One of the weirdest feelings I have had during this last year is when people try to sympathise with me, sadness in their eyes and question how this has "happened" to me, I am so confused. I have questioned this in my head over and over because why not me? There is no reason for any of this. I am sitting with this today as I read the words of Ken Rose as he let go of his wife last night after her battle with brain cancer. Usually I write in clear paragraphs how I feel but today it came out in another way. I am in no way a poet but as I did some small odd jobs around the house this is what came out and thoughts rolled around and trying to make sense of why not me:
Do I get to see tomorrow or is it my time
Is this really the mountain that I have to climb
They say I don't deserve this, it is not fair
But who does deserve this, who's cross to bare
I am a stronger warrior if I see another day
or is it the ones that fight and gracefully fade away
Is it all just in the balance, is it just left to chance
Did I use my time wisely and say yes to the dance
Hold onto joy that I got through in one piece
But hold quilt as around me other lives cease
It is not for me to question if one day that could be me
I'm grateful for today and pray I see what I need to see
I asked Ken if I could post his post to my blog, here is his post of his final moments with Deborah, kiss and love the ones around you!!!
This is the final chapter. I Wrote this for Glioblastoma Support Group that has been so helpful for me during this journey.
So how do I start, when this is the end?
At 7:59 on Friday the 13th, My sweet, intelligent, beautiful Deborah departed. At that moment, my world did not fall apart. That might shock you as it certainly surprised me. I am not devastated because I have spent too many days hop...ing that Deb would be freed of “The Beast” that had invaded her brain. I was destroyed with her ten months ago when it was revealed what we could never imagine, “You have a very aggressive malignant brain tumour.” I didn’t comprehend then that it was a Glioblastoma Multiforme, or how deadly it really was. But, I was scared, and I went into mourning immediately. We grieved every step, ever test, every treatment, every crisis. For Deborah it was a steady and rocky decline. I’m not going to deceive you, because if you are on this Facebook page you are either going through this as a recipient or a caregiver. No one gets out of this life alive but for the warriors and those who love them the war has already started. For Deb and I, it mercifully ended last night. We both were released. She to a better place and I to remain on this side of the plain to celebrate our love and her life. I don’t know where she went, but I’m damn sure it was far improved from the death march that steadily consumed her mind and body. I’m not Christian, but I have close friends that are and I invited them over to pray for Deborah when I saw that she was getting ready to leave this realm. I was moved by the Psalm they read, by the Prayers they offered, and by the love of Jesus they so fervently believe in. The truth be told, I was not going to leave any stone unturned. From the beginning Deborah and I tried to live our lives with kindness, compassion and love for ourselves and others. When we realized that our journey together was going to be challenged and that the diagnosis was fatal we reaffirmed our love, and our vows. We didn’t do this at an alter, nor in a ceremony or in front of our loved ones, we never have. We did it behind a drawn curtain in a hospital room, with a farting room mate recuperating from surgery beside us as witness. Until the moment she died we kept our hearts interlocked and so it will remain. Death does not destroy what we had, it lifts it heavenly. It becomes mythical. No, I only felt joy when I realized Deb had taken her last breath. We both were released. I can understand your scepticism if you’ve never experienced this before, but I was the one to stop her food and water nine days earlier. I administered the morphine and another sedating drug each day when I thought she may need it. There was no nurse, no doctor. Only me, at home, lying next to my wife wondering if she was in pain, if she was conscious. My mission was to keep her comfortable and to get her to the finish line, sooner rather than later. I wanted no more suffering for Deb, our family and friends. I felt I had said everything I wanted to say to her for eight days. Many told me that it was important for me to tell her that I would be alright and she had permission to leave. But, I had the feeling as I was reassuring her that she was looking back at me and thinking, “you talking to me? I’ll go when I say so.” So knowing that she must be tired of me repeating myself, even with words of love and gratitude, I took a different tactic. A friend had sent a link on YouTube to a Nat King Cole song: L.O.V.E. I decided to play it for her. It was so poignant and beautiful. When it finished playing the Personal Care Worker asked me what music Deb listened to. For a second I was blank, but then her play list starting forming. I searcher a Louis Armstrong tune, What A Wonderful World and played it. Then, I played Three tunes by Van Morrison. Someone Like You; Have I Told You Lately that I Love You and Into the Mystic. Two of the three songs had me in tears! Then I played, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Somewhere Over The Rainbow. I followed that beautiful song by three renditions of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. One by him, one by Rufus Waignright, and one by KD Lang Then we listened to Prayer, a duet by Andrea Bocelli and Josh Grogan.
On Debs last day on earth, I played lots of the same songs plus additions, but when Deborah’s breathing started speeding up and getting loud and laboured I had a bad feeling. So I brought my head alongside hers and draped my arm over her chest and held her. I then softly told her that I wanted her to fill her head with only beautiful thoughts. I told her it was time to not be scared but to picture all the people she loved who were waiting for her. I told her that I was going to let go of her and that in a short time her father would take her by the hand, and lead her and take care of her, again. I told her that her aunts and uncles, her grandparents and Myrtle our deceased cat will be there. I told her to think of everyone and everything she loves. I remember mentioning flowers, cats, horses and cows even ice cream. I told her it was time to take the jump, and it would be just like jumping into our favourite swimming place on Black Lake. I reminded her how she was always brave and jumped into the lake before me, always in delight. I told her to do it now, to let go and jump. I wanted her mind to be overflowing with the places, the sights, the sounds even the tastes that she loved. I didn’t want the smallest amount of space in her head available for her to be scared or afraid. Suddenly she made a gentle moan, and her breathing softened. I had put in a Tourtiere, a traditional Quebec meat pie, to have for dinner previously in the oven and when she relaxed I thought that the crisis was over and I reluctantly got up to eat because it was almost eight o’clock. I sat on the edge of the bed to eat when the Personal Care Worker called my name and said Deb had stopped breathing. She had often stopped in the last 48 hours only to start again. I considered it practice for the real thing. But this time she attempted another breath but it never came and I quickly was by her side holding her as she made her final quiver and was gone. I was equally as quiet and calm as Deborah. I basked in the moment, overwhelmed with grace. I had no tears left. I felt at peace. I still do. I know that my friends and family will be with me as I start navigating the world without the woman I love. I feel gratitude for all of you who traveled on this journey with me. You touched me with every comment, and your support has been overwhelming. Let’s keep helping each other get through this. Don’t give up hope, there is beauty and love in life and it supersedes and outlives the pain. Sweet dreams. See More