Obituary – The Send Off – Love, Loss and Grief

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of an incredible man, a wonderful Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Brother. George Joseph Gerald Gies passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 with his loving wife by his side, Deborah Gies (Cub).

 

Things we see and say that stay

 

The hardest part is getting over the visuals of you drifting a little further away from me daily. And looking into your eyes as they wanted to say so much, as pieces of you disappeared daily. I know your beautiful smiling face. I know that face that lights up whenever I’m in your presence. I still knew that face that could no longer speak, but you spoke with your eyes. You know I always knew what you meant, even if you couldn’t articulate it properly to me. I read your pain, I read your sadness, your fear, and your undying love for me remained always in your eyes. When your voice left us, I asked a million questions that you could still nod yes or no to. Until the day you died, when you couldn’t even do that anymore.

You couldn’t speak the last week you were here. I still scream and cry when I think about every little part of you God took away from me, a little each day. At first you could no longer walk, the very next day, you could no longer speak. But then I remembered our little hand signal we made up for each other. I still can’t remember how it came to be, but I think it was me who once said – as a joke- that in case something ever happened to you or I and we couldn’t talk, we had our own secret hand signal for ‘I love you’. I pulled that old trick out of the bag and would make that signal to you and you did the same back to me. You see, after all, my silly little games did come in handy.

You ate your last meal six days before you died, the day you came home from your last hospital stint, six days before you would die at home in our bed. I know I got lucky one morning after and fed you oatmeal. There was no more after that. I fed you your juice, water, gingerale in short sips, til another day passed and I’d cut the straws to help you sip the liquid your constantly dry mouth yearned for. The next day you blew bubbles in the glass, no longer having the strength to suck up through the straw. But I was well-armed with ideas. The next day I fed you water by teaspoon, like a battered little bird, mama bird did her best to get liquids into you. The next day I was resolved to dipping the sponge sticks in water to get some liquid into you. Eventually, you couldn’t suck on that anymore either. I kept putting Vaseline on your parched lips, intermittent between my kisses. I lost count on how many times a day and night I told you, “I love you Puppy”. I never felt it was enough. I never wanted you to forget. Kind of like one night only two weeks before when we could still converse and even make the odd joke. You stirred in your sleep that night and woke over a dozen times calling me, “Cub, Cub.” I snapped my head up in fear and asked, what’s the matter honey, and you’d reply the same thing each time I asked.

“I love you Cub.” Maybe it was two dozen times, I didn’t think then to count, but I’ll always remember that night you felt compelled to tell me you loved me, many times over, as though urgent that I know. But I know. And I knew. I always knew because you never ever let one day pass without kissing me, hugging, and telling me how much you loved me. In my worst and ugliest moments, you had the face to still call me your ‘beauty queen’. I was the luckiest girl in the whole world to be so loved by one man. And now I’m only the loneliest girl in the world.

 

shattered

 

I held your hand in your hour of passing. I shared your pillow and wrapped my arm around you and kissed your ashened, boney face – the face that was once full chipmunk cheeked with an always rosey complexion that had become a mere little boy face. You struggled to breathe as the fluid was drowning your lungs. I knew God was taking you away that morning. I never left your side. The gurgling brook within you stopped, I felt your heart flutter for an instant and your throat appeared as though there was a golf ball in it. And you went silent. Only then did I give you permission to leave. I jumped off the bed and opened the window wide and set your soul free to be taken by the angels. And that was the last moment of US.

There are no other words to describe the boulder that resides in my chest now. The boulder that is crushing my heart and making it difficult to breathe so many times a day – and night. Is it any wonder I don’t eat? Who can eat when they’re perpetually full – full of heartache, crushing pain filling me up where the digestion system usually alerts to feeding time. I’m blocked in head and heart. And the pain is unrelenting.

sadness

 

I’m so far from acceptance as I still talk to you and hug your pillow anytime I walk into our bedroom. The loss of you will never be filled by anything or anyone else. I love you too much, as I know you loved me. You know I always worried about you, and that doesn’t stop. Or, it won’t stop until I receive a sign or visit from you, so that you can let me know you’re all better and in your new life, and perhaps you could leave little signs that you are around and you will watch over me. Just maybe then I can stop playing those movie reels of your sufferance over and over in my mind if you come back and let me know you are in peace. Maybe then my own hell will begin to ease, and with patient baby steps, I may finally reach that bridge to acceptance that you are really gone.

 

I love you to the moon my Puppy.

Your forever Cub. 💕

 

@DGKaye2021

 

Miss you

 

Flying Solo – Goodbye – Announcement

For those of you who haven’t heard, my beloved husband, Puppy, has left his suffering and me behind. He passed with me by his side on Wednesday, April 7th, and I buried him Friday, April 9th.

I’d managed to leave him Monday for a short time to run out and purchase our plots – and fulfilled his wish of being buried together one day. Then dashed home quickly, as I knew he was on days – possibly hours. I’ve been living in a fog ever since, just going through the motions, orchestrating the miniscule funeral service of only 15 allowed, thanks to the never-ending Covid that permanently resides in our city. Gratefully, we were allowed up to 50 at the burial service, but that didn’t make it any more comforting.

My husband was a great man, not just because I thought so, but because of every single person who knew him will tell you the same. He spent over half a century in the automotive business, and so many knew and respected him. I wish some of the many could have been at the service to speak more about this gentle giant of a man who really only stood 5′ 6″ tall. Again, Covid has taken so much away from his final parting, as it has for so very many people globally.

I can’t say a lot more right now, as my heart is scattered in just too many pieces. But I wanted to let you all know, as so many of you have been so loving and supportive through this horrendous journey of loss with me through messages, calls, cards and more. Your support has meant the world to me, so please know that.

As with what comes along with my loss, are the many legal issues to be taken care of in this upcoming week – banks, investments, government, insurance, and more. Not to mention,  I must complete income taxes. Not a pretty week ahead, then once I get all the paperwork done, I’ll begin cleaning out ‘our life’ accumulations and allow myself to grieve properly because I must continue to be stoic and keep my head in the game, and once I let myself fall apart, who knows when I will begin to rise again.

I do hope to be getting back to blogland in another week or so, once the must do’s are done. In the meantime, I’m going to share here what I posted on FB when he passed:

 

My heart is crushed for the passing of my Puppy. Covid restrictions have made this horrendous event even worse with only allowing 15 people at the funeral service that I know would have brought hundreds as he was loved by all who knew him. He was in the car business for over 50 years and respected and known by many in the industry. I will mourn in Shiva til Monday night at home with visitors coming by appointment, instead of the usual open door to any and all who wish to visit.

I have requested that any donations please be made to North York General Hospital palliative care unit, the doctors and nurses have been so wonderful to my husband for the past several years. Special mention to Dr. David Baron and his assistant Lisa, who went to bat for us many times over to get my husband into the hospital during Covid regulations, and to enable me to visit my husband every day he was in hospital for a few hours, despite the Covid rules of only 2 hours a week! Thank you to the LHIN health care and VHA provided by wonderful compassionate people with their staff and services. And thank you all for your most heartfelt condolences through messages and emails. And I promise when I catch my breath, I will return calls and reply.

My Puppy

 

Slippers

 

I keep them by your beside – for now.

I’m not ready to remove them, just as I was not ready for your removal from my life.

 

©DGKaye2021

angels

 

 

A Short Visit and a Variety of Thoughts and Happenings

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I thought I could do everything. But I can’t. My first priority is, as has always been my loving “Puppy”, and our time together is growing short. I am his caregiver. I am his wife. And he is the love of my life, so I need not have to elaborate how triply difficult this journey is. Trying to suck it all up 24/7 so I can keep him happy and talk about happy things.  I may have done wrong by keeping him optimistic, knowing full well I was lying to myself and him. But I am newly over denial, and reality sucks.

I’ve taken this quiet time out to post here for a bit of this and that, and not quite sure when I will get the time to write again as my husband is in end stages, palliative at home, every day is stolen time. This whirlwind mountain of actual what the fuck, had taken me into a tailspin since the horrifying diagnosis and me trying to make like there was hope when there is none. I will also blame goddamned Covid and no doctor visits because I believe if they saw him in the past year, all the tests would have been done then. So yes, I BLAME COVID, like the thousands of people dying of non Covid ailments because of no doctor visits.

I won’t even allow myself to think of our good times, as that would just throw me over the edge. I function on autopilot. I do whatever I can, and if it means a few weeks of no sleeping, so be it. I’m 24/7. My always strong, smiling, loving husband is like my child now and I continue to fight for him, and I am thrilled at the most amazing doctors and palliative teams of nurses and personal support workers, and our country’s health system. I’m getting a bird’s eye view of what goes on when you’re actually living the experience.

This is the hardest job I’ve ever had in my life. And it’s something you can’t begin to explain. One who has walked the shoes only knows how affecting it is to be an eye witness. I’m an empath. These are the parts in books and movies I squint my eyes at, or fast forward. I feel the pain and the sorrow of others, and it’s cutting. And I’m smack in the middle of it. I cannot allow myself the time to grieve as I’m living it and because I must soldier on. I cannot allow my brain to wander over to the ‘after’ part and all that comes – and leaves, with it. So I don’t focus on it, I just keep to what’s in front of me one day at a time.

So much is going on daily here with nurses and support workers and phone calls and and medical supply deliveries, and I had to call 911 for the last time last Sunday again to try and save him one more time. He came home Thursday by ambulance to live the time he has left, at home with his Cub. I’ve learned to operate in numb-like mode, on autopilot. I dare not take any thought of what will be when he is no more. He is now bedridden since his last return and won’t eat, only sleeps. I thought I was losing him Thursday night, but my warrior husband is still here. He can’t talk but he can nod his head.

We’ve struggled our whole marriage about where we would ‘go’ once we leave this earth, as our religions are different and I never wanted to talk of such things. My bad indeed.  But I am grateful to my brother who did the legwork for me, and I have an appointment on Monday to purchase plots ten minutes away from where I live. They have a section for inter-faith marriages – something that was sparse 20 years ago.  I’m pretty sure I’ll need a Valium on Monday.

Time is very precious at this time, and I’m plum worn to the bone, so I’m not sure when I will post again. But I wanted to update you all here, as I’ve been getting so many emails, texts and messages of love and support from many of my friends and answer only when I get a short minute. I know my very good friend Sally Cronin has been keeping my online presence alive and I’m sorry I can’t like, comment or share, but just know, I will be back after this journey. I most definitely won’t be the same person as I once was, but surely, I will have much to write about.

Thank you all for your love and support and keep the love coming as somehow, it does help.

 

©DGKaye2021

bitmo live laugh love

Because life is never guaranteed.

#BookReview #Memoir – Mourning Has Broken – Carol Balawyder

book reviews

Today I’d like to share my book review of author Carol Balawyder’s book, Mourning has Broken.

You may have noticed the date of this review was from two years ago, after I first read it. But as I have always enjoyed and reviewed Carol’s books, it only recently came to my attention that I’d forgot to post the review here.

Carol is a versatile writer. Besides her writing this poignant memoir on love, loss and grief, Carol also has a fiction book series about a group of girlfriends and how each of them deal with relationship issues, love gone wrong, and self esteem as they approach their middle years.  She is also working on a new crime series, as her background will tell you she was once a criminologist and taught Police Technology and Corrections in a college.

You can have a look at Carol’s books Here on Her Amazon Page.

Carol's book

5 Star – A Heartwarming Accounting on Grief

By D.G. Kaye on February 24, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

The author conveys her emotions she battled during the mourning process on the loss of her parents and more deeply on the loss of her sister. I felt as though her beautiful literary prose was her aid in announcing her healing.
Balawyder invites us in to share in her well-travelled life and shares her deep insights into her grieving process. She raises some of the valid questions we ask ourselves when we have lost a loved one or going through the transition of losing a loved one. Questions encompass things such as, could I have done more, did I say all that I had to say and there is much discussion about the sometimes difficult discomfort of saying “I love you.”
Her inner turmoil is expressed deeply and I would recommend this book to anyone who has loved and lost or perhaps may be going through the process of losing someone dear.

Aunties Love us Unconditionally – #Grief #Loss

angel heart

cherish-1016983_1280 Aunty LeeAunties can see our point of views sometimes better than our moms. They can step outside of the box and see both sides when children are in conflict with their moms. They can nurse the wounds we sometimes feel inflicted on us by our moms. They know best about their sister’s character flaws. They do not judge nor condemn.

angel heart

My Aunty Lee. A very clever woman; perhaps not with schooled education, but street-wise. She was a lover of life and her family, a woman who wore her battle scars bravely. She was the second youngest of six siblings. My aunt stood by and buried them all – all much too young to die, including herself. She also buried a husband at a young age and fended for herself and children and only a few short years ago, she buried her son who suffered terribly with Crohn’s disease, a dreaded bowel disease that four cousins, including myself inherited somewhere down the line from dysfunct genes.

I never heard her complain, nor question the griefs she had lived through. A true testament of a woman of strength. Never afraid to speak up when she found an injustice. That was my Aunty Lee. She never condemned, nor condoned me or my siblings for not talking to our mother, her sister, for she had tasted that wrath many times herself, yet never walked away.

angel cemetary

The last brave thing I remember her doing was only a few months ago when we were sitting shiva for my mother after she passed, an old friend of my mother’s had come to pay her respects and when she snubbed her nose at me and my sister as though we didn’t exist for no longer being in our mother’s life, my aunt spoke up. She told her that we are all in mourning together, no matter what our differences were and not to make judgments on us, for nobody else has walked in our shoes. I was touched beyond belief. The woman left.

That was the last brave thing I remembered before my aunt hadn’t been feeling well with stomach problems. She went to the doctor who had ordered up a colonoscopy. That revealed a blockage she went a few weeks later to have rectified by laproscopic surgery. Only then when they looked inside, they decided to close her up when they found a multitude of stomach tumours plus ovarian cancer. The next day they sentenced her with a few weeks to live.

I’d been to visit her several times. To look at her one wouldn’t even know she was sick. Her spirit was good, we shared true laughter – and intermittently we shared tears. “I don’t want to die” she said. In her next breaths, she proceeded to tell me her plans to finalize things and prepare for the next world as though sharing a nonchalant story.

My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015
My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015

Who does that? Who goes in for a test and a minor surgery and has the grim reaper give them a death sentence and yet carry on so stoicly in their moments of fear? My Aunty Lee does, and she did. She was brave through it all, while she kept us sane, always with a smile.

They sentenced her with three weeks to live in January, and she soldiered on until today, Thursday June 4th. The last female standing of the strong matriarchal lineage. Now the torch to keep the family binds are handed down to me, my sister and two female cousins.

angel wing

 

God has rested your soul Aunty Lee. You are with your son and so much family we have lost through the years. We will miss you terribly, but we know you will watch over us from above.

DGKaye©2015

 

 

Waiting for a Call: Love, Loss, and Continuing Bonds – Elaine Mansfield

Elaine MansfieldReblogged from www.ElaineMansfield.com

Elaine is a most compassionate person and a most beautiful writer. She shares her grief of the deep loss of her beloved husband in a lot of her writing and in her sharing she extends her compassion and strength. Her words are eloquently written and the messages she conveys in her writing are deeply moving. I couldn’t help but read this with tears in my eyes, yet at the same time take in her beautiful message. – A Love Story

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Elaine Mansfield

via Waiting for a Call: Love, Loss, and Continuing Bonds – Elaine Mansfield.