Saturday, June 7, 2014

June 6/Afternoon





Blood pressure dropping. Blood pressure drops some more. The nurse delivers her tidings every hour. We murmur. We watch. We wait. Lunch. Snacks. Coffee. Conversation. Silent sitting. Phone calls.

Dan's friend Will drives down from Berkeley for the second visit in 4 (or is it 3?) days. Dan's friend Russ arrives, and Will and Russ begin to make music, sitting next to Dan's bed.

Do you want to climb in with him? the nurse asks, nodding toward the bed. Of course, I do, I say, but I can't figure out how I'm going to fit myself in with the five pillows propping him up. And there's the oxygen line, the tube from the catheter. It looks impossible. Instead, I help the nurse with the cool washcloths we are placing on Dan to relieve his fever. Let me know when you think I should crawl in with him, I say. How about now? she asks. I'm still doubtful. I'll help you, she says, lowering the bedrail and then pulling it back up again to support my back.

The songs Russ and Will are playing are Dan's favorites. Wow, I tell them, I never thought I'd find myself in bed with my boyfriend with live music in the room. Best girlfriend ever, Dusty says.

I begin whispering my "litany of bests" in Dan's ear. I've told him some of these things already, but I begin again, telling him everything I can think of. Best first date, best kisser, best friend, best guy in the kitchen, best massager.... Dan's breaths are shallow, as they have been for days. I watch the rise and fall of his chest. And then there is no rise. I call out for Dusty who is just a few feet away on the couch, and she sets her fingers against his neck where there is still a pulse. The rest of the family is at  the bedside now and everyone lays their hands on him. The pulse stops too. He sighs a final sigh, and he's gone.

The nurse pronounces him dead. It's 4:04 p.m.

35 comments:

Alberta Art Classes said...

Oh, my dear. What a gift you have given The Man Who Loves You and a gift to your own growing heart. May the next few days be a holy, sacred journey. Much love.

Elsewhere said...

love

Elizabeth Harper said...

We should all be so lucky to die surrounded by love. My thoughts are with you.

ain't for city gals said...

Oh my...we can only hope we will be so lucky when it is time. Please, get some rest...you must be exhausted. xo

S Kay Murphy said...

This really shittily sucks. To lose him, I mean, and to lose him to the monster cancer when he is still relatively young, before he has become so life weary he's ready to go. But what a profound mercy to pass over in such a way, embraced in this cocoon of love everyone provided. This grief will leave yet another scar I'm afraid, sweetie. But somehow those scars, when we see them, give the rest of us hope that we, too, will survive. Sending much love through the cosmos to you.

mary i said...

Peace and a hug.I have no other words.

Ms. Moon said...

Holy.
He is free.

Ms. Moon said...

Also- please be as tender and gentle with yourself as he would be with you.

Susan Johnson said...

So sorry for your loss...sending love and hugs.

lily cedar said...

I'm so sorry Denise and I'm so thankful he had you with him.

Florence said...

Words fail me. I am so sorry that you no longer have this wonderful man and that he is gone so soon. You gave him the death that we all would want --to be loved to the very last and then forever cherished. My deepest sympathy.

dawnall said...

I'm sorry, Denise. I had no idea you were taking this journey. You and Dan's family and friends will be in my prayers.

Mel said...

Denise, in the midst of so much sadness, the thought of all that love gives me hope and fills my heart. You did it right. What Elizabeth said, we should all be so lucky. I'm so glad you have so much support and love around you.
xo

JoniB said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I'm sending you my thoughts and prayers.

Namaste.

Anonymous said...

Denise, I'm so sorry.
Sending you love and peace.
CR

Suz said...

my deepest sympathy for your great loss of this great and loving man
take car and thank you for letting us know..because we all care so much for you

janzi said...

Well, words fail me, but how well you conveyed that lovely man's last moments, surrounded in love and music and holding him as he passed away... everyone should have as wonderful a dying, but what a cost to you in the following days... you will remember those moments and I hope they will help you in your loss.. hugs from across the pond... now take time for yourself and grieve as you need...janzi

Elizabeth said...

I love you Denise. Molto forte e corragio.

Andrea said...

Yes, one of his Bests was you.
So many of us are here with you as you continue saying goodbye. Don't forget that.

Teresa Evangeline said...

a gift to all of us ... your generous heart is a deep, pure blessing ...

A said...

What magnificent caring. Condolences to you and his family.

Taxmom said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, all of you. And what his friend said: best girlfriend ever. Please be kind to yourself.

37paddington said...

This is sacred and achingly beautiful. You are both so much richer for loving each other. And for you to be whispering bests in his ear at the end. Tears. Love. Thank you for sharing this wonderful soul with us.

37paddington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethmedpeda said...

Oh Honey. Bless you for giving him a loving peaceful death. Hugs to you.

Mama D said...

Longtime lurker crying for you today. Bless you for filling his last days and hours with love.

Vesuvius At Home said...

All my love.

Toni Buckner said...

Your love together was beautiful and inspiring. Love to you and Dan's family and friends.

N2 said...

Sadness at your loss and joy at his release from this sick body. What a loving send off you all gave him. Sending love. xxx000 N2

N2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

I am so sorry he's gone.

Barbara said...

Oh, Denise
I am so very, very sorry. Sending you so much love.

Cathy H-S said...

My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

Such love and grace. What a blessing. We all have to go, but few are so lucky to go in such a warm wrap of love. It is tragic for those left behind, but may these memories bring you blessings.
"And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make" - Lennon/McCartney.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry