Sunday, February 3, 2013


First, thank you for your caring comments. The blogging community is really great. It helped to be able to share feelings here and get feedback from you.

Mom goes in and out of being awake. She woke up on Thursday which was when I brought Pop to visit. He was angry at first, probably because he saw that the caregivers were still there and the bedroom had been rearranged to accommodate a small hospital bed.

His anger changed to sadness though when he saw Mom. He held her hand and tried to talk to her. I don't think she knew him because she didn't look at him. He told me he was sad. He also said that there was nothing he could do. I thought about the shock he must have felt to see the house again, his cat, and his wife in her current condition. After about an hour, I took him back to the nursing home. He didn't say a word on that drive.

I took him a milk shake and ice cream yesterday. I pushed his chair to the ice cream social where there was music and a singer. I watched a man who probably had a stoke doing his best to clap and move his arms to the music. Pop just sat, looking down at his lap. The bravado is gone, replaced with defeat. I hate to leave him, but he has made it impossible to bring him home. So much anger, fear and resentment has poisoned how he sees others and that has affected how they see him.

For now, we are all maintaining. The Hospice nurse comes every day. The cat, Pandora, sleeps on the hospital bed. I have taken photos that are too raw and personal to share here. I like what Annie Leibovitz said about her photography of partner Susan Sontag before and after death:
“You don’t get the opportunity to do this kind of intimate work except with the people you love, the people who will put up with you".


  1. She is having a slow death-labor. I think dying must be a lot of work in some cases. I wish it weren't so.
    When my mother died, I thought about taking her picture. I was alone in the room with her, I had my phone camera. I didn't. I couldn't. I almost took a picture of just her hand. Couldn't do that either.
    I'm not sad that I didn't. But you know- different circumstances for sure.
    You're being a good son-in-law. I hope there is release for everyone soon.

  2. I wish so much that I had taken some pictures when my mom was dying. I have never been a picture taker...I was always too busy managing everything to stop and document it. There is some humor in that statement, but its actually pretty sad.

    I am glad that the dad got to come home and see his wife. That seems like it was really the right thing to do. It is sad to watch people come to their base selves...its sad, but it is also part of the process that has to happen I think. I am keeping you and C and the parents in my prayers Syd. Thank you for sharing this with us and allowing us to walk with you in this virtual way.

  3. You and C are really doing Gods will and work here with both the parents....


    hugs xo

  4. i know it is hard man...i have talked about the death of my MIL....strength sent to you...i am glad he got to see her...though i feel bad for him as well...the fight going out of him....

  5. I can't even imagine how it hard it must be to be part of such sadness.
    Thinking of you, sending love and strength x

  6. Such kindness toward your father-in-law; it's touching especially as you have given us the back story before.

    Hope your wife is doing okay.

  7. You've lost both your parents doesn't get any easier I know. The beauty of having a spouse is that either of you can see your in laws a bit clearer to extend the grace and kindness to them that is really hard to do with your own parents. God is alot smarter about design than we give him credit for.

    You know Syd....we all get so wrapped up in our personal and professional goals but what you and C are doing right now with her parents is the most important job either of you will ever do. And so many people these days won't go through this process.

    I know it's difficult for all of you to deal with your Father in Law but Syd....thank you for doing the things you are doing. I often say grace is alot easier to practice when you read it in a book. You're doing the real thing.

    God Bless both of you and God bless the animals he sends to us. Pandora gets it in a way so many of us don't.

  8. Syd you are strong and this too shall pass. My prayers are will you.


  9. May all beings be peaceful.
    May all beings be happy.
    May all beings be well.
    May all beings be safe.
    May all beings be free from suffering.

  10. Such a hard time Syd -- you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. I can't imagine the pain. I will keep your father and mother in law in my prayers. Death is cruel and slow death is the cruelest of all.

  12. holding good thoughts for you Syd. Thank you for sharing tender and tough moments in your life , micky x

  13. Oh my goodness, I had no idea what you are going through. I like the notion of using intercessorary prayer as a way of wishing you (and your family) well.

  14. Syd, I am sorry you are going through this painful time. It is so painful to watch the suffering of those we love. You are doing a good job and you will have this for the rest of your life - to not regret.

  15. Just another note to let you know you, C and her family are in my prayers.

  16. You so aptly entitled this post "Maintaining", Syd. That's really about all you can do when going through such a trying time. Thank God for Hospice. My thoughts and prayers are with both you and C.


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