Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Third Anniversary

November 07. I am in Afghanistan as a contractor. I try to call my wife, but get no answer so I leave a message. And then another one. And then another one the next day. I receive an email from family. Short - Cyndie is gone. I call, find out she killed herself. I fly home. I am in shock, I stay in shock. I do not kill myself only because I do not want to hurt the children any more, hers (ours in my mind) and mine.

Third year on. I am remarried to a wonderful person. My life has had quite a few rocks, health issues, etc., but they are treatable or things I can accept.

Still feel the shock and the anger of betrayal, both literally and figuratively of the suicide. It still hurts, it still raises anger. Time does not heal the wound, but it does help turn the scab into a scar.

Suicide is the ultimate betrayal and the ultimate cowardice. I do not mean a medical suicide with family consent. I mean abandoning love, spouse, children. Cowardice. Yeah, it still hurts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Still not quite finished

Fighting off depression and anger again, in about equal amounts. I am getting better, I know I am. It has been months since Cyndie's suicide has seriously bothered me. Not that I forgot about it. Almost every day it pops into my head in one way or another. I cannot get away from her memory entirely, nor do I want to so do. We had children in common and I still love and need them in my life. They are adopted, technically, but in every way my children. Their children are my grandchildren.

I still have anger at the betrayal. At least I think I do. Am I angry at our marriage being betrayed or angry that she left without saying goodbye? That is still the hardest part about suicide. It is what sets it apart from losing loved ones to illness. You do not get to say goodbye.

I have, I believe, come to grips with the balance of enjoying and having a new love and still missing the old. That never seemed to be a problem. It seemed right at the time and now I know it was.

Just wish the anger would leave.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Not quite finished

Well, sometimes you have to unload again and this is a good a place as any. I am tired of dumping stuff like this directly on friends.

I had a terrifying moment, actually almost an hour, today. First, everything is now under control. My partner has a sinus infection and was taking a new antibiotic. Well, it apparently disagreed with her. Symptoms were elevated heart rate, heart pounding, dizziness, etc. The classic drug reaction signs. Unfortunately I am abroad right now. She called early her time and I talked to her, finally convinced her to call 911 as I was not there to drive and she was not fit to drive.

At this point I am concerned, but OK. We have a plan, things will be fine. I believed we had worked it out that she would get dressed, call 911, then call me and I could wait with her. Apparently she did not catch the last bit - her understanding is that she would all from the hospital or after the EMS techs saw her. So, I waited. No call. Messaged her phone. No reply. Called house multiple times - no answer. Same with cell phone. Finally, and in a bit of a panic, I called emergency services myself and had them on the way when she called me to say she was at the emergency room and OK. I called emergency services back and got that stopped and then called her back and chatted.

It was a bad reaction to the drug. She had a full battery of tests and is now home and comfortable. Not well, but in no real danger. Needless to say, that antibiotic is now in the trash.

The last time I called home and no one answered it was a death by suicide. Yeah, so I panicked a bit. I had images of her on the floor, unconscious, possibly dead. I realize now it was less than an hour of time. However, it was an endless time span of being helpless and reliving my last wife’s suicide. My partner knew I would be upset in any case. She was also apologetic for not understanding. I did my best to tell her not to worry, not her fault. It was not her fault, she was scared.

Two things: Not over the terror of Cyndie’s suicide yet; and I still need to write here at times. I do know one other thing. Well, I think I know. I cannot face the death of my partner, my love, again any time soon. I hate to think it, but had she been dead I truly how no idea how I could go on - or even why I would bother. I need to work on that last bit.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Maybe it is time to shut this down

Tears have been cried and deep thoughts have been thought. Being more sensitive was a nice experiment, but ultimately it does not seem to be me nor am I good at it. It has been a long, strange trip, but there is so much more of the journey ahead.

I am in working order, not fixed, but working. I love those to whom I am close. Love some friends and am loved. I will never be healed, too many wounds and many of them too close. PTSD was an issue before three deaths in three years. Now? I cannot imagine they have made me better, just better able to endure.

Maybe I will write more someday. I will probably save this for the granddaughters so they can understand some of what we endured, some of the reasons for what we are. Hell, I may find I need to write more tomorrow. For now, time to shut this down.

To anyone who read it, thanks for that and hope it helped if you needed help. It was never really for anyone else, just for me. Knowing it was open helped, I am not ashamed of any of the thoughts or feelings I have had.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

It is over

Mother died this evening. I was not there, but my sister was. I am at home in Charleston. In the next few days I will go to Mobile to help with the arrangements and attend the funeral.

I do not know what to think. Not yet. Glad she is gone and no longer in pain. Sorry she is gone. Sorry for my sister who has been the major person in taking care of mom and who received the bulk of our parent's love. She did get more love, but it hurts her more when they die. I do not begrudge her the love. I do wish I could help take away some of the pain Sis is feeling.

Writing helps, but I do not know what to write. Relieved and grieved all at once. More later.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hanging On

My mother is hanging on. Not sure how, but she is hanging on. She is in general systemic failure now. However, except for today, she has been as alert as the Alzheimer's will let her be. Today she was asleep most of the time, even without medication. Since she is in considerable pain, her sleeping without medication appears to be a telling sign. I hope she slips away tonight, while asleep. I know my sister would like to be there at the end, but I hope she slips away, unconscious, unaware. She knows she is loved and has said I love you. I want her to slide away. It is time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Thoughts on possible imminent death for my mother

So - I am reading Pharyngula, the best science/atheism blog, and there is a very good thread going on there right now - Cancer is a disease. It is not an easy thread to read, many people sharing their pain and stories. I tried to enter into the thread, came on too strong offering help, and have now backed away entirely. I still read, but I will not comment.

The reason why? Well, one, I was too strong, too eager. In retrospect, I looked like a stalker. Two, the ongoing saga of my mother is at another potential breaking point. Death may be imminent, at least within a few weeks. Simply, she keeps pulling out her stomach feeding tube, will not take anything by mouth, and thus is malnourished. She also seems to be losing the ability to fully metabolize her food. My sister is there, doing most of the decisions, killing herself in the process. I try to support her - no, I do support her. Dr. asked Sis today if she wanted him to try and put the feeding tube back in, i.e., feed her or let her die. Sis said to put the tube back in. Neither Sis nor I believe in needlessly extending life, and mom has a living will forbidding heroic measures, but we are in a gray area. Mom is awake, sometimes lucid, sometimes alert. Were she unconscious, comatose, of the like, the decision would make itself. Now?

My impulse is to pull the feeding, let her slide away, and hasten it with an overdose. I do not think her life is good right now, has not been for six months. She will never walk again, never go home. She may never even leave the hospital and if she does it will be to a full care nursing home in which she will spend her life in bed, sliding further and further into dementia and growing frailer, waiting for the next trip to the emergency room to attend her next feeding tube failure or infection. I have serious doubts she will leave the hospital this time. How much pain do we put her through seems to be the only real question.

I thought of broaching the subject tonight, but Sis sounds so tired. I know I have to bring this up soon. We need to talk about it. I need to get my foot fixed so I can travel as needed. Lots to do. I know there are lots of things to do, right now I just do not know what those things are.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Well....shit! Part II

I apparently fractured my right heel bone sometime in the not too distant past. I knew my foot hurt, but got used to it. Right before xmas it got worse so I finally allowed myself to be dragged to the Dr. Turns out the heel bone is shattered. However, since it is already healing it may not be worth surgery to fix. In the meantime I am on some really great pain killers and a nice cane my darling bought me for xmas.

OK, that sounds not so good and it does hurt like hell. Still, after the past couple of years this is no big deal. I can deal with physical pain. This is an issue that may be resolved, fixed, whatever. Maybe it cannot really be fixed and I will use a cane the rest of my days. It does not matter. This is a small issue compared to the others. Besides, I have always liked walking sticks and there are some really charming ones out there. I will be OK. Nice to say that now so I will repeat it. I will be OK.