There is a myth that when a person suffers from a health condition or has been sick, that you grief differently. It is fucking bullshit!
Terry suffered from Kidney failure which began as an acute condition on October 2014. Just four months after our wedding. We went from being newlyweds to working through a very traumatic health crisis. We both worked hard to get him stabilized with both conventional and alternative medicine. He bounced back and lived a relatively healthy life until 2017.
In December 2017 at a regular check up he was hospitalized and put on emergency Dialysis due to fluid build up around his heart. Kidney failure is a invisible condition for the most part, until it is too late.
The Dream of a New Kidney
“This is only temporary, I will get a new Kidney and WE will be ok.”
Congestive Heart Failure
Kidney Failure and Heart Failure are connected because the demand on the heart is so strong along with fluid build up around the heart and lungs. The heart basically gets tired.
In 2018 Terry began signs of congestive heart failure and had a heart function of 6% and was hospitalized and palliative care was called in. We were told he would never get on the Transplant list and that he would not go home from the hospital.
However, he was a fighter and not only got himself stable enough to be released from the hospital but worked to get his heart function up to 46%.
His file was then changed from palliative to restorative care and we were told that if he maintained or got stronger he would be placed on the transplant list.
Terry was a fighter
“I am tired and I just do not know how long I can keep fighting.”
Terry reverted backwards and was getting tired but he was still fighting and we both still had so much hope. He had been at deaths door so many times and bounced back, that you slowly begin to let down your guard and start to plan the future. You shift gears from planning a funeral to planning a future and little by little, you feel hope and happiness. You begin to talk about plans like a cottage, vacations, hiking and living. You begin to PLAN.
"Oh, he was sick for a while though"?
On January 16th the day began like every other day. We walked, we laughed we planned. We had no way of knowing that a headache a few hours later would be the beginning of the end. We had no way of knowing that muffin would be his last, that joke and laugh would be his last, and the warmth of his hands holding yours would soon end. we had NO IDEA.
A Brain Aneurysm stole my husband. Not kidney failure, not a heart attack not anything that was linked to his illness. It was invisible, sudden and tragic.
I had a few people actually say "oh, but he was sick for a while" because clearly that makes this easier? This was sudden, this was not supposed to happen and this was gut wrenching and painful. Going through illness for five years does not in a second, make it easier, it does not allow you to prepare, it does not allow you to wrap things up. You had a life, a future and plans and nothing can change that.
So now you are left with the pieces, the pain, the sorrow and the empty feeling around you because he is not here. Sudden Death is no different than if you know it is coming. It still hurts, you are still angry and you still mourn.
Society tends to think that the kind of death or way you die matters, in terms of how you grieve. This is not the case and every individual is different and how they "choose" to grieve is up to them. Honor that, be there, ask that they need and allow them time to process based on their needs and not those set forth by our society. also, stop saying "oh, they were sick for a while"?