Waiting for death.
This post is about the last hours I spent with Mikey before he passed. I wrote it using my phone as I waited and finished my thoughts later. I can't speak with my mouth right now without crying. I need to write to heal. This is the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life.
It is raw, unedited and real. We have been open about our journey, this post doesn't mean the journey is over. It simply means that Mikey is as rest and no longer tortured by pain and memories. The journey will continue.
2:00 a.m. I haven't been able to sleep with Mikey in a long time. Tonight I have positioned myself somewhat under him. I feel every tremor and hear every labored breath he takes. I'm here because I'm scared. I'm here because there is nothing else I can do. I'm here to make sure he feels my presence in his last moments.
I should try to rest. I do close my eyes. Then there is a tremor that goes through his entire body, a sharp intake of breath and a release. Then I freeze. I wait. I wait for what seems like forever to see if he takes another breath. I'm afraid he won't. I'm even more afraid that he will. I don't ever want to lose him. I can't bear the pain he is in with each breath he takes.
Moving into day 8 of acute renal failure.
4:40 a.m. I dozed off for a while. His sister Carol was on medication duty so I could. I woke with a start at 4:11 though. I checked the med schedule and went ahead and did his next dose. Now it consists of squeezing a drop or two at a time into his mouth and letting it absorb before continuing. It takes a while. Just as I finished his eyes flew open and looked directly at me. He wasn't there. I don't know how to fully explain that but his eyes were empty, devoid of color and life. It scared the hell out of me.
I catch myself holding my breath waiting for him to take his next and wondering if he doesn't take his next breath will I ever breathe again.
2:00 p.m. Breaths are further apart, he has stopped responding. There is a moan after each breath. This is so painful. I pray for God to please take him to stop his suffering. Then I get scared and ask for one more breath.
Billy arrived shortly after 2. Billy is my son. Billy told him it was okay to go, that he was here and I would be taken care of. Older brother Ron told him the same. I crawled back into the bed with him. I tucked myself into him and under him. His body was more relaxed, not as paralyzed as it had been.
Billy was joking with him about throwing a football.
I felt Mikey relax even more.
I called for Mom Pat. Mikey was still breathing but we could get no vital sign readings. I called for the family to come in and asked Pastor to pray.
I felt him leave during the prayer.
No. NO. NO!!!
Not my heart. He was my heart. I ran. I collapsed. I screamed. I begged. Just one more breath. Just one more.
Time of death is uncertain. It sort of stopped. There were things to be done. Everything was in place. Everyone had a job to do. I had to call hospice. That was my only job. I didn't have to say the words. His beautiful nurse heard my voice and simply said, "I'm so sorry, I'll be there right away."
I still don't believe it. I can't get myself to go back to him. I'm only dreaming, if I don't look it won't be real. I can't bear this pain. I cannot!
Jenny had the hard task. Making the calls to everyone.
Carol, Mikey's sister helped get Mikey ready for the family along with the hospice nurse.
My son and brothers had to help the funeral director get Mikey ready to leave. That had to be hard.
I don't remember details. I remember seeing the hearse pull into the yard and being so angry and my brother grabbing me. I went between our garages. I sat on the cold ground and cried. I hit the garage and screamed some more.
I had to decide if I wanted to see Mikey being taken out. I had to decide if I wanted to see him once more. I had to decide if I wanted his face covered in this horrible body bag that would forever hide him from me and I could never ever see him again or touch him or feel him.
I CAN'T DECIDE!!! I don't know what to do. Why are all these people talking to me. Why are they asking me questions. WHY???!!!
Mikey was ready for me to go back in. I sat down on the end of the bed. He released a breathe. I lunged at him. We had made a horrible mistake! He was ALIVE!! Get Away! Let me get to him. The nurse stopped me and told me it was normal. That he was gone. I cried with the same pain once again. I wanted so bad to be wrong.
That wasn't Mikey there. It doesn't even look like Mikey. Mikey is beautiful and full of life. That wasn't him. But wait, I can't let him go. I can't. I have to. They are taking him away. I can't watch. JUST LEAVE! GO AWAY!! GET AWAY FROM ME!
What do I do now?
Jenny is done making calls. It's time to make the public announcement. I thought we had reached everyone. I didn't realize my baby brother hadn't had a chance to call his children because he was so busy helping them get Mikey ready and out of the house.
There was an order. Everything was planned. Everyone had a job. I didn't know a wrench had been thrown in. I am so sorry for those that should have gotten a call first and saw it on Facebook. Know it wasn't intentional. Haley and Hunter-please be mad at me and not your Dad. He was very busy doing work and helping Uncle Mikey. I didn't know. I didn't know he was dialing and did not know I had made the public announcement.
The nurse helped figure out time of death to be 2:57pm. I am sure it was before that but time stopped and everything went blurry.
When I thought all the calls had been made I wrote this statement out that had been written before he passed. Everything was planned. A plan makes things better. Plans don't always go as planned.
I hate that we knew so many that deserved a call. It simply wasn't possible. I hate that people are still finding out and being crushed by his death. Mikey and I knew it was imminent. I didn't know it would be so soon after him getting me home. I thought I had a little more time. I did know he was much sicker than anyone but those closest to him thought. I know it was hard to imagine such a wonderful, funny person who would still jump on facebook to crack a joke could be dying.
I still can't believe it. I still think I will wake up and this will all have been a dream.
I need to sleep. That's okay. I can sleep. What scares me is waking up and this being real.