It was six months ago today that Mary passed away. I sat at her bedside and held her hand while they disconnected her breathing tube to see if she could breathe on her own. It didn’t take long, and I soon learned the tube she’d been using for several years was more important for lung function that I’d previously assumed.
She was back in ICU because her heart kept stopping on her. On the previous Saturday of that week after I left to go to lunch, a friend told me he stood outside the door listening while they kept shocking her heart to get it going again. I guess she finally got tired of the discomfort of them doing that to her.
When I went back to see her Sunday morning I learned she’d made the decision in the early morning hours for them not to shock her heart again should it quit on her. They were making her comfortable and were no longer feeding her. I was glad the decision was made to see if she could breathe on her own as I didn’t want her to slowly starve until her heart finally stopped again.
For all the years I’d known her she’d expressed a fear of death. Now she didn’t want the pain anymore. I guess at some point we all reach our limits.
Her passing ended my weekly visits to see her, and I got on with my life. I guess I had emotionally severed my connection with her some years before. But Saturdays became a little quieter than usual… perhaps a little bit emptier.
Upon reflection, it occurs to me why I may have handled these last six months in reasonably good order. After all, I’m a sensitive soul and I’m watching my blood pressure. So something like this can affect a person in unseen medical ways. But in my case I seem to be doing all right. For you see, a Saturday tradition has still continued.
I’ve been working on a major writing project for a friend overseas. His gratitude is such that he’s been sending me money to eat out in restaurants I wouldn’t normally visit in my quest to be wise with my spending habits. He would tell me to go eat at a nice place on him after my visit with Mary. And those meals have continued. If anything, those meals have become a regular thing, much to my embarrassment at his generosity.
As I sit here and think about it, it may very well be that Saturdays have not significantly changed all that much other than my loss of a visit with Mary. I still go out to enjoy a nice meal, and I get to chat with friendly waitresses who have gotten to know me through my frequent visits. So in essence I believe he has unknowingly helped me through this time by keeping up something of a tradition so my life didn’t drastically change on the weekends.
Sometimes it helps to pause and reflect. And right now I find myself reflecting on this tradition that may have had more of an impact on helping with my grieving that I thought. Sometimes you just never know what will get you through a trying time.
I suppose if I thought about it further I would have to say that all of you have also helped me through this period. I have had to focus on what I will post next, what variety should I include, and what stories to prepare. It is hard to feel bad about a life event when you are running stories through your head trying to decide what tale to post that your readers might enjoy reading next.
So I want to thank you as well for helping me through these last six months. I strongly suspect it has not been as difficult as it might have been had I not had this outlet to pour my creativity into. So thank you so much for stopping by and for being there. Take care, and I do hope the holidays are special to all of you this year…