Postcards of Grief

Mourning is a process.

Comments on breast cancer by proxy, written by a woman coping with the loss of her mother.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The three minute entry

Since we last talked, Brooke quit her job and cut her hair. This has been good for me and fantastic for her. She is so much happier knowing that she doesn't need to deal with her micromanaging boss in the worst possible environment for her: a lab. I mean, really. So the haircut is kind of like a breakup haircut.

You know the one? It's that ritual where you leave your hair behind, remake yourself, and become a new person, breaking free from that horrible, awful relationship. Or job.

And now she's reading all kinds of books and exploring her options for what to do with the rest of her life. I think she's being very practical, and yet, she's dreaming about what she can do. I love it.

It's practically fall here. It's fall by the calendar, but it's beginning to get cold, and I love this. That means a lot of yard work in my future, but this will be good for me. Since we might need to sell the house in the spring or summer, we need to get on this right away.

Oh, and although I'm breaking the three minute rule and am officially running behind, I just want to state publically that I totally and completely adore my electrician. I don't have to climb onto the washer to unplug the water softener and plug in the washer just to do a load of laundry. Lou, I love you.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I'm a big sister now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

My nephew has emerged

21.5 inches long
8 pounds, 5 ounces
red hair

Welcome, Brock.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Cost of Dying

Article, part I: "They're dying -- we just need to talk about how they want to die"

Article, part II: The palliative care program stresses such family togetherness.

Preparation, help and coping information:
How to prepare

* Talk with your doctor before a crisis occurs. Ask her to explain treatments and procedures. Make sure he knows the quality of life that you would desire.

* Select a health care agent — appointed by a legal document called a medical power of attorney — whom you trust and who understands your decisions. Be certain to ask your agent if he or she is willing to act on your behalf. Make sure your doctor has the name and phone number of your health care agent.

* Reassess your decisions over time. They might change as circumstances in your life change.

* Prepare advance directives. A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint a person you trust as your health care agent, who is authorized to make medical decisions on your behalf.

When someone is sick

* Talk openly with the doctor.

Good questions to ask:
What kinds of complications or special needs might arise?
What is the likely time frame for this illness?
What are the best possible outcomes?
What are the worst possible outcomes?
What symptoms am I likely to have as my disease progresses?
What medications or other treatments should I have at home in case of sudden pain or other symptoms?

* Ask whether your hospital provides palliative care services.

* If you’re in pain, ask your health care providers what they can do to alleviate your symptoms.

* Contact your local hospice to find out what kind of services they offer.
I can't imagine what we would have done without Hospice, without the opportunity to be there with Mom as she lived her last days. We holed up in the family room, the fireplace lit, surrounding her. Jennifer, our awesome Hospice nurse, came by daily to help us care for Mom. She told us how to make her comfortable. She told us when her death was near. She guided us through what might happen when she died and what to do when she did.

Thank you, Hospice. I'm endlessly grateful.

Friday, September 10, 2004

I guess everyone likes corn.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Sand is a many splendored thing

Getting older

My nephew lies within.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Of note

Two things I read today took away my breath and made me ache. One was from Nyarly and the other from Rahel.

Is nothing sacred?

Not my towel. Not my toothbrush.

For too long, I've had to take precautions to prevent my bathtowel from being used to dry off another's body. It's not that I'm squeamish or overly clean. I don't mind if a member of my family needs to use my bathtowel to dry their hands. Once or twice is no big deal. But an entire body? This happens whenever my brother and SIL stay over. The linen closet is right outside the bathroom door, and it's not as though there's some kind of towel deficit. I've taken to hanging up my towel on a doorknob or over the back of a chair in the room in which I sleep.

Who uses someone else's bathtowel, anyway?

And as for my toothbrush, I've tried everything. There's nothing more disconcerting than going to brush your teeth, only to find that the brush is already wet. Brooke and I have both intended to tend to oral hygiene and found our implements wet and used in another's mouth. To avoid this, I've used a toothbrush engraved with my dentist's name, kept my toothbrush in a drawer, and used a plastic cover over it. This weekend, I went to use my toothbrush and saw that the cover, which I had so diligently replaced on my toothbrush after prior use, was resting on the countertop.

It looks like the toothbrush will have to hang out with the towel in my bedroom.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Nothing significant

I taught swimming lessons at the Y when I was in high school. A few sessions in a row, I had a kid in my group named Spike. He was about seven. His legal name was something like Donald, but his parents called him Spike and enrolled him as Spike. Just before Spike was born, another Spike, a cat, died.

His namesake is a dead cat. Nice kid, and there was nothing Spike-like or cat-like about him, as far as I could tell.

This gif is freely copyable. Just right click, save
Powered by
RSSify at WCC

Powered by Blogger