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Old 10-13-2018, 10:15 AM
 
4,826 posts, read 2,142,556 times
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This morning (as I routinely do) I stopped by to check on my elder uncle. I go about getting his meds ready for the week. In the mist of the visits we converse on any concerns or incidents that he has incurred. He glibly says .. you know Katherine has not been answering her phone. ? To give history, she was a kind lady that went to school with my uncle and my mom. She had been that strength of compassion in my life when I lost my mom. Ever the attentive and caring soul. Thru the years I often carried a deep regard for her.
So after hearing my uncles' slight concern...I checked our parish newsletter. Sadly...there was her name in our bulletin. She had passed earlier this month. I hadn't been in touch with her as much as I would have liked..
So reading of this really stalled my heart.
My uncle..simply said...' well she Was 'OLD' . And walked away. I was too shocked at that point. As if her entire life came to a gee whiz moment. A tear welled up and I got up to leave. My uncle just doesn't have it in him to be compassionate. He quite frankly doesn't get into any touchy Feely kinda talk. Unless it's to talk of his Dad who he glorifies. That's probably the only time I've witnessed my uncle grieve ..
So I reckon I just need to hear from folks on how they got the 'news' of a departed soul? I'm just now absorbing this news (semi shock yet)..
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:31 AM
 
Location: SWFL
21,422 posts, read 18,139,040 times
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I got the news of my mother, father and husband all over the phone.

Mom was already dead when Dad called but she was still a little warm by the time I got to the house.

Couldn't make it to the hospital up in Boston in time to say goodbye to Dad.

The one night I forgot to take my cellphone to bed with me, my hubby died and that wretched hospice did not call the house phone. It wasn't until I called when I woke up and they said "how are you, Mrs. *********?" To which I replied "YOU tell ME!" Then I get "I'm sorry...." and I have no recollection of anything else she said.

Now I see notices of my old friends, 3 in just this past September alone, on FB and our class website.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
This morning (as I routinely do) I stopped by to check on my elder uncle. I go about getting his meds ready for the week. In the mist of the visits we converse on any concerns or incidents that he has incurred. He glibly says .. you know Katherine has not been answering her phone. ? To give history, she was a kind lady that went to school with my uncle and my mom. She had been that strength of compassion in my life when I lost my mom. Ever the attentive and caring soul. Thru the years I often carried a deep regard for her.
So after hearing my uncles' slight concern...I checked our parish newsletter. Sadly...there was her name in our bulletin. She had passed earlier this month. I hadn't been in touch with her as much as I would have liked..
So reading of this really stalled my heart.
My uncle..simply said...' well she Was 'OLD' . And walked away. I was too shocked at that point. As if her entire life came to a gee whiz moment. A tear welled up and I got up to leave. My uncle just doesn't have it in him to be compassionate. He quite frankly doesn't get into any touchy Feely kinda talk. Unless it's to talk of his Dad who he glorifies. That's probably the only time I've witnessed my uncle grieve ..
So I reckon I just need to hear from folks on how they got the 'news' of a departed soul? I'm just now absorbing this news (semi shock yet)..
As we get older, the inevitability of death becomes increasingly apparent and in odd ways less significant. While such a statement might seem callous, underneath it is your uncle's recognition and acceptance that the event will soon overtake him as well. The strong reaction of a younger person may simply not be there.
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,690 posts, read 21,741,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamiznluv View Post
I got the news of my mother, father and husband all over the phone.

Mom was already dead when Dad called but she was still a little warm by the time I got to the house.

Couldn't make it to the hospital up in Boston in time to say goodbye to Dad.

The one night I forgot to take my cellphone to bed with me, my hubby died and that wretched hospice did not call the house phone. It wasn't until I called when I woke up and they said "how are you, Mrs. *********?" To which I replied "YOU tell ME!" Then I get "I'm sorry...." and I have no recollection of anything else she said.

Now I see notices of my old friends, 3 in just this past September alone, on FB and our class website.
Unfortunately, stuff like that happens. When my husband was in the hospital for the last time, they did call, but I was in such a deep sleep that the phone didn't wake me. I couldn't sleep when it was dark outside, so I slept from about 6 AM until 9 AM or so. I was very sleep deprived. They called the local police and asked asked them to find me. Loud knocking on my front door worked.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:08 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,422 posts, read 18,139,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
Unfortunately, stuff like that happens. When my husband was in the hospital for the last time, they did call, but I was in such a deep sleep that the phone didn't wake me. I couldn't sleep when it was dark outside, so I slept from about 6 AM until 9 AM or so. I was very sleep deprived. They called the local police and asked asked them to find me. Loud knocking on my front door worked.
Yup, sorry, G.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:40 PM
 
4,826 posts, read 2,142,556 times
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Thank you each for taking the time to gather your experiences and put them here.
This is probably one of the few forums where I hestate to rate a post ..it seems so unkind to say...hey! I like your tragedy. Perhaps a simple I support your strength in telling it to the community is more the goal.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:51 PM
 
18,756 posts, read 6,129,215 times
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I don't get too surprised anymore as one gets up there in years. It's the younger ones that go so early or some of the horrible accidents where families all go. Like the one in NY recently, so many young people died.

Some up there in years are happy to go, my dad wanted to go and his heart kept him going...finally it gave in at 95, he was so tired of "hanging in".

I don't think males show their emotions like females anyway. And don't have the same make up anyway. They probably don't hurt as much as females emotionally.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:55 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,422 posts, read 18,139,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
Thank you each for taking the time to gather your experiences and put them here.
This is probably one of the few forums where I hestate to rate a post ..it seems so unkind to say...hey! I like your tragedy. Perhaps a simple I support your strength in telling it to the community is more the goal.
That's okay, Nov3. We know a rep from this forum doesn't mean someone likes your tragedy. It's actually a kind of hug, imo. I hugged you!
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:38 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,402 posts, read 5,203,318 times
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Default "Receiving the Notice" on Three Parents

My natural father - January 5, 1973

On December 15, 1972 (the day I consider that I "received the notice" though not his DOD) I was a 15 year old high school sophomore. I came home from school that icy day, hoping that the Holiday concert I was due to perform in wasn't going to be snowed or iced out.

My father had had a rectal cancer resected in late August 1971. After a promising start he began developing pains in July 1972. He had a liver scan and his doctor flat-out lied to him about the results; they told him it was "clear." While he had his good days, many days were increasingly painful by October. My doctor said he told my mother the outlook and at some level I think he was telling me the truth. When he gave my mother a surprise party on November 7, 1972, her 40th birthday, I think she was pretty sure it was near the end, though he still went to work in NYC every day.

He had another liver scan on November 24, the day after Thanksgiving. His doctor told my mother that he was close to death, though that day he felt well enough we even talked about his returning to the ski slopes that winter. His last day of work was December 8; he was checked into New Rochelle Hospital on December 11, a Monday. One of the doctors there told my mother "don't you think it's time you told your son"?

When I came home she tried to be indirect. It didn't work, since I knew from my reading at the library what the real outlook for his disease was. I insisted on calling his doctor, since teh lack of candor seriously bothered me. He told me he had told her in October, but that he knew from before the 1971 operation my father was finished. I called my cousin in another state, who confirmed that I had read the literature correctly. That night, since my mother didn't feel up to driving, I took a cab to the High School to play at the concert. It was too icy to bike the six or so miles.

I wanted to tell my father what his fate was to be. My mother would not permit me to do that. my father died on January 5, 1973, exactly four weeks later. The Rabbi's review of Jewish approaches to death and mourning revived my interest in the Jewish religion.

================================================== ===================
My stepfather, December 24, 2013

My stepfather was put into rehab on or about December 1, 2013, after a short hospital stay. It took them until December 20 to determine he wasn't "rehabilitating." This was a day or two before rehabilitation coverage was going to run out. On December 21, 2013 one of my two stepsisters received the call asking for permission to place him on hospice. I was asked to decide for the family. I recommended consenting and my advice was followed. The next day my older stepsister received a call asking for consent to give him morphine, which was administered the morning of December 23, again based upon my recommendation. Note, I wouldn't formally make the decision since I was not a blood relative.

He died early in the morning on December 24. 2013. I handled about 85% of the eulogy; the Rabbi, my younger stepsister (almost exactly my age) and my then 17 year old son did the other 15%.

================================================== =========================
My Mother, December 17, 2014

My mother died on December 17, 2014, a Wednesday, exactly 51 weeks after my stefather's death. My wife visited the preceding Saturday, December 13, 2014 with our son, my mother's grandson. I normally went on Saturdays to arrange for the live-in caregiver to sign her "slips" for long-term care, but my wife handled that. The net result is that they were the last ones to see her alive.

I "received the notice" from the caregiver, who called me at work, at 4:15 p.m. My boss urged me to go home. I told him I wanted to call the synagogue and funeral home from work so I could make those calls before answering service hours.

This death was a major relief to me; she had been on hospice since February, and only sporadically responsive in the last two months of her "life." This was following about two years of dementia (and an earlier spell lasting about two months the previous year), two cancer operations during the six and a half years preceding death, and a lot of tension when I took away the car keys.

================================================== ============================
Current mourning

I have arranged for all three names to be read in synagogue the same night.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:35 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
3,995 posts, read 1,774,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nov3 View Post
... I'm just now absorbing this news (semi shock yet)..
Yes; shock is a good way to put it. My mom died on March 25, 2017, & it still seems very surreal. She was 75. Had CHF. But something still seems off.

My dad was on his way to pick her up from Rehab ... we didn't get ANY call! He pulls up in front to see multiple first responders milling around, runs inside & the code was already over. A firefighter called me for him & when I got there, they were still all there. I called everybody else personally.

When I first worked in LTC in the early 1990's I noticed a certain stoicism with elders that is different from how my generation is with grief. It may be as simple as that with your uncle but I can certainly understand your feeling of dissonance; I am sorry for this loss & I am sure you are in shock from it all.

Now, my aunt (Mom's sister) died at age 56 in 2000 from cancer, just a few months after my grandpa did. She had told nobody. Sworn her husband & daughter to silence. Eighteen years later & I am still trying to wrap my brain around it.

She was an M.D. & a Ph.D. in Immunology. In 1994 she discovered not only the vaccine for HIV but a vaccine that would mitigate the HIV present in an already infected person. It was huge. She was hosted by the WHO for international lectures & the gay community; at the height of their activism against an alleged government coverup, publicized the discovery worldwide.

Shortly after securing her patents & during the development phase; the US government ... pulled her funding & 3 years later, she was dead. Time Magazine later published an article stating that HIV vaccines were a waste of time to pursue as nothing had shown any promise yet. Bull.

Not only was her cancer one of the rare cancers she had been researching but I ran across her assistant's blog a few months ago & she is also suffering from an autoimmune disease that they had researched during that time as well.

I'm not alleging any misconduct on anyone's part to explain any irrational grief (other than the funding part); it's just that I'm left with this feeling of incompleteness. Unfinished business, I think it's called.

Finally, my first daughter; for whom there was no notice barring a mothers intuition from the second I opened my eyes that morning & heard just one crying baby. She was a twin.

I was so focused on CPR that it took 4 firefighters to pry her from my arms. I don't remember the emergency room doctor's words. He shook his head & I hit the floor. That one felt like a psychic split. Almost audible; like a veil being ripped in two, at one point it seemed as though I was looking at the whole scene from outside of myself.

Life is a short & precious mystery.
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