Birth Pangs

As I look out of Trillium Woods’ window from Brad’s room, it is peaceful. This same word would currently apply to him. He has been very quiet and at peace the past fourteen hours as he sleeps nearly around the clock. Yesterday, during one of his brief periods of alertness, he told me that he wanted “to sleep for three years.” Much of what he shares now is metaphorical or symbolic, since he has rapidly developed a type of a dementia and delirium. I am learning to listen to his messages from that vantage point. I believe Brad was telling me he realized that he needed to move on and to leave his sick, cancer-riddled body. I told him I understood and supported him.

The nursing staff shared that Brad has entered what they call a “transitional” stage of dying. They informed me that he is doing the hard work of letting go. Just as a woman who is giving birth becomes quiet, withdrawn, and sensitive to sounds, light, and touch, Brad is too. He is starting his own birth process of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. And just with the work of labor, this stage could take hours, days, and once in awhile weeks.

The care at Faith Hospice Trillium Woods has been fantastic. Brad’s case, however, has been a complicated one as his levels of pain, agitation, and confusion seems to cycle up and down. However, for the past 12 hours, he has been more peaceful and is resting better. We had had plans of him dying at home, but I now see that like most “birth plans,” those wishes needed to be held loosely, allowing for unexpected changes and new developments.

Three different friends shared a wonderful Facebook article posted June 3rd by a woman who had recently lost her husband. Since it was written more for the audience of her support system than for herself, I wondered why they shared it with me. At least two of them indicated that they thought it might be helpful to those of you who might be interested in understanding what I am going through as I enter my own transitional stage. If so, please visit:

Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband—the first thirty days. Judaism calls for a period of intense…

Posted by Sheryl Sandberg on Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I love you all-

Kerry

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