Thursday, April 18, 2024

Loss Is An Extreme Stressor And Can Take A Major Toll On You...

 This past week we hosted the monthly Sista's Lunch and I thought it was the one that I have been dreading for months.  It was not because we had guest chef, Allyson.  No, she put together some wonderful stuffed shrooms, a very tasty Apricot Chicken, and a beautiful fresh fruit tart.  The one that I have been dreading is the one where Pam is bedridden and can no longer show up.  I know it will happen.  And that is exactly how the day started out.

Pam went to bed around 10 pm and the night was uneventful.  The hospice nurse came for her weekly visit late in the morning.  When she arrived, Pam was still sound sleep.   The nurse tried to get Pam to recognize her but she was unresponsive.  The nurse took the vital signs and we discussed changes in symptoms.  Shortly after the nurse left, the Sista's started arriving.  Each paid Pam a visit.  Each tried to arouse her for the luncheon.  Each came back out of the room with a tear or two.   It is difficult for them to watch their sister deteriorate like this.  I am the oldest of five siblings.  I have lost three of mine.  But they have not lost any.... yet.  Eventually, she rose and joined us.  Staring around the room but not speaking much at all.

As each day passes, I struggle with the grief.  Watching her peering the outdoors with a totally blank stare on her face.  The stare is one of confusion.  She no longer understands the world around her.  She once was a master of Trivial Pursuit.  She once excelled at charming her retail customers, in sharing her vast knowledge of custom window coverings.  She was such an impeccable dresser and now can't wear matching shoes.  Some of her is still there.  When gathering clothes for her to wear, she still evaluates colors and patterns.  She can't communicate her thoughts, only patting the shirt that she thinks goes with those pants.  How can this world turn loving and caring people into vegetables?  How can that happen in front of the people that have adored her.  I guess it is good that I am agnostic.  Watching this, feeling this, could turn one.

While this is going on I am crashing.  My weigh is ascending and my health is declining.  The winter season makes it worse.  I want to be traveling.  My bucket list is extensive.  But I can't.  I want to be out making things in my shop in the garage.  I have window boxes to build and plant.  I can't.  I am banging on the keyboard instead of banging on the nails.  We loved spending time with our grandsons.  We can no longer do that together.  The two oldest are most affected by what they see.  They spent the most time with her.  They will experience the grief more than the other three.  So much grief.  One of my friends from the support group made a very profound statement about that this week.  He said that he has been grieving for the past couple of years..... there is just no grief left.  I long for the day when there is no grief left.



  1. What a difficult place for you to be in such limbo. I hope for you to have peace.

  2. Take care of yourself Bruce. You can only care for Pam if you are physically and mentally able.

  3. Bruce I’m so sorry you are going through this, it was an absolute pleasure to meet Pam and be there for you and her and help for a short period of time. I think of you both often I check up on Pam’s progress every week.I hope you find peace eventually, your doing such a great job caring for her. But remember to take care of yourself! You both are always in my thoughts, much love. - Meagan Quattrucci (Pamela’s old Caregiver from home instead)