I’ve been so busy living my life that I haven’t been writing about it. There’s never enough time in the day … after work, I just want to relax, and after I’ve done that for a while, it’s very late and I just want to crawl into bed. Whenever I pick up a book, I find myself reading late into the night and morning, putting it down only when I reach the end of the book.
A lot has happened. My wife Kathy and her family have had to deal with the man who runs Goff Mortuary three times in less than two years. We hope to never see that man again, that we can deal with his son the next time such services are required.
First it was my wife’s maternal grandmother. She was over 90 years old, and had already made it through a couple of major health scares. My wife was there when the merciful end finally came. I first met this amazing lady in February 2005 at her home near San Diego, when we took the family to Disneyland. I have some blog posts about that trip, and if decide to go find them, you’ll note that I never finished documenting that trip.
Next, it was Kathy’s father. He had been in the VA hospital for a full month prior to then, having a battle with cancer. Eventually, its advance was unstoppable. Once the doctors figured that out, they let him go home for hospice care. Those last couple of weeks were ugly, marked by extreme pain, unfortunate incompetence from the visiting health care professionals, and the dementia of Alzheimers. This too was a merciful end, when it finally came. Kathy had just arrived at home to rest, but the rest of his immediate family was there when his suffering finally ended. They view the tragedy as something of a blessing, because if he had won against the cancer, the rapidly advancing condition in his brain would have been much worse.
Both of these earlier deaths were expected. A couple of weeks ago, Kathy’s mother and sister visited her brother David, and found him dead. He had apparently fallen asleep at his desk. The medical examiner has not yet figured out why he died, and we will not know for several more weeks. He was 40 years old, just one year older than Kathy. Despite intense sibling rivalry in their younger years, she was very close to David.
With all these people being lost in quick succession, I think the only person who’s having a harder time than my wife is her mother. I wish I knew what to say to make everything better. I bring her chocolate, hold her hand, and give her frequent hugs, but it seems like I should be doing more. I’m really at a loss for how to help Kathy’s mother. What do you say to someone who has lost their mother, their husband, and one of their children in close succession?
I suppose we’ve reached the time in our lives when death starts to invade on a regular basis, and that we’ve been lucky so far that we haven’t had to face very much of it. That doesn’t really make it any harder to bear, of course.