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D.G. Kaye,  grief and loss,  Life and Loss,  Online communications,  Seasons,  Status report

The Clearing – Updates – Moving, Grief and Loss

It’s been awhile since I popped into my own blog to chat. But, holy crap, it’s the middle of June and I feel like I’ve been living within a cyclone since last Christmas, without stopping to take a breath. First, late last fall my worries about my husband’s health, in and out of hospitals for various things, yet nobody realizing the real culprit – cancer. Then the diagnosis, then my husband lives, barely, another 5 weeks. Heck, I didn’t even have the official diagnosis back before a doctor introduced herself during one of my hospital visits, alerting me she’s a ‘palliative’ doctor. Palliative??? Right in that moment was when the numbness struck me. I’m still numb in many ways.

 

I knew my husband had something bad happening to him before the edict was read, but I wouldn’t even let my mind visit the thought that he was going to die. I couldn’t. The minute I’d allow myself to go ‘there’, I knew I could never pull myself out of that black hole of fear. I had to stay strong for him, give him hope – even when he knew there wasn’t any, I thought I would keep the positive thoughts and chat going. I never shed a tear because I knew if I did I may never stop. And I certainly wasn’t showing any fear to my husband. I ate it up. I didn’t even feel, and still don’t, that I was living in my own body. Like some invisible hydraulic system is towing me along to keep going and keep doing. Don’t stop.

I haven’t stopped all year. In his final week, bedridden, my beloved husband could no longer walk or talk. The reality of what was to come was top of my mind, yet, I kept pushing it away and kept doing. I knew I was on limited time and I didn’t want to spend one minute away from my husband, but I had to go buy a plot for him. For us. I also didn’t want him to know where I was going, even though he knew I never left his side unless he was asleep. He knew where I was going.

I witnessed my husband living between two worlds in his last days. Before he lost his voice, he’d wake at night several times to tell me he loved me. Other nights I’d wake to him calling out, raising his arms, eyes closed, to his dead sister Grace and his dead daughter Sue.

Unfortunately, I’ve had enough experience with being around death to know all the steps that lead to the finality. The on call palliative doc had come around the day before George died and told me ‘the most he had left was a week’, I looked him in the eye and told him my husband won’t live another 24 hours. There’s no glory in being right.

I lay beside him when his eyes opened that next morning and held his hand for dear life as I listened to his own life fade within. From silence to gurgling. I just lay there telling him I loved him as I do 100 times a day, still. And then I cried. And quite honestly, I haven’t really stopped.

In the deepest moments of unbearable grief, I had to make funeral arrangements. A funeral in Covid where we were restricted to 15 in the funeral home service, where there would have been hundreds.

All I wanted and still want to do is bury my head in my pillow and stay in bed for an undetermined amount of time. There is where I feel closest to him. The banner from over his coffin ‘Beloved Puppy’, rests now upon his pillow, as does the stuffed puppy he bought me one Valentine’s Day, who holds a stuffed heart from its mouth saying, ‘Puppy Love’. There is my solace. His slippers remain at his side of the bed.

But solace is in short supply as my marathon of life and death continues. There were weeks of paperwork, lawyers, banks, investment advisor, insurance, and the government papers I had to contend with to close off a life. And just for something else to add to the mix, I had to do the income taxes. Yes, who in the world with a broken heart continues to go, go, go, carrying overwhelming grief, while having to use their brain, then adds a move into the mix?

The move. Last fall before we knew of my husband’s demise, we were talking about moving, downsizing, somewhere else, getting ready for us to purchase a place in Mexico next winter (so was the plan). But God had other plans and moving was put on the back burner. And in my sane brain, I knew someday I’d have to move on my own because I don’t need a huge condo, nor do I want to pay that huge rent. But I also knew with my grieving and adjusting to a different life, that moving was not prime on my mind at this stage. All I want to do is exhale from what I’ve been living all year. So, I went down to the management office to ask the girls if my husband’s name needs to be taken off the lease. Before I could stop myself, the words seemed to pop out of my mouth – because they weren’t in my head, “Do you have any one bedrooms available?”

That was in April, one week after my husband passed. The agent told me that as a matter of fact, she had one coming up in July. A few days later, she took me for a looksee and told me all they’re going to do to it. I made a great bargain with her regarding me keeping my SS appliances and them having to move them, among a few other goodies, and suddenly, I was signing a new lease. That’s how the moving thing happened. I wasn’t looking, but I’m pretty sure my husband had some divine intervention in it. It’s safe here, lovely grounds, nice people and tons of amenities and close to every highway. I’m pretty sure my husband wanted me to stay in familiar territory. And July seemed ideal, enough time to get ready. NOT!

We have moved several times in our wonderful life together, yet, somehow, we still had too much stuff. If I had had time, I would have taken proper time to sell things for the value they’re worth, I would have set up an Ebay page, along with some others. But let’s be real, that left me two months to first clear the clutter that isn’t going to fit, before packing can begin. It’s insane here. I have some good friends and only one family member who pop by a few times a week to lend a hand. I have access to my new place so I had a bit of work done in there (besides what the management has done). I have many things on ads, and I get pinged lots, which of course is distracting when I’m in the packing zone. I’m moving a week earlier than planned, and my BFF who lives in England has been waiting to get here before I move so she can at least help with the transition. But that’s looking like she won’t get here til first week July, as we’re crossing fingers my province drops the 14 day quarantine in a hotel rule if one has been double vaxed on July 5th. Oye! So much going on!

So now you are updated. I know my posts have been far and few between since my husband became terminal, but I’m doing my best. This Friday I will have my monthly contribution for WATWB, and if I squeeze out any spare time, I may have a Sunday Book Review. As moving begins Thursday, with official movers on Saturday, and the fallout of unpacking to deal with after, don’t expect much from me next week. But hopefullly, once I move and catch my breath then exhale, I hope to be back in blogland more regularly.

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

71 Comments

  • Joy Lennick

    What a nightmare, dear Deb. There are no easy words to ease your burden, and everyone grieves in different ways, so you will follow your own path. I am sure your beloved husband would want you to ‘move on’ – when all `you want is to ‘move back,..’ but you will treasure him in your heart and start remembering all the good times, hopefully soon. Meanwhile, take good care of yourself. Love Joy xxx

  • Colleen

    Oh, Sis. I know this has been horrible for you. There are no words left to say, except I support you in everything you do. Somehow, you will make it through this terrible time. I’m sending you love and hugs, and some extra strength so that you can make it through this move. Love you lots. <3

  • Jan Sikes

    Thank you for popping in, Debby. I think of you often and send light and love to you in this most difficult time. I hope the actual move goes smooth and that maybe getting settled in a new place will help ease the constant heartache. Hugs!

  • Marian Beaman

    With all that’s going on, you don’t owe us a thing. You must breathe–inhale and exhale–slowly . . . when that’s possible. I hope and pray your friend from England arrives as soon as possible and that your province drops the 14 day quarantine in a hotel rule.

    You are surrounded by love and good wishes here in blog land. You have endured so much in the last year. Return when you can, but above all, take care of yourself. ((( )))

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Marian for your love and support through my journey. I don’t know how I’d even be getting through this year without my wonderful community of uplifting friends. <3 xx

  • Toni Pike

    Hi Debby, You have been so amazing through all this nightmare and whirlwind, I am so in awe of you. Moving is always a horrific job, so I’m sending you hugs but I’m sure everything will go so well with it, and such a great decision. Toni xx

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Debby – gosh you’ve been through so much – I just hope the move goes more quietly – all the best for these next few days … and enjoy your friend being with you, when she gets to you. Thinking of you and wishing you a peaceful time with lots of calming hugs … Hilary xoxo

  • sally cronin

    More has happened in your life in the last year Debby than in most people’s lifetime. And to add the monumental task of moving was definitely a push from himself and it does sound ideal and a safe place to leave when you go traveling and a lovely place to come home to.

    Next week I am sure will be busy too with getting everything in its place and then hopefully a little time to take a breath and have some time to sit and enjoy your new surroundings while you create your new future..♥♥

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Sal. I love this story you’ve written, and as always, a happy ending. Thanks for being one of my biggest supporters through this journey. <3 xoxoo

  • Hugh W. Roberts

    Doing your best? On, heck, Debby, I never expected a lot of the posts you’ve published since the death of G. Honestly, I don’t think I could bring myself to write and blog when the time comes for me to say goodbye to someone. But, who knows, maybe I will go first? In any case, I believe you’ve done an amazing thing by keeping us updated with what is going on, especially because there is so much going on.
    Maybe it’s all the will-power your friends here in the blog world are wishing you that is also at play. Only another week until July. I hope your journey becomes smoother as we enter a new month.
    Take care.
    Sending you hugs.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much for the vote of confidence my dear friend. Yes, I do believe the winds of good wishes and love being sent my way is somehow part of the system dragging me along. 🙂 Forget July! I’ve been moving stuff all week. Just popped in for a 5 min respite and hopped on. My ‘team’ of good friends will be here shortly to help assemble the new place, as I’ve been bring loads up on a trolley since yesterday. Move in day is Saturday! Hugs and thanks for the love <3 xxx

  • Lana Broussard

    Moving is so much work, Debby! It will be good once it is over to have a smaller and more manageable space to live. I think of you often and am hoping that you find peace and comfort, day by day. <3

  • Jacquie Biggar

    Maybe being busy is a good thing right now, even if it is incredibly stressful. I’m glad you have friends to help with the move. Thinking of you and sending stay strong prayers {{hugs}}

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Jacquie. Funny you say that. My BFF was supposed to be here with me for the move. I recently told her I needed her here, not even for the move, but for the stillness when I finally exhale right after I move. The grieving is relentless, especially now leaving the last place we shared together. Prayers and hugs always welcome <3

  • Jim Borden

    wow. what a year it has been for you. and I admire your willingness to share it all on your blog. It is also a sad tale, but also a beautiful love story. And it seems that finding a place to move to in your current location is the perfect solution. I wish you the best with your move, and with your grieving process…

  • Diana Peach

    You’re so kind to share your experience, Debby, and I’m certain that it will help others when times of loss come. I was struck by your husband’s reaching for his sister and daughter. My grandfather had similar experiences in his last days, as well as hearing music. Who knows what’s awaits us. My hope is that it’s the embrace of love. Please embrace yourself over and over again as you journey forward. I wish you a smooth move and much peace and comfort in your new home. <3 <3

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Diana for your love and sharing your story. Funny you mention ‘hearing music’. The last week of my husband’s life he could no longer speak, he spoke with his eyes to me and hand signals, and he used to tell me he loved me about 20 times a day, everyday we were together. He could no longer tell me and he began winking one eye at me randomly with his beautiful smile. I’m sure that was his replacement for I love you. But I also some him raise his hands and move them as though he were conducting an orchestra. I joked to him, asking him if he was conducting. He couldn’t answer me, but I could almost swear it was music related. <3 xox

  • Jane Sturgeon

    With all you have been through, my unicorn buddy, you must be reaching for strength on all levels, in places you didn’t even know you had, to get you through this move. Your hubby is supporting you from spirit with all his love, as always. Maybe the move has to happen now, right in the middle of your tsunami, because later on you may put up the barricades and resist any more upheaval. You have amazing strength to keep going and I know you know how much you and loved and supported. I pray your friend can come over and be there with you. Wrapping you in much love, always. <3 Xxx <3

    • dgkaye

      Jane, your words a such a comfort to me (as always), but especially now that I feel I don’t have one ounce of strength left as not enough hours in my days and barely any help. Oh, the life lessons I’ve been learning, probably a book’s worth or two. I ask my husband to pull me along just get me through this weekend. Thank you for letting me know my hubby is around, and thank you for your lovely compliment about I am loved. This is the perfect time for me to hear this. Hanging on to the love to get me through. Love you my friend <3 xoox <3

  • Pamela

    Wow. Debby. The weight you are carrying on yours shoulders is more than a boulder. And yet. Do I believe that your husband is helping you carry the load? You bet I do. One of my BFF’s lost her husband to Alzheimer’s a couple of years ago. She mourned as you are. She didn’t get out of bed for a week, and then she realized she had to sell her house and move. Selling it quickly, packing up, moving to a new state – somehow it all worked and she told me with no hesitation “Ed was with me every step of the way.” So, feel the presence and the love surrroinding you and know that you’ll be okay. And GREAT news of being about to downsize basically “in place.”
    You’re a wonderful woman and writer. We in the blogosphere appreciate your posts on your husband’s last days, your grief, and your passages to this new stage in your life. We all learn from you. Thank you. <3

    • dgkaye

      Oh Pam, thank you so much for your beautiful words, and your uplifting. This move is a gruel. It’s very late here and I’ve been schlepping a trolley up and down for 10 hours today, trying to get stuff in before the movers cram it all in tomorrow. I literally cannot walk anymore. I call on my husband to just give me a little more strenth to get by this weekend. Thank you again. <3 xx

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    Oh dear, Debby, the way your articulate your frenetic energy is just heartbreaking. God knows you well and is giving you strength and courage through this process. I burst into tears when I read your description of your husband hovering between life and death, calling Grace and Sue…my mother did the same thing … laying there at the end, eyes closed, reaching and calling her grandfather! Witnessing this first hand and reading your account proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God (Jesus) is a breath away ready to guide us to our rest with HIm. Take comfort in that my friend. New beginnings for you both, Earthly for you now, and Eternally for your husband. Take all the time you need.

    • dgkaye

      Terri, thank you so much for your most affirming and beautiful comment. I witnessed it all and knew my beloved was caught between two world. I didn’t want him to leave me, but I gave him permission. Worst year of my entire life. Thank you <3

  • Robbie Cheadle

    Hi Debby, I think moving will be a good thing for you. It will help you with getting past the constant reminders and allow the beautiful memories to take their place in the front of your mind. Wishing you all the very best.

  • Carol Taylor

    Ahhhhh Debs you have had so much to deal with and G is still with you in your heart and will guide you through your move …it is lovely that you can move within the same complex as having friends there will help ease your transition…we will all be here when the time comes for you to step back into regular blogging so please don’t worry about that…Wishing you well, Debby I hope you find peace in your new home…Love and hugs xxx

      • Carol Balawyder

        I think that a lot of people would appreciate a book on moving. Already you have some of it written. I wish that everything goes smoothly for your move and after. I am quite confident that your husband is sending you strength and courage. Higs. xxx

        • dgkaye

          Thank you for all your hugs and inspiration Carol. And yes, I may be quite quiet recently in the social world, but despite my woes, I find myself writing a lot, I’d say I’m almost 15K words in from writing short pieces. <3

  • John Maberry

    I hear you, my friend. Happy to see you again. Belatedly responding. This past week has been frustrating for us. Nothing approaching what you have been going through. The refrigerator stopped working a week ago Saturday. A cooler with ice and a chest freezer is still keeping stuff. NO STORES will deliver to us–probably a remnant of COVID. I’m renting a U-Haul and picking up a new one two hours away. But my wife’s sling is gone and her physical therapy post rotator cuff starts this week. Good luck on the move!!!!

    • dgkaye

      Oye John. There isn’t anyone I know right now not struggling with issues of some kind or other. This month of June has been absolutely brutal for me with a full moon and mercury retrograde in the midst of moving. Trust me, I could write another book. 🙂

  • Stevie Turner

    I cannot imagine what you’ve been going through, Debby. All I can hope is that you find some kind of inner peace in your new apartment. Don’t worry about blogging… just return when you’re ready. We’ll all still be here. x

  • Amy M Reade

    It’s good to hear your voice, Debby. Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that you took on the gargantuan task of moving in addition to the load of other things you have been carrying recently. It sounds like your new place is lovely—I’m so glad you found a place where you feel comfortable and safe.

    I believe firmly that your husband has been with you during these dark days. Even though you can’t see him, I’m sure you’ve felt his presence and his love, which is just as strong now as it always has been. And I’ll bet he’s beyond proud of the way you’ve handled everything. You are a beautiful soul. <3

    • dgkaye

      Amy, thank you for your beautiful heart. This year has certainly been monumental in the pain department. This move nearly put me out of commission. When I surface from the fallout, there will be lots to share. <3 Thank you my friend. <3

  • Deborah Jay

    So wish I could help, if only to give you a hug. You are doing amazingly well, considering what you’ve been through.
    Chin up, and take time for a moment to rest once you are in the new place – unpacking can be done at leisure.

  • judith barrow

    Sending much love across the water. You are brave and strong, Debbie – your recent blogs have shown how strong. It doesn’t matter where you are, the memories and love of your husband will always be with you.. Many hugs.xx

  • Lisa Hutchison

    Thanks for sharing your experience Debby.
    I didn’t realize how fast the diagnosis came prior to your husband’s death. The shock and denial help cushion the pain and allow us to move forward, in these unspeakable times. I know writing has helped me move through intolerable grief and I see it is helping you as well. I feel you were guided spiritually to finding your new place.
    I am sending you a big and hope you are beginning to settle in.
    Many Blessings
    Lisa xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much Lisa for your kind words and confirming my move was guided by myself – even it was and still is a nightmare. <3 xx

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    Thanks for sharing the process with us. Sometimes things seem to happen for a reason, even if we don’t realise it at the time, and yes, I agree with the comments that sometimes being busy help keep you going, although, as you well know, things will never be the same, but I hope you’ll find some peace and calm in the future. And I keep my fingers crossed that your friend from the UK can come and give you a hand.
    I will be off the blogging sphere for a few weeks from the second week in July, so we might overlap a bit, but don’t worry, we’re all amazed that you can do any blogging at all, with everything that’s going on.
    Good luck, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed things go as smoothly as possible.

    • dgkaye

      Thank you so much Olga for your ongoing support and words of wisdom. It’s all still so raw, no matter where we go, our hearts go with us. Enjoy your well-deserved break Olga. By the time we catch back up, I hope there is some progress in my life. <3 xx

  • Liesbet

    Dear Debby,

    My heart still aches for you. I’ve thought a lot about you the past weeks, despite my absence in the blogosphere. Now I’m back to somewhat of a normal life again and I hope that your BFF made it to Canada and that the move has gone smoothly. You have so much going on that the least you should worry about is blogging and staying on top of things online. Just my two cents. 🙂 Sending you huge hugs, enough sleep, and some tentative smiles at the company of friends, and a smaller place to live. Xxx

    • dgkaye

      Thank you my lovely friend. Yes, I haven’t been blogging much through this madness, but I’m almost settled now, and let me tell you how lonely it is. I’m blessed to have the connection with so many friends here online that I feel human around you all, so I’m slowly coming back. Hugs very welcomed and sending some back to you. Oh, and crap, no, in fact, our country just announced today, they will open the US border to double vaxed Americans from August 9th, and won’t allow international travelers til Sept 9th now! Madness! But the only good thing is, we’ve been locked down so bloody long that our numbers are getting quite low and we want to keep it that way because ….. NOBODY WANTS TO START OVER ON LOCKDOWN AGAIN! <3 xx

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