Sunday, February 11, 2007

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Jerry's On My Mind

I wrote this for my on-line Lupus support group and I wanted to share it here. I know I'm repeating the same message over and over, but I'm grieving and Jerry's on my mind.
I haven't been on for a few weeks because I was either staying at my daughter's or at my brother's. Jerry was legally my cousin, but he was always the best big brother anyone could wish for and a second father to both my children. After having been in the hospital for about a month and a half with a week's break during January, Jerry went home against medical advice because he wanted to die at home. He was only 61 and had appeared and felt in good health until he got what seemed to be a bad cold after Thanksgiving.
After one night with no supplies with no help, the aides and Hospice kicked in. Jerry's organs and his skin were breaking down at an incredible rate. A rash that started in the hospital spread over all his body taking off the top layers of skin leaving open sores. He wasn't in pain though, and he didn't seem afraid. My daughter, son, and I were with him and holding his hands when he died three days after leaving the hospital.
I've never missed anyone or grieved this much. Jerry was my pal for all of my fifty-nine years. My son had medical and legal power of attorney and now, the executor of Jerry's will. He's twenty-three. Jerry kept every paper, bill, unopened boxes of electronic stuff, and family heirlooms regardless of their condition and he didn't ever clean. He was a lifelong bachelor who retired at fifty from engineering to build replicas of WWII ships, go to heavy metal concerts, sports games, and grow plants. I'm protecting his plants, but I swear they miss the European soccer games from the TV and Jerry's smoke.
I'm okay; I strained my back yesterday so I'm hobbling, but doing nothing. I need time and space to grieve anyway.
Love,
Jaynee

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