Stories of Compassion – Bereavement Day Edition

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A heartfelt Testimonial:

One year ago, 365 days, I made one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make; I had to put you into a care facility. I know you had been in two other units but that was different. It was a temporary stay for you to gain your strength and to have the therapy you needed to come home. We worked hard to make that happen, you, the doctors, the caregivers, our friends, our family. We rebuilt a whole new bathroom all with one goal mind…to bring you home!

And now after only a few weeks, I had to admit to myself that I just could not do it, I could not give you the care you needed…all the medication, the operations , the treatments and  the small unknown strokes had taken its toll, it had taken you…the man I knew and loved with all my heart…my soulmate. It hadn’t yet taken your body but it did take your personality and your mind. It was also taking our love for each other

So on a dreary Monday morning with your sister by my side, I placed you in a long-term care unit, you didn’t want to go and it hurt so much to do it but I couldn’t see any other way. I couldn’t be both your wife and your caregiver.

Later that week when you asked if you could come home, I didn’t know how to tell you no.  The doctor came to my rescue and decided to admit you to the hospital once again. I’ve lost count how many times you have been in the hospital over the last 3 years. Turns out this time you would make one more move…a move that would allow me to hang up my natural caregivers hat.

The next day you moved into a Palliative Care unit at the Hotel Dieu Hospital…a unit I didn’t even know existed. What a gift we would receive from your time there. I knew from the moment I walked onto the floor, that we had come home to a place where I could be your wife again. Where I could let down the walls I had built around my heart and learn to love you again.

The wonderful people that work on this unit not only took care of you, they took care of me…of our family. I could spend days with you and not have any worries…we watched our favorite TV shows together, visited with friends and family and just be together.

With their care you grew strong again, there was even a slight chance you would come home. That scared me though; I couldn’t bear to lose what we had found.

December came and the kids and I started to plan for a different kind of Christmas, one that would include our new family, the ones that would miss being with their families, to care for those that would be spending one last Christmas on this earth.

But that was not to be because we wouldn’t be granted one last Christmas with you. It was time for you to be free of the pain, to be free from the medication you didn’t like taking…it was time for you to take flight and be free. It was time for us, those who loved you so very much, to say goodbye and to let you go.

If I could go back what would I change…I would curl up with you when you asked, I would stay with you longer, I would have been have been more patient with you. I would have loved you more.

 


By: Judy Frost

Judy wrote this heartfelt testimonial as if she was talking to her husband, Ted Laporte.  She said that she cried all the time writing it but it was somehow cathartic, putting into words what she went through.  Her final letter to Ted in his final hours before he passed:

 “My love
As I sit here watching you rest in the quiet of the night I know that you are getting ready to don your wings to take flight. You are just resting here for a spell, you fought long and hard. I have watched you knocked down time and time again and each and every time you have pulled yourself up, steadied your legs and walked on with me forever at your side.
We used to joke of how we would make the flight together when I was 100 and you a spry 113, and someday we will be back together again. I know for now the time is coming for you to soar solo, as my work here is not yet finished.
In our wedding vows you asked why would I want an “old buzzard” like you? I saw not an old buzzard, I saw a big loving huggable Teddy Bear. I found in you my soul mate.
Our path together was not always golden, it was at times very rocky and we questioned ourselves why did we continue? We kept going because of one simple thing ‘Love’!!
Well my, Teddy Bear, as I sit here watching you, I do not see buzzard wings but majestic eagle wings.
Know that even though my heart is breaking, I will be okay. You leave me in the care of your wonderful crazy loving family. I know that they along with my loving nutty family will look after me, as I will look after them.
So stay here with us and rest while you need to, a few more goodbyes need to be said. We will stay by your side and hold your hand, but when you are ready to take flight, I will be ready to let go of your hand but will always hold tight to your heart.
Forever my love.
Judy”