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grief support


grief support
The First Week | Grief Expectations | Further On | Suicide
| Sharing the Grief | Don't let me Die | Healing Rituals | Cairns Grief Support
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The phone call came on December the 31st 1997. With disbelief in my heart I listened again and again to the message. How could this be so, Jane my beautiful friend, with me the night before, had been found battered and bruised lying face down in her bath. Now in hospital on life support, being prepared for the operation that would change her life (and mine). I could never really find out why she was so battered and bruised, she didn't know either but remembers the pain in her head to a point where she blacked out and collapsed into the bath.

Doctors hesitant to operate were hoping to find a minor problem, burst blood vessel maybe, and she would make a comlpete recovery in weeks. After the operation, hailed as a success, cleaning out the brain bleed, Jane recovered so amazingly within a few days she was asking me to come and take her out of the hell hole (hospital) before she began suffering from malnutrition. My refusal triggered anger in her, she signed herself out, arriving at my front door needing a bed and some love for a few nights, or until her brother arrived from down south to look after her recuperation. Jane's previous share rental arrangement was no longer available, no room for her and her brother.

But, hey where was my gorgeous blonde friend, the life and flirt of the party, hated by women and adored by men? Who was this person in front of me with shaved head and fresh scaring glaring at me, hands filled with bottles of medication, staggering and tripping, tears rolling down her cheeks? Confused and lost.
My heart sank as I asked for "someone" to give me strength, my partner scowled at me as I cuddled her and made her welcome. After all, her brother was arriving soon and would make arrangements for accommodation. We made the bedroom up and sorted the medication into times and quantity and made appointments to see my doctor, Dr Mary, a true angel. Dr Mary commented on Janes recovery from such a procedure but asked we come back in a few days, so she would have time to request the biopsy report. The few days felt like 12 months, Jane was not Jane, we argued about everthing and anything. Life at this point was hell for everyone. A senseless argument on the way to Dr. Mary for the second visit made me determined that after we left I would contact her brother and find out his intentions.
Dr Mary walked behind us as we entered her surgery and quietly closed the door. I was accompanying Jane because of her insistance, even though we argued vehemently, in a week she had attached herself to me and had forsaken all others. With hello's and how are you's finished and Jane's never ending attempts at humour over, Dr. Mary began.

Jane sat silently listening, my eyes brimmed with tears as her final few months of life were discussed. It was no broken blood vessel, or stroke as Jane had kept on about, it was a malignant tumor, secondary skin cancer, and she was staring death right in the face. As we stood to leave Dr. Mary said to me "here is my home number, don't hesitate". We got almost to the car, in stoney silence, whenJane clasped me hand, and squeezing it tightly pleaded " don't let me die".

I called her brother and with quivering voice told him his sister was dying, but in my nervous babble I had not heard him hang up the phone. So that was it, it was her and I against all odds.

She turned against old friends and acquaintances, my home was her refuge. During the next 6 weeks we put together a daily routine that saw me out early mornings and home again at midday. A district nurse looked after the first 5 hrs and I did the last 19. I could not let her die, I had told her I wouldn't. The second MRI in March revealed 4 more tumors and a warning from the surgeon, Jane would become violent and unmanageable. He was so bloody wrong, completely wrong.

Jane's peripheral sight, like a candle with no air, was slowly burning out and the drugs were destroying her body. By the end of May two seizures had stolen the last of her sight and destroyed her will to live, it was no longer "don't let me die", it was "when will I die". I was no longer working, Jane no longer trusted anyone except Dr. Mary, who was calling to our house once or twice a day, and myself. And no longer would we go out for coffee, she loathed people asking questions or telling her she looked fit and well.

We stayed at home, talking about what "it" will be like, when will "it" be, and making me promise I would never take her to hospital when it was time, she wanted to die in the room she had decorated, she wanted to die in the house where she had found love and caring for the first time in her life. My heart was crying for her, through all of the past few months never did she complain, she always complimented, never criticized.

Monday morning, the last week of June, I took in her morning cuppa as was normal, she looked at me and said " something is wrong, can you call Dr. Mary?". Something was very wrong, Jane never regained consciousness, I spent the next three days filling her room with soft music and gentle fragrance, sleeping beside her at night, telling her it was okay to let go. Maybe she heard, maybe not. Wednesday night I rang Dr. Mary to report on Jane's breathing and she suggested she come to stay for the night.

Together we talked to her through the night, playing her favorite music, and burning her special incense. Holding and loving her, and as the dawn began to break it seemed like the first rays of light through the window were asking her soul to ride away with them. Jane was ready, ready to go, ready to find out what "it" was like.

Perfect peace at last.

Thankyou to Dr. Mary, a true angel.

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