Author Topic: my neighbor's husband died  (Read 673 times)


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my neighbor's husband died
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:47:10 PM »
(background: My husband died almost 5 years ago, and was well loved by all our neighbors)

my older neighbor Doris, has been married for about 25 years. I remember when she introduced me to her new husband, Bob.
In the last 5 years or so, he has been failing, he was 84 this year and had a bad ticker.
I was outside pruning bushes in my yard when Doris called me, please come help. so without a moment's hesitation, i ran over to her house "It's Bob!" she said "what should I do?" she said.
She led me into her tiny bathroom, just like mine, where he was wedged on his elbows and knees, face down. He was breathing, so i turned his head so his nose wasn't being squashed.  I told her to call 911.
I couldn't pull him out, but just then, another neighbor appeared, and he pulled Bob out and laid him on his back.
As I put my hands on Bob's warm chest,  we felt his last heart beats.  We could already hear the aide car. I just couldn't bring myself to push on his chest. He had been ailing for so long. Just then 3 huge strapping EMTs came into the house and pulled Bob into the livingroom and were preparing him for lifesaving efforts.
And I said
"does he have a DNR?"
All of the EMT's stopped. and stared.
Doris said "what's that?"
we explained it.  She said, "oh yeah, it's on the fridge"
so. I saved a frail old man from a lot of stress. and he was pronounced dead.
Bob was a nice person, but I had no idea how much his death was going to affect me. For days and days.
I sat with Doris, waiting for her family to show up.  She knew I was a widow and she knew I knew what was next for her.
She deferred to me on a number of minor decisions.
Her family eventually came, and I finally left.
I lost a week. really. And have had so many flashbacks, and now dreams of DH.
I felt like it was a really special, but hard thing being there while Bob died. 
Doris is very fortunate, she has a lot of attentive relatives.  I live across the street so I can see them coming and going.
But we know, it's really hard.
Thanks for listening.


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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 06:55:27 PM »
She was fortunate that you were there and you are a great neighbor. It sucks to be the one to know what needs to be done and what's going to go on. I am glad you thought to mention the DNR. It would have been stressful for them to work on him to try to revive him considering his state.

I can imagine the triggers you've experienced since this happened. Hugs to you.


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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 07:21:10 PM »
so nice to have someone understand.


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  • to be, to know, to lose
Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 11:44:48 PM »
You are a good person.  Please be proud of yourself.
I am sorry it has caused uncomfortable thoughts, remember those remind you that you are still alive and living life.  Good for you, now I am proud of you.


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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 07:17:10 AM »
Wow, I can see why that would be triggering, sending you big virtual hugs!   Your neighbor was very lucky to have you there remaining in control under pressure.  It's only natural that your feelings of empathy are leaving you drained and flashing back on your own loss.  Be kind to yourself, I hope you are feeling more grounded as time passes.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 06:36:27 AM »
I am so glad you were there for your neighbour and for Bob - so that his wish for a DNR was honoured. But what a difficult time for you. I don't know how I would have coped. I still flash back to his last heart beats. His last one. I don't want to feel that moment in someone again. Thinking of you.
"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." Kahlil Gibran

Captains wife

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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2017, 11:48:35 AM »
Your neighbor is so fortunate you were there. But that had to be SO triggering and that would upset me for weeks. I'm sorry....


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Re: my neighbor's husband died
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 05:10:55 PM »
Big hugs, Mimi - Doris is so very fortunate to have had you there.   
So sorry that you went through this yet once again -
Have I told you lately how much I love you?