Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten

As many of you know, my baby brother was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago. He was 45 years old at the time.
I spent five weeks here in Michigan this summer visiting with him and family. Time that I now cherish even more than I ever thought I would.
As his horrible disease progressed, I was summoned back in mid-October for the final vigil.
My dearly loved brother, Jeff, passed away on November 20.
Although I am still grieving horribly over this loss, I do want to take a moment to share a thought with all of you.
Do not ever allow a loved one to die at home and do not choose to do it yourself. We all seem to think that it is going to be like in the movies. Peaceful in bed with adoring family surrounding you as you draw that last, sweet breath. The truth could not be further from than image.
It is an ugly, horrible, terrible and traumatic time for the patient and the caregivers/family. I'm sure my brother would not have chosen to go at home had he known the truth. His final weeks were desparate, traumatic times as we, the family, strove to care for him as he battled an unending period of nightime dementia. Although I would not hestitate to do it again, I wish that I had not had to do it in the first place. I am still mentally and physically exhausted from the ordeal of trying to make his final time with us as easy on him as possible.
I miss him. I always will. He was my brother and my friend. Rest in peace, Jeff. I know that God has you safely in his care now.


Merida Mikey said...

Wayne, I am truly sorry for your loss. Having experienced similar ordeals, I know what you went through. Take some time for yourself to reflect on happier days. It helps.

Croft said...

So sorry to hear this Wayne. It is very tough to lose a sibling. In my case it was my older brother, a younger one would be much worse. Now is the time to look after yourself and to get back to your old self.

KfromMichigan said...

Wayne, you are a wonderful caring person and I'll bet your brother is looking down smiling and thanking you.

Barb said...

Wayne, I am so very, very sorry for your loss. Big cyber hugs from way up here.

Linda said...

My deepest sympathy in this terrible loss of your brother. Prayers that the good memories will carry you through this difficult time.

Thanks for the advice.

(Isla Chica

Anonymous said...

so sorry:-(

Anonymous said...

Sending condolences from Michigan. So sorry to read about your brother. May he rest in peace and may you find your own peace.


Anonymous said...

We've missed you. So sad for your loss.

drgeo said...

Looking forward to a photo essay tribute to Jeff, after you have rested up a bit. Sorry.

norm said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you're doing better now.

Anonymous said...

My condolences to you and your family, I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss and have seen the slow passing of some family members, it is so wonderful for your brother that you were there with him but sad for the survivors. Bless you for your compassion for him.

Donna G said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. We had a different experience when my father died from pancreatic cancer a few years ago and I want to let you know that sometimes it can be a peaceful end of life at home. In Canada we have palitive care and the government provides a free nurse that comes to your home and prepares the family for end of life. She also stops by every day to administer drugs and arrange for higher dosage when needed. My father died in his own bed, surrounded by family, and pain free. You tried your best, your desire to honour your brother's wishes was right you just didn't get the support you needed.

Anonymous said...

Wayne, I've followed your blog for years as I love Isla Mujeres. I am so sorry you had to go through that, I know what it's like. I helped two special ladies (my grammies) pass. You are right it is not like the movies. It is so hard - so very hard.

Im sure your brother is looking down at you right now saying "thank you"

i've never met you but I am very proud of you.

Trina in Idaho (a Wayne fan)

Anonymous said...

dear wayne,

i just read your post about jeff. i am truely sorry to hear that he passed away. it's so hard to lose a loved one. you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

teresa in nagoya

Kathy said...

Still thinking of you and hope you're healing. take care of yourself.

Ines said...

I wish you all the best for 2012. I'll keep checking your blog and I hope -when you get better- that you will be blogging again.

Best wishes from Germany, Ines