Having Trouble Shaking It - So I'll Vent

Jump to Last Post 1-11 of 11 discussions (17 posts)
  1. Shadesbreath profile image84
    Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago

    A wisp of a woman lies before me. A husk. Her skin so shrunken, sunken, a canal fallen in between radius and ulna, a spotted fold of old parchment. The crackle of an autumn leaf would break her. She cries in dry whispers. “I am afraid. Don’t leave me.” A pause. Thin tissues close over eyes that have poured out all their tears. “Is Dad gone?”

    “Yes, he’s gone.”

    Silence for a while. She weeps.

    “Did I know?” she asks after a time.

    “You did.”

    The soft whimper of abject misery.

    “Everyone is gone.”

    “I’m not gone,” I say. “And my mom. All your kids. Grandkids. Great grandkids. Even one double great. That’s not so bad.”

    “No. That’s not so bad.”

    Silence. A wan smile. Barely wan.

    “I forget,” she says. “I forget all that.”

    “I know.”

    “I forget that Dad is gone.”

    She cries again, the tinder and kindling of ninety years shaking beneath the rumpled chaos of a hospital sheet. Fresh changed. Again. Mourning dignity.

    “Please don’t leave me.”

    “I won’t.”

    I don’t for a while.

    She won’t remember I was there. Or that I had to go. So I will cry for her.

    1. prettydarkhorse profile image64
      prettydarkhorseposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You made me cry. They can feel it, if you hold their hands, squeeze it and visit her more often.That was good narration smile

      1. Shadesbreath profile image84
        Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Yeah, I got myself too. lol. Sigh.

        I'm not used to it, caught me off guard. My mom is retired, so she's up there all the time, plus my aunt and cousin live up there (it's about two hours away). No wonder they're all so worn out. It's all so heartbreaking.

  2. Horatio Plot profile image79
    Horatio Plotposted 6 years ago

    She only forgets on the outside. Her soul will remember for eternity...

    1. Shadesbreath profile image84
      Shadesbreathposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I hope so, Horatio, but I have to say, that's also one of the most infuriating things. This was the most devout Christian I've ever known. She literally read in her Bible every day. She lived it, too, not just the talk, you know? And now, here as the end seems to be drawing nigh, it's all gone. Poof. As if it never had been. There is no comfort. Not one drop of it. You try to bring it up, she waves it off. It's gone. Only terror resides in the heart that was so devoted to God all those years. I can't help wonder, where is He? What lesson, what plan could He possibly still have for a woman who can't remember whatever it is she is supposed to be learning from this torturous new trial?

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        Broke my heart, brought out the tears.

        I'm NOT trying to preach, I swear, but you have to know that so much goes on inside her mind that you guys aren't privy too.  The sorrow you see is from her letting go of this life, this world, all the people she knows and loves HERE.  When she sleeps, you can't possibly know where she is.  Caught somewhere between this world and the next. Preparing herself to move on.

        Before my stepfather passed away, the Hospice nurse who tended to him overnight kept a journal.  He would wake from sleep with no consciousness of HER presence and have entire conversations with people that only he could see.  One night, he said to someone that he just wasn't ready.  After listening for their response, he then told them, "That's easy for you to say.  You're already dead."

        I can assure you that her life of faith has not been wasted.  Want to see the results?  Look at the children, the grand children, the great grandchildren...ALL of the people who love her and have succeeded in no small part because of the support she's provided to them.  I wish that I could offer you words that brought you greater comfort, but times like this aren't made for preaching. 

        My heart's out to you, my friend.  I've been there, and it ain't easy.  And, I have faith like she does.

  3. profile image0
    summerberrieposted 6 years ago

    Thinking about you and yours during this difficult time.

  4. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image95
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 6 years ago

    Dang - you ripped my heart out with this piece.  Yes, that's a compliment - but gosh, it is deep and painful to read.  Especially for those of us who have had to let go of someone at that stage of life.

    I agree with Horatio - memories and relationships are still there for us in eternity.  Maybe the decline of our mortal abilities and faculties is part of what prepares us to let go of this life and move into that realm.

  5. WriteAngled profile image81
    WriteAngledposted 6 years ago

    I'm sorry. It's not easy.

  6. Shadesbreath profile image84
    Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago

    Thanks you guys. Didn't mean to be whiny this morning. I usually don't post sentimental stuff, but I had a hard time sleeping and that just came out when I woke up.


    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes...we were a bit shaken to see the human side of the superhero we all know and love.  smile  All the best, bud.

  7. Mighty Mom profile image82
    Mighty Momposted 6 years ago

    Many, many of us have walked this path with our loved ones. HP is the best grief support (and pre-grief support!) group on the planet!

    What a gift that you get to participate in this transition and write so poignantly about it.
    I know it doesn't feel like that now. As hard as it is on them, I think it's harder on those who watch helplessly.
    We can't help but impose our own feelings and values and desires and fears onto them.
    It's not fair.
    No. It's not.
    But it is life.
    It sucks that the body fails and the brain fails. But the spirit is the big star in the big transition. You can't see it gathering strength, but it's pumping iron right now.
    Like M2C said, her faith is still in there, even if she can't express it.
    I hope there is a hospital chaplain that comes to pray with her/for her. Again, even if she doesn't remember the visit, it's what she would want.

    I could go on about the signs to watch for and all that. But really, it's about reveling in every tender moment you get to spend with her.
    Be hyper aware, as you clearly are.

    Thanks for sharing this very personal (yet universal) experience with your hubber friends.


  8. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 6 years ago

    Poignant words, Shadesbreath, that slice right to the heart.  Read to my wife, it brought the same reaction.

    We, too, have lost loved ones, and your words brought back the last days with my father.  We cry with you.

  9. profile image0
    writeronlineposted 6 years ago

    Others have responded very eloquently to your moving words, Shadesbreath. All I can say is, been there, done that, hated it. I can feel your pain; I hope you can feel my sympathy.

  10. ripplemaker profile image80
    ripplemakerposted 6 years ago

    At times like these, no words are ever enough.
    Just sitting beside you quietly.

  11. Shadesbreath profile image84
    Shadesbreathposted 6 years ago

    This is probably why I've stayed at HP so long. You guys are awesome.

    And MM, I'd love to know what those signs are. I'm not saying I'm convinced about what you and MoTown are saying (not with the night terrors she's having... seems like sleep is more miserable than waking), but I'm curious and, to be frank, always hoping to be convinced.

    1. Patty Inglish, MS profile image93
      Patty Inglish, MSposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      I don't know very much to say, except that many of my friends have died this past year and it has been a shock and a sadness each time; all my family is long-gone for years. I am sorry for your grandmother's memory loss and especially the night terrors. I never met any of my grandparents, so you are blessed to be with her and she blessed to be visited by you, for if God is anywhere, he is in the going of people to be with those who are ill and dying to offer comfort and companionship.

      A great writing woman I know is fighting a genetically based cancer right now that takes a year of frequent chemotherapy treatments, to be followed by other therapies. Her greatest joy is to see words from friends on Facebook, even if she is too tired to read many of them. I have to think that some part of your grandmother will always know that you are at her side and will always know this.

      This may sound incredible, but a pastor told me that when he was 19 and visiting his grandmother in the hospital daily during the week of her death, he saw some signs of her transition that surprised him. She had been lethargic, but the last day, she woke up, and sat up and smiled with a most radiant expression on her face. She described scenes in Heaven to her grandson. It was not long before she was gone, but she died peacefully and with a smile on her face after a long and painful illness. I'm not saying that that will happen for your grandmother, but I am surely praying for those night terrors to end.

      I hope you can feel comfort in knowing that your visits to her are important.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)