Memories We Share – Part 6

A nurse, a spiritual adviser and a social worker walk into a bar and … No wait … that’s a prelude to a joke.

Yesterday your other Hospice nurse paid a visit and brought a huge box to hold all of your pills in neat little compartments, all laid out so all you have to do now is take them, and hope that they do the job intended.

For some fifteen years I have watched as you tried to get something to manage your Chronic Pain so that you might have some quality of life but only one man had the nerve to prescribe what you needed. For several months you worked in the yard, worked around the house, got out and visited around town and were content with the life you lived. Perhaps it wasn’t the life you once had, but we all feel the limitations that come with age. Being able to “do” again, put you back in touch with the old Gary, the maker, the fixer, the dreamer of dreams. Oh but then someone discovered this doctor of medicine, who was also your psychiatrist, was prescribing pain pills and suddenly he was no longer working for Community Mental Health. There was a large discrepancy between what he was willing to do so that his patients could be pulled from the grip of Depression and what the Agency was willing to risk. My God, what if you had become addicted? Would there be legal repercussions? He is, after all, a doctor of medicine with full rights to prescribe what is needed. He watched you struggle with the VA Hospital, with the University Hospital, with private doctors who gave you medications that wouldn’t cure a headache but would have you doubled over with stomach cramps on top of your pain from nerve damage throughout your body. So back into the grips of pain you went and remained with barely a month’s worth of pain free days in five years time.

You asked the nurse if all of this pain medication would have you walking around like a zombie and she assured you that when pain medication is treating pain, it does just that. You will not become addicted because your body will respond to what is needed and if your pain becomes stronger then the dosage or type of medication will be adjusted to deal with it. Sad that you and others have to be finally dying before you can get relief that should be afforded to those suffering. What have we become? So much misuse, so many law suits and now people are crippled with pain and left to suffer, shortening their lives and destroying any joy in the time they do have.

I can’t use my energy to fight the injustices of the world right now though as it has to be focused on our life as it is now.

This wonderful nurse saw how tense I was as a couple of tears slid down my face when I apologized for our fur covered carpet and started rambling like a lunatic. Learning that you had fallen and I hadn’t been able to get to you quickly enough and now I don’t leave your side – even to shower, she told me to go – GO and get into the shower while she was here. I greatfully took that ten minutes and indulged myself completely in the calming water pounding down on sore muscles.

Next came the Hospice Spiritual Adviser. I was prepared not to like her, a religious bigot I had become. How could someone counsel any faith, all faiths? If she did not believe in Jesus I was prepared to have her leave, good RELIGIOUS person that I was. So I asked her, just how does one counsel a Christian and a Buddhist also? But before she could answer, something came out of your mouth that shook me to my core. You said,” I don’t know if there is a Heaven or if when I die it will just be all over. But then I remember Jesus and I think there must be, but what if there isn’t?” In the ninth hour you suddenly have doubts and I knew nothing of this? What kind of wife am I? I thought I had all of the bases covered. I’ve been nurse, friend, cook, lover, keeper of secrets, championed for your rights, feed, watered and brushed our seven cats and two dogs, got groceries in the house, tried to clean, contacted all of these agencies … and you WHAT? Doubt there is a Heaven? I mentally duct tape my mouth shut and listen for her answer. She asks what religions you have looked into and what you think is true. You say you wonder if what the Jewish people believe is not true. HUH? Now we are going separate places after death? I excuse myself and go to my trusty computer.

In a nutshell, “When someone dies, the disembodied soul leaves this sensory world and enters “Gan Eden,” the spiritual Garden of Eden (a.k.a. “Heaven”). In the Garden of Eden, the soul enjoys the “rays of the Divine Presence,” a purely spiritual enjoyment dependent on the Torah learning and good deeds done while in a body. Every year on the yahrtzeit, the day of passing, the soul ascends to another level closer to G-d. This gives it tremendous pleasure. * I read on, “Before entering the Garden of Eden, though, a soul must be in a state of spiritual excellence, for it cannot enjoy the Divine Presence to the fullest degree with the pleasures and coarseness of our physical world still engraved on it. These would give the soul poor “reception” of divine radiance, and must be removed.

If a person sinned in this lifetime, as most of us do, then, to continue the radio analogy, we have serious interference. In order to restore the level of purity the soul had possessed before entering the physical world, it must undergo a degree of refinement commensurate to the degree which the body may have indulged itself. This means there is quite a bit of cleaning to be done. This cleaning process hurts, but is a spiritual and mental process designed not for retribution, but to allow one to truly enjoy his/her reward in Gan Eden.This cleaning process is called “Gehinom,” or, in the vernacular, “Hell.” *

Well, what about Jesus? Do you seriously now doubt Him and what He did to pay for our sins and reunite us with our Father? Just how long have you felt this way? How many other important things do I not know? Now what?

Now what, indeed? You will work it out, as is your right and it is me who jumps down the throat of anyone who even looks as if they might step between you and your rights. But now, the new medication has you drowsy and you do not go immediately to check out this information. I keep silent, but it is the most difficult thing I have done so far. We both know keeping my mouth closed and my opinions or beliefs to my self is not my personal forte to begin with, but this comes out of left field and hits me upside the head like a boulder! We’re talking Eternity here, guy! E-Ter-Nity-Y, where we are both supposed to be reunited. So I’m going to get there and find out that at the last hour you turned from your beliefs and aren’t there? All of this peace I’ve been feeling about our brief separation can go right out the window? Of all of the things I did not anticipate, and there have been quite a few, this is not something I had given even a glance of attention.

Today your son is coming down, at your request, and you will go over your “Five Wishes” with him, as he is your second choice to make sure your medical directives are carried out and your desire to be cremated and not buried. I will take this time and go to the next town and get more groceries, try to clear my head and pray.

* taken from,164/Does-Judaism-believe-in-Heaven-and-Hell.html

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Comments 21 comments

Mary 5 years ago

You write beautifully!!! Keep it up.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Just be your loving, encouraging self and remind him of all that Jesus has done for us. I will be praying for you both and please know you are loved and supported. hyph

SomewayOuttaHere profile image

SomewayOuttaHere 5 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

...don't worry.....people communicate/express their beliefs in different ways right?...i believe we are all on the same road moving towards the same destination.....why wouldn't we be?...

...hope that wee break to town helped a bit...

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

It did! The countryside is so beautiful this time of year and the detour I had to take has become my new route to that town. There is a railroad bridge and overpass and the small river runs along side. I forgot just how much I miss the river. I was so used to going either to the Mississippi or another small one whenever I wanted some peace and beauty.

I stopped at a "junk" store and gave myself fifteen minutes to look around and found a doll house with sounds that will be perfect for my granddaughter's collection of Littlest Pet Shop animals. I asked if we could have her visit for a couple of hours tomorrow but the child has a social life and is spending the night at a friends and then will be going to Tae Kwon Do class tomorrow night so I'm out of luck for now. Maybe next week they said. Something to look forward to. :)

baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

I,too,will be praying for you and Gary.

The world turns against those who suffer it seems,and more so if you're old and sick. It is all about money.

If there's something after this it must be one place (person?) but we all get there by different roads.That's why we should respect other people's roads. Wherever he's going you'll see him if that 's how it's supposed to be. Our hearts cry out when they're broken but sometimes I think we should just let go and like they say ,let God. For me it's just too hard to handle it all so that's all I can do now.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

You are very wise babygirl, I know that's what I need to do also. When he doesn't want to eat or use his oxygen I am supposed remind and encourage and then leave the final decision up to him and I must do that with this also.

How are you doing? How is your husband? Are you still taking dance lessons and having some time for yourself? I hope so. I'm really learning how critical this is to being a good care taker and for preserving what sanity there is left...ha ha ha.

baygirl33 5 years ago

I had to come back for your help Pooh.

I did that thing I do again.That last hub of mine has no comment capsule again. I looked to the right as you said to find a solution but failed .

Would you repeat that advice for me?

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Sure, babygirl - go to the top left of you page and hit EDIT, then on the top left you will see a box of choices that says ADD CAPSULES - in there is one that says COMMENTS. Click on that and it should add a comment area for you. Let me know if that doesn't work.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

Did I tell you that worked?Did I thank you? I'm going around in circles these days so maybe I'll do things more than once. As long as I don't pay the same bill more than once I guess I'm ok.LOL

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

I'm glad - it really is a great hub and more people should be able to comment and tell you so!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 5 years ago

Poohgranma, I am so amazed at your clarity and transparency in sharing these precious moments! I think your writings will help to serve others as they take this journey... My prayers are with you both

In HIS Love, Grace, Joy, Peace & Blessings!

GOD Bless YOU!

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Thank-you so much Deborrah K., as always, your prayers are a welcome addition t0 ours!

Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

I'm thinking of you today, Pooh, as I read Part 6 knowing that there is more ahead for me to hear. I must say that through all the pain, the glimpses of humor (and a little sarcasm) is so good to see. I love your writing style! Please take care,


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Your love is so wonderful Pooh. God bless this home. God bless this Pooh.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

And God bless you too Michael and may He bring peace and joy into your life.

baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

Hi Pooh,

Just reading you again in my rummaging for something to hold me up.My Ron's ashes are on the chair at his place at the table,and the pictures we took to the funeral home are standing above the box.

This is probably not the right thing to do but I can't seem to even read about a cemetary.

I'm reading stuff that says things like "Don't hold me back with tears,When I die let me go " and I'm trying.

Are you feeling any safer about Gary getting better on his medication? Ron felt like the drugs were killing him too. I'm getting around to knowing that he was not himself for the last month or so.

Anyway enough repetition!

God bless you both.Make the best use of your time together.It will be precious.

Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Hi! I've been thinking of you. I don't care for the cemetery idea at all but some find comfort in having a grave site to visit. My kids don't like my wishes to have my ashes scattered on the banks of the Mississippi River, but they are my wishes. I think what ever you do will be right for you and that's what is important. I can not imagine how you are feeling and I'm not looking forward to finding out.

Yes, Gary still has the disease, no doubt about that, but he was very much over medicated and I didn't listen to a young lady who commented on that fact on one of these hubs. I trusted the doctor, who trusted the Hospice nurses who trusted the original diagnosis from our Nurse Practitioner. I could just kick myself now for not having him go to a pulmonologist to begin with. It seemed like I was in a fog and only knew he was put on oxygen and then when I went went him, finally, to find out why, the Nurse Practitioner said he had COPD and from their tests it was very close to end stage ... then soon after we brought in Hospice. After that, it snowballed and "keep him comfortable" became the main goal. I trusted, they trusted and I think we damned near killed him! He is clear minded, has more energy and it is amazing. I'm not saying he's not sick, he is, but nothing at all like before.

I will try to make the very best of the time we have. I wish there were something I could do to bring you some small comfort.

baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

That is really good news even if he's still sick.At least you can try to enjoy.It scares me though that maybe everything wasn't done that could have been done.

A moot point now for sure.

But I'm glad you have one more chance.

Take care


Poohgranma profile image

Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge Author

Oh no, Vicki - their diseases were completely different and their circumstances. You made sure your husband saw a doctor in the first place and then saw others. Please don't think that.

baygirl33 5 years ago

Thanks Pooh .

I get what you're saying.

God bless you both.

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