Death and a New Direction

Grief 2020

Grief 2019

Hello all you lovely people. I lost my password to this blog and was too out of it to find it. That pretty much prevented me from posting. The good news is that I stumbled across it the other day. The date next the user info was 2010. Wow! I’ve been at this blogging thing, off and on, for 10 years.

A lot has happened since my last post which I think was in May of 2019. Some good and some pretty damned horrible. The most horrible thing was that my beloved daughter died at the end of July. To say it ripped my heart out with a rusty chain saw would be an under statement. 😥

To those of you who are familiar with my writings about my daughter, you are aware that we had an extremely rocky relationship. She was mentally ill and refused any formal medical treatment. She self medicated with alcohol and some pretty hardcore drugs. I hadn’t heard from her in almost a year.

In mid July her ex husband informed me via Facebook instant messenger that she was in the hospital. (He didn’t have my phone number) Thank God for instant messenger. What he didn’t tell me was that he found her unresponsive with her eyes open.

I immediately hopped on a plane and flew up to Boston to be with her. It turns out that she had been sick with a bad cough for months, but refused to go to the doctor. During this time she had been drinking alcohol non stop and refusing to eat. As a result her weight had ballooned up to over 250 pounds. Her normal weight was about 160.

She had some kind of horrendous lung infection that spread to her other organs. They threw words at me like septic and ascites, which I think means free floating fluid in her abdomen. They tried suctioning the fluid in her lungs repeatedly, but they filled back up within a few hours. They were pumping her full of every kind of antibiotics known to man but it just wasn’t working. After 2 weeks they looked down into her lungs with a camera scope and saw that her lung tissue was completely destroyed. There was no coming back even if they beat the infection.

At this point I had to make the most difficult decision that anyone has to make for a loved one. The doctors told me that even if they put her on full blown life support she was so sick that she would only last a few weeks. So I asked the doctors to take her off life support and switch her to “comfort care.” I guess that’s what the medical staff like to call it. Doesn’t sound as dreadful as “give up and let the patient die.”

They did this at 5 p.m. Without the tube down her throat she was able to talk a little. At one point she asked “why is this happening to me?” I didn’t think it was the time to tell her about all the things she had done to her body. I just told her that she was very sick and that I was there with her.

I kind of went to this other worldly place. I didn’t have any sensation of time passing or any need to go for a walk or even use the restroom. It was really weird. I sat with her holding her hand from 5 p.m. until 5 a.m. Then she sort of breathed out in a huff and that was it…her last breathe. I put my head down and cried for the first time since this all started.

Things were sort of a blur after that. The nurse came in asked me if I was OK. How do you answer a question like that when your child has just died? Maybe they thought I was going to start screaming and ripping my hair out or jump out the window? A doctor came in and did the official time of death and whatever else. I was in shock at that point which was kind of a blessing. Total physical, emotional and spiritual overload.

Somehow I managed to order an Uber to go back to my hotel. I sat there in the back seat looking out at the growing dawn. Even as grief stricken as I was it occurred to me that in a way her passing was kind of a blessing. She had been profoundly unhappy for so long and wasn’t suffering any more. I will wish to my dying day that she had found a way out of her abyss of suffering that allowed her to remain alive and be happy.

So as far as new directions…..floundering around in grief for the last few months I’ve realized some important truths. Truths for me anyway. 1) life is a gift and it’s pretty short. Don’t put up with bullshit, negative people, etc. 2) Today is the day to start doing what you want or dream to do because tomorrow may not come. 2) Tell everyone that you love…that you love them. Don’t assume that they know. 3) It’s time to take myself seriously as an artist. It started out as a hobby, but it has morphed into a full blown love.

The picture above is a painting I did to express grief through art. It’s not totally original content. I searched Google images for “grief” for ideas.

So that’s all for now folks. Love to all and as always…thank you for listening.

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