Watching my greatest love

I’m sitting vigil all night with J. Amy and J’s sister Kris will be coming back to relieve me at around 9-10 am.

I have to say that this is by far the most difficult and gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever done in my whole life: watching J prepare to leave this world.

Things have progressed so much faster in less than 24 hours.

Yesterday, I felt sure that he’d need hospice to bring out a shower chair. He told hospice that he didn’t need a bedside commode.

Today, he is using a urinal bottle because he’s too weak to stand up at all. And I’m pretty sure he’s wearing the shirt he’ll die in (fittingly, a Clash t-shirt.) I can’t see him ever taking a shower again.

He hasn’t eaten anything today at all and barely takes sips of water.

He’s fading in and out of consciousness and he can’t seem to get comfortable. I have liquid morphine and liquid Ativan to give him, and nebulizer treatments to give him every 6 hours to help him breathe better.

He always looks forward to those nebulizer treatments but then always apologizes for having such a weak cough. I always tell him that he has nothing to apologize for and that he’s doing great.

The hospice nurse said the nebulizer treatments should help him cough up more of the fluid in his lungs but I think that was extremely optimistic and naive.

The hospice nurse also said he would have a nurse aide come out on Monday but I am pretty sure that he won’t make it that long.

He’s constantly telling me “I love you, beautiful bird” and telling each of the kids when they come in the room that he loves them, too.

A lot of what he says is garbled or sentence fragments but the “I love yous” are always clear as can be.

Sometimes when I lean over to check on him or give him medicine, he kisses me (and once pulled me in for a hug.) He is showing his love for us until the very end.

It’s extremely cold in the house; the temperature is set at 65 F because the pneumonia makes him feel hot. But his skin and his lips are extremely cold (as is every part of me.)

I am honestly just in shock about how quickly everything has unraveled since his hospitalization. Every day, there has been a considerable decline.

I am the only one on duty tonight and I don’t know how I’m going to get through it. It’s terrifying and I can’t help him, other than by administering drugs. I probably could be giving them more often but he doesn’t often say he wants them (or I can’t understand him.)

I am just watching him writhe in pain or trying unsuccessfully to find a comfortable position. I feel so helpless.

I don’t feel like I have the courage to do this but he keeps telling me that he loves me. So how could I not?

1 Comment

  1. I am so sorry for everything you and your family are going through. I know your husband loves you and you love him, so right now you are doing the best you can. Please do not forget to still take care of yourself during these painful days and I hope you have others around you to help you or at least listen. Please reach out to me anytime if you need to vent, you have my email and I will give you my cell. Say strong and safe.

    Liked by 2 people

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