Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,
             Just to let you know I am still thinking of you and Ray and hope that things are peaceful and calm for you both.
           Love
             Pauline

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Pauline and Darla,
Ray died in hospital on Sunday. It came quickly and he was pain free right until the end. He only had a could of injections to calm him down on the last day when he became uncomfortable because of his poor swollen tummy and legs. We managed to get all his family to see him before he died. He was in St James hospital in Leeds. After his operation to put in the stent he just stopped passing water and went into hospital in Weds with multiple organ failure. The staff at the hospital were wonderful, they found us a side ward and let us stay with him as much as we wanted. I even got the vicar to visit as we live in a small village and he wanted to be buried in the village church and he wanted reassurance that that would be possible as we are not regular church goers. The vicar was wonderful and has arranged everything just as Ray wanted, even to the fact that he will be buried next to his friend who died of cancer two years ago. I am sat here in his dressing gown unable to sleep an just feeling numb. I am sure people think we are all mad because we just keep laughing and are so happy, but I think it is because we are just so relieved that he didnt suffer any pain. He simply went to sleep, he had said his goodbyes to everyone and his two eldest daugthers has just left to take his grandaughter home. I was so pleased that I was able to let everyone have some private time with him so he could tell everyone he loved them and we loved him. At the end Sam and I sat holding his hand. He was jsut so peacful. We didnt know if he could hear us and he couldnt talk, so we just chatted to him and held his hand. He just struggled with his breathing for about twenty minutes and then just tsopped breathing. We couldnt believe that he had died, he was still warm and just looked asleep. If I say his death was a goood one and we have such good memories of it I am sure you will both understand, but anyone who hasnt been through it wouldnt.
I have told Rays daughters about this site, I am sure that they will find it helpful once the grief hits us.
We are planning a party after his funeral, we have been looking through some old papers and we found a sheet of paper which his mother has written many years ago, on it she had written out St Francis of Assis's prayer and a poem which is so appropriate that we have decided for Sam to read it out at his funerla. I dont know where it came from, but I think she must have written it during the war when her first fiance and the love of her life was killed in action. I am sure she would want us to use it and that it is her way of saying that she will be looking after him. Ray was always her favorite out of the five children and he was the only one who didnt get to make it to see her before she died.
Thank you for being there for me. no doubt I will need you both in the coming months.
Love Sue

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,

I am so sorry & yet also happy & relieved that Ray has passed on. As you stated, only we can understand that although we are saddened & in pain, we are relieved that for Ray it is over & he no longer suffers. It is so wonderful that his passing was made so comfortable & smooth for him. I am glad that you were able to arrange for all of his wishes to be met. Some of our experience was much the same as yours. All of the family also were there for him in the last few days before he passed & Jim seemed to know that they were there. I think that was important to both Ray & your family also. In a perfect world, these things would never happen, but as they do & we need to deal with them as best we can, I think you have done a good job. You can be proud of yourself for making his last days as comfortable & pain free as you did & also that you could relieve his mind of worries so that he could pass in peace. Take comfort in the fact that he is now in a better place & that his Mother was there to greet him. I too just sat alone thinking & numb those first nights & still do at times. You are so busying fighting for him & doing everything you need to do & then it is over & there is this emptiness & void. I will be thinking of you during these next days & trying to help give you the strength to get through them. I have been there and know how hard it is going to be.  When I first posted here Pauline was there for me & we will both be here for you also. We are all walking in the same shoes now & we all truly understand what the others are going through.  You are in my thoughts & prayers.

Hugs & Love,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,
             I am so sorry to hear of Ray's death but, at the same time, so happy for you that it was such a peaceful, calm and beautiful end to his life. What a way to go! I think it is so fantastic that you were all able to say your good byes and that Ray was still able to talk and, even to arrange his funeral. He must have felt very comforted by all of this and, in turn, I can understand how comforted this makes you feel now that he is gone. You can look back and know that you did everything you could and that he didn't suffer. These are wonderful things to treasure for ever and these memories will be a great source of comfort to you in the coming period.
           I hope the funeral is everything that you and Ray wanted. His mother's poem sounds beautiful.
           You know I will be here for you at any time. In the mean time, take care of yourself and treasure those memories.
           With love
                  Pauline

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

My two dear friends, I have a favour ta ask from my daughter Sam. She has re-read the poem that Rays Mum wrote and thinks is not so appropriate for a daugter to read about her Father. She has adapted a poem she found about a daughter writing about her Mum to suit what she would like to say about her Dad. She has asked me to ask your opinion of which peom she should read. I know this is a bit trivaul but means a lot to her. Please if anyone else is reading our posts I would like your help and opinion. It will be difficult for Sam to read but she really wants to try.
When we first saw you going,
Our hearts were almost broken,
We wanted you back
But when we saw you sleeping,
So peaceful, free from pain,
How could we wish you back with us,
To go through that again
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God took you home
If Roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for us,
Place them in my Dad's arm
and tell him they are from us
Tell him we love him and miss him
and when he turns to smile,
place a kiss upon his cheek
and hold him a while.
Because remembering him is easy,
We do it everyday,
But there's an ache within my heart
that will never go away.
Don't think of him as gone away
His journey's just begun,
Life has so many facets
This earth is only one
And think of him as living
In the hearts of those he touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And he is loved so much.
Please everybody let her know what you think
Allmy love.
Sue.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Sue....what a beautiful poem and how wonderful for Sam wanting to read this.  I don't now what could be more appropriate then a daughter wanting to say those things closes to her heart when speaking of her Dad.

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Thank you so much Marion, I will tell Sam you think this will be a nice tribute to her Dad.
Good night and God bless.
Sue

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,

I think the poem is beautiful & very appropriate. Tell Sam to just go with her heart. I know she will be able to do this. I too think it is a nice tribute to her Dad. Also, please remember that although Ray is no longer with you he will be in all of your hearts forever.

Love & Hugs,

Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,
              I also think it's a beautiful poem for a daughter to express her feelings about her dad. It made me tearful reading it and it is so appropriate for some one who has died from cancer - we can't wish for them to come back to face all that again, can we? ( however much we might want to have them here with us again). If Sam can't manage to read it on the day it might be worth having someone ready to step in and read it for her. This is what we did and it took the pressure off us on the funeral day.
          I am sure your are all focussing on the funeral now and it can be exhausting after everything you have been through in the last weeks but some how wanting to make it the very best tribute to our loved ones keeps us going, doesn't it?
          I hope it will be a beautiful ceremony. I think there is nothing better than poetry to express the way we feel. Try to get some rest between now and Friday because it will be a very tiring day.
          Let us know the time of the funeral so that we can be thinking of you. In the mean time if you need any comfort or advice, please get in touch. We are always here for you.
          With love to you and Sam,
                  Pauline

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Pauline and Darla,
The funeral is tomorrow 17th at 11am UK time. Please say a little prayer for Ray to send him on his way.
Love Sue x

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,
             I will stop whatever I am doing at 11.00 to reflect and to be there with you both in spirit.
             Love
               Pauline x

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,
              I thought I would send you this poem by Siegfried Sassoon as the day of Ray's funeral approaches. I hope you will find it uplifting as I did when it was read at the end of Anthony's funeral

     Everyone suddenly burst out singing
     And I was filled with such delight
     As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
     Winging wildly across the white
     Orchards and dark green fields; on and on and out of sight.

     Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted
     And beauty came like the setting sun;
     My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
     Drifted away...O but everyone
     Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. 

            Hold Ray in your heart for ever. His battle is over.
                    With love,
                        Pauline

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue,

I too will have you & Ray in my thoughts & prayers at that time. As Pauline, said, hold him in your heart forever. He is no longer suffering or in pain. He is at peace. Know that we are here for you.

Love,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Well, the funeral is over and I am feeling strangly calm. I cant cry, my mind feels empty and my days dont seem to have any structure. I have a couple of good friends who phone occassionally but apart from that everyone is leaving me alone. I suppose they think I am greaving but I just feel numb.
There were probably 200 people at the service and about 150 came back to the village hall where we had put on a buffet and put up lots of pictures of Ray through his life. There were a few upsets, sisters, brothers neices etc insited on calling to the house before the funeral when we really only wanted me and the three girls, but I suppose they only wanted to show respect. As the coffin was going into the church, some latecomers followed it in! So we had to shout to let the undertaker know they were not family or part of the procession. At the reception/party (whatever you call it) a friend who only new us recently stood up to toast Ray and mentioned me and Sam and completely ignored my stepdaughters. Also at one point I sat down with my dear friend and she said something that set me off in uncontrollable laughter - I dont know what people thought! But on the whole I think we gave Ray the best send off we coud. Sam managed to say her peom beutifully, her eldest sister also stood up and said a lovely tribute to her Dad, the two eldest grandchildren also read our a letter to their grandad and one of them also read out the prayer of St Fransis of Assisi which was lovely. The vicar managed to find a place in the gravyard for Ray next to one of his friends who died of cancer two years ago, and lots of people came back to the village Hall, including 12 freinds of Sam from uni who had taken the day off and travelled over from Hull. Afterwards, the younger ones collected the remnants of the buffet and drinks and came back to our home, which was quite nice as I wasnt alone. My the time they went I was so tired I didnt have time to think, I just fell into bed.
Now starts the paperwork, probate and endless telephone calls to put thinks in my name. Also Ray was a wonderful man but often didnt finish what he started, so I have three half decorated roomes, two cars a caravan and a motorbike to sell, not to mention all the things accumulated in the garage, hut, and loft.
Am I a hard woman for not crying? I loved Ray so much but cannot be sad at his passing as it was so much easier than it could have been.
As I live alone and work part time from home, I think when things have settled down I will need to get a part time job in an office or somewhere where I have contact with other people, also it will give me a reason to get up in the morning and will help financially.
Everyone tells me it will hit me later, but at the moment I am quite happy to stay in my bubble until I feel strong enoug to deal with the grief.
Pauline, thank you for the poem it was beautiful. I would like to e-mail you personally, could you e-mail me and I will reply?
I have already e-mailed Darla.
You two and this site has already helped me so much, and I think I may need more help in the future.
All my love,
Sue

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Sue,

I have already answered your email & just want to add that everything you are going through is normal, atleast I had & still have a lot of the same feelings as you are having now. It sounds as if even with all of the upsets, it was still a very nice & loving tribute to Ray. In situations like this there are always some upsets. I know that now you will have a lot to keep you busy, but please feel free to contact me at any time when you are feeling lonely & sad. Just remember that Ray is now in a better place & is no longer fighting this awful disease. He will be with you forever in your heart. I know how hard this is as I too am still going through it, as is Pauline, but know we are here for you as I know the two of you are also here for me and Pauline, we are here for you, too. Together we can be strong & work our way through this.

Love,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Hi Darla,
I have just had a few crazy days with all the paperwork and legal stuff! I have been having better days this week, I have some lovely friend, one of them calls round for a coffee every evening on her way home from work in case I need company!
I am trying to start to get myself into a routine, there did not seem any plan to my days at first it did not matter whether I ate or not - no one was there to cook for. I have decide to get myself healthy for Sam, my stepdaughters and grandchildren. I have to last as long as I can for them now.
I have taken to walking, like you and Pauline have. If it is a nice day it really clears your head. Our poor old dog doesn't know what has hit her!
I am starting to talk to myslef too (or talk to Ray really) I dont know if he hears or not but you are right, it is comfirting!
I will say goodnight now, I hope you have a good day today.
Lots of love,
Sue

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Sue,
   When I read your posts, it sounds like so many of the thoughts that have been running through my head that it is uncanny. I too have started to walk during the day when I can, and my poor dog is in shock from the exercise. I have not exactrly gotten back to a routine, but I am not quite so aimless as I was. I am trying to meet with friends and family - for lunch, etc., although I am not much company. It does help, doesn't it? My daughter is beside herself with trying to help me, and I have seen them more in the last 3 weeks than in previous 3 months. In the end, though, I still need to come back here and face the "aloneness" (with Flash). Our lives have changed so drastically. I AM starting to eat better, but it is not exactly home cooking. Did most of the paperwork and notifications - that was REAL tough, as you know.

I hope tomorrow is an "up" day for you.

Love -Joyce

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Hi Sue & Joyce,

It sounds as if you are both going through the same things that I have & still am.  The only difference is that you have your dogs. Everyone thinks I should get another one for companionship, however, I just don't think this is the time. Maybe in the future I will feel differently. I too have a few friends & my family that are keeping me going. I try not to distance myself, but there are times I just want to be alone & then I wonder why as it is so empty & silent around here! I too have been a lot closer to my children & sisters than before & that is one good thing that has come out of this tragedy. It seems as if all of our lives have just been turned upside down & we will have to learn to adjust & go on.  Some days it is hard to believe that this is my life now & I have to learn to live within it.   Being able to share my thoughts & grief with both of you & Pauline is comforting to me & being able to support & comfort all of you is helpful to me too. I hope Pauline is doing OK in Italy & is finding some peace & comfort there. Hoping that today is a good day for all of us. Everyone take care & keep in touch.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Sue, Pauline, and Darla,
   I reread all the posts we all have written over the last couple of weeks. It is amazing how similar our lives - and feelings - are right now, isn't it? Sue, when you were talking about being so calm and tearless, it makes me remember my worrying because I didn't show more emotion - I didn't want people to think I didn't care, but - same feelings you had - I saw Butch suffer through the end times, and just knew that he was better off. Once the numbness wore off, the tears came, but they are for us - we who are left behind. I still haven't cried all that much, but the sadness is there - deep inside - and I know you all know that it is a terrible feeling. I think it is almost trite to say, but it is the finality of death that is so hard to cope with. Any questions left unasked will go unanswered forever - well, until we meet again. Anyhow, I don't see myself meeting Butch at the gates of heaven someday, and saying - "by the way, how much oil DID that corolla use, on average"? That question sent me on a crying binge, as I realized the finality of all this.
   On the other hand, I have taken your advice and am talking to him daily. I take great comfort in knowing that he is looking after me from afar, and remembering the wonderful years we had together. I do still feel close to him, and try to think of him being in the next room, which I often feel he is! As I move through today, I will be thinking of all of you and hope that this will be a good day for all of us. I pray that God helps us to have our happy memories of our pasts, while granting us the ability to face whatever the future brings us.
  As for work - I have used all my leave time being home this 7 months. I am so grateful for them allowing me to use it, but I am out of time, and they can't hold my job much longer, so I must return. It would probably be better if I could return part-time, but it was better to use that time to be with Butch - we spent almost every waking second together these last months - many of them he spent in various hospitals. That was important, and I have worked at my job for 31 years, so these coworkers are my friends. The hardest day will be Friday - greeting people I didn't see at the funeral (most of them WERE there), many more firsts. I still think it will be good for me to have the structure, though - I have always loved my job, and I sure need the money.

Love,

Joyce

70 (edited by Darla Thu, 23 Oct 2008 07:47:29)

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Joyce,

Good luck tomorrow.  Meeting people you haven't seen or talked to yet is another first that seems to keep on happening. The ones that don't know that Jim has passed on are the hardest to deal with, as they ask how he is doing etc. & after explaining he is gone, they feel badly & so do I. I suspect that this is just one more thing we need to work through & that will hopefully make us stronger. Take care. I will be thinking of you tomorrow & hoping that things are going  OK for you. Now I am off to face another day!

Love,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Joyce,
I am sure that you will find that your first day wont be as bad as you think, remember, just keep smiling , and tell friends that you have no regrets, only happy memories, I think that describes what we are all feeling. I had uncontrollable hysterics with my friend at the get-together after Rays funeral, something just set us both off laughing and we couldnt stop. I worried what people would think too, but my friend said if they knew Ray they would be pleased as he was allways laughing. In fact it was such a good release after all the tension. So smile in spite of the hurt you feel inside and give thanks that we had such good times with our husbands, many people live alone all their lives and dont have our memories to keep them warm at night. You will be fine!
Love Sue x

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Dear Joyce,
               I am thinking of you as you go back to work today. I hope you will find a lot of comfort in the familiar surrounding with all those colleagues you know so well. I am sure people will be very sensitive and delighted to see you back at work. Settle in gradually though and don't push the work side of things too much. I think you just need to talk to people and take it slowly!
             With love
                  Pauline

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Darla, Sue and Pauline,
    Thank you for the sendoff - I will follow your good advice. I am terrified and glad to be going at the same time. I sort of want to stay her and be miserable by myself, but I sort of don't, too! I KNOW the best thing for me is to dig in there and continue on. I look at this as a new beginning. My poor doggie, though - he is not used to being alone - Butch was here for him. My neighbor will look in n him though, and take him for a walk. Gol bless her.

Love - Joyce

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

Joyce,

Just a note to let you know I am thinking of you. Hope you have a good day. I too sometimes just want to stay home & be alone, but you are right, you do need to get going & be with people too. I felt that the longer I put it off the harder it would be. Good luck today.

Love,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Anthony died on 30th July in a London Hospice

How did it go Joyce?
Sue x