Author Topic: Two Years Ago Today....  (Read 793 times)

lcoxwell

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Two Years Ago Today....
« on: March 11, 2016, 01:21:37 AM »
Today marks the two year anniversary of my Kenneth's death. Once again, I looked back at what I wrote a year ago on the one year anniversary, and I have read my words over and over. I really don't think I could say what I want to say any better than I said it then. So, once again, I am going to share what I wrote one year ago today:

"As I have said so many times before, thank you all for the support and for helping me to make it through these last few days.  I have wanted to make this post about my Kenneth's final day, all day long, but have been struggling to find the right words.  I am not sure that I will be able to express this as clearly as I would like, but here goes....

One year ago today, after being up nearly all night long, due to the need to watch him and to take care of him up to the very last minute, as well as the fear of closing my eyes and not being "present" at the moment he took his very last breath, I finally drifted off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning.  I think I really just collapsed from shear exhaustion, in all honesty.  About an hour or so later, I woke up once more.  It was around 5:30 or 6:00 am, when I opened my eyes.  Thankfully, he was still breathing those slow, shallow breaths, that only those in a deep sleep or comatose state breathe.  I remember feeling such relief that he was still there, but there was also a part of me that knew, KNEW, that it was only a matter of time, and he would be gone.  I knew he would not make it through the day, and suspected he only had a few hours, or maybe minutes, left.

Much of my struggle from the night before, of when and how to give him permission to move on, was still there.  I don't know if it was the prayers of my dear friend the night before, if it was the many hours of prayer I had personally prayed throughout the night, or if it was the realization that he had suffered long enough, but there was a bit of resolve that I needed to somehow find the courage and the strength to tell him he could let go.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't just tell him it was alright to die.  I couldn't tell him he it was time.  For about an hour, I tried to will the words to come out of my mouth, but I just couldn't say them.  What I could do, though, was to lie down next to him on the bed, to put my head on his shoulder, to place my hand on his heart, and to tell him through my tears that I would be okay.  It hurt like hell, and I am not sure I really believed it, but I knew he needed to hear it.

After spending a few minutes lying next to him, just feeling his warmth next to mine and watching him, I went to tell our two youngest, "The Boy" and "Nutmeg" (as my Kenneth called them), as well Nutmeg's fiance, all three of whom had stayed up throughout the night and helped me keep "The Death Watch", that it wouldn't be much longer.  Then, I returned to sit by his side and pulled out the laptop, so I could write lesson plans for the sub, and so I could contact my son's school to let them know he wouldn't be in school that day.  As I was constructing the email for my son's school, I was listening to Kenneth's every breath, acutely aware of every single one that entered his lungs.  At some point, I noticed the breaths were coming just a bit slower.  I listened to one breath, then the next, then I heard a little "catch" in his breath - a small, minute sound, but that sound spoke volumes - and then, there was nothing, just complete silence.

I looked over at him, holding my own breath, willing him to take the next breath, but there was nothing, just utter silence, and I knew that he was gone. I looked up at the clock.  It was 7:41 am.  My first thought was to lie down beside him once more, and to tell him, yet again, that I would be alright and to tell him I loved him.  I also thanked him for loving me and my kids and for giving us a good life.  My second thought was that I wasn't ready.  I had known for years that that moment was going to come, and I thought I had made peace with it.  I had spent a week, waiting for that moment, saying my goodbyes, telling him I loved him.  I thought I was ready to let him go, but at that moment, my thought was, "I am not ready.  I still need you."  I guess, no matter how prepared we think we are, we are never truly ready for that moment, when we lose the most important person in our lives, whom we have loved so completely.

I remember noticing, somewhere in the back of my mind, that it had been less than an hour, since I had told him I would be okay.  It was the words he had been waiting for, the words he needed to hear, and once those words were spoken and he had permission to move on, he finally stopped fighting to stay alive.  I also remember going into the other room to tell the kids that Kenneth was gone and calling home hospice to tell them he had died.  They came in, took care of Kenneth's body, and made arrangements for the funeral home to come pick him up.

We were given a few hours to sit with him, before they had to take his body away.  My son, who is our quiet, stoic, sensitive one, stayed in his room with the door closed.  He couldn't bring himself to come in and sit with his dad or us.  He couldn't share his pain, so we left him alone and gave him the time he needed.  My daughter, on the other hand, who had wanted so badly to have her dad at her wedding, to give her away, and to be a part of the ceremony, decided that he had to be a part of her special day, somehow.  So, while we sat there, waiting for them to come take him away, we planned the wedding.  She and I sat on the bed beside him, talking about all those little details that go into the planning of a wedding and sharing memories of him.  We laughed, we cried, we mourned.  Those few short hours passed so quickly, but I shall always cherish the time spent with my daughter, planning her wedding and talking about him, as we kept our vigil by his side."
"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.

Amor

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Re: Two Years Ago Today....
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 02:23:38 PM »
(((lcoxwell)))
Wishing you peace.