma that nobody expected him to wake up from. That talk was about how he might die, but that we hoped he would pull through. Even to the end, we never said good bye.

What we did say was "I love you."

From my conversations with other wids who were with their spouse at the end, these words were also the last words spoken.

Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 11:16:24 PM »
Honestly, I never said goodbye, either.  He was in a coma, throughout his last day and a half.  While he was in the coma, I told him that I would be okay, because I knew those were the words he needed to hear me say.  My final words to him, both the last time I spoke to him, before the coma, and that final day, while he was in the coma, were "I love you, Babe!"
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 07:50:59 AM »
Same here, I think there is a myth that one gets to say goodbye, per se, in a Randy Pausch Last Lecture sort of way.  It really depends on whether the person dying accepts that fact.  It is not always obvious when the actual end is near, and the person cannot always speak at that point.  What it has taught me is to say "I love you" at most partings and as often as the spirit moves me and that was not something "done" in my family. 


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 08:41:29 AM »
I also did not say "Goodbye", We said "I'll love you forever and ever..."  I did tell him that our son and I would be okay, cause I think he needed to know that too.
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 11:18:36 AM »
There was no good-bye.

My late husband suffered from dementia early in his illness, so there was no opportunity to have any meaningful discussions and the last months of his life he was "awake" but non-responsive.

I said my own good-bye. The day after he died, I went to the exact spot where we were standing the moment I realized that I loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I cried and said good-bye.

But that is not the good-bye of movies or books.

I don't know if I envy people who had the opportunity or not and of those I know (my husband is one as he and his late wife had a long middle of the night talk the day before she died), they didn't say formal good-byes either.

Who says good-bye to the person they loved most in the world? Can that be done even?

I love you's seem more common. It's hopeful, affirming and speaks of future when you can meet again.

Good-bye is somewhat of a closure thing and there is no real closure on widowhood.
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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 11:25:56 AM »
Like many, there was no clear spot for a "goodbye" because the pain drugs doped her up so much at the end.  But her second-to-last night brought something like that.  She was newly moved to a hospital bed, and was very restless.  At some point, her stomach drain was plugged, which happened, and when I cleaned it, in my middle-of-the-night stupor I had left a clamp sealed that should not have been.  Before I figured that out, she spat up and aspirated, and was stressed and fully awake with that going on.  We embraced and said our last lucid "I love you"s. I prayed hard for her not to go, not that way.

She got through that night, and a couple of CNAs got her cleaned up and FAR more comfortable than I had been able to do, so her final night was very peaceful and uneventful.  I awoke just after her last breath.

Take care,
Rob T
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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 11:45:41 AM »
Speaking was impossible for my DH in the last days. We held hands through the last night and it was very peaceful. I slept lightly, and administered his pain medication every few hours, the next day, it was very quiet. His breathing was ragged and I don't think he could actually see anymore, but I know he could hear the hummingbirds outside the window and feel the summer breeze across his face. I never left his side for more than a few seconds until late that evening. I put my arms around his shoulders, being ever so careful not to touch his arm - broken from a tumor just below his shoulder. I whispered to him..."you know, Darling, DD will be here in a few minutes....."

They had already said their goodbyes, though. And I got up get some water. As I turned away from him, I heard his last breath. My daughter and  son-in-law were literally pulling in the drive. My son was on his way. His brother was already there. I unwrapped his arm and took the temporary cast off, and threw it aside, climbed into the hospital bed and finally held him, without hurting him. Something I hadn't been able to do in a long time. I stayed there until I could feel his warmth slipping away.

I wasn't surprised that he left before she came in the door. I sort of think it was their deal and he wanted to honor that, as much as he did not want to leave us. But I had already told him he could go. Not good bye, but "Fare well, my love"
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.      ~ A. Einstein


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2015, 11:23:57 AM »
We never did.  DH was semi-conscious for about 4 days and then all of a sudden was lucid.  He said his goodbye to his parents and then each kid separately.  It was heartbreaking cause I knew what it was even though I'm not sure the kids did.  When everyone left the room I looked at him and said you don't need to say anything, I know.  He soon slipped back into semi-consciousness and died a few days later.  I sometimes wish we had said something at that point but we knew how each other felt and it was nice to just have a few moments to just be...  But I have to admit I am curious as to what he might have said.

Now I am sitting here with a contractor in my house and tears flowing...ugh!
?I have lived my life well, lived with integrity and always lived each day the best I could.  I have no regrets.?  DKB 9/2/65 - 10/23/11


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 09:37:55 PM »
DH said and I said the I love you and he said said 'we sure had fun didn't we Babe'. Yes we did. Makes me cry just to type this. I cared for him at home and yeah it was hard but I felt like it was my gift to him because he wanted to die at home. To me it was the least I could do.
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: From a post on YWBB, responding to Shelby:
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 10:11:32 PM »
I didn't realize that I was responding in the Extreme Caregiving section (wasn't my situation). Will start a new thread.

« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 10:25:25 PM by Mac »
Grateful for the past. Embracing the present. Trusting in the future.