Topic: A good death
When I saw that you had started this section I thought how sad. I never imagined that I would be one of the first to add to it.
Yesterday my beloved husband of 33 years died. Ten days ago he had his ascites drained and never really got over it. He grew weaker and weaker as the days passed and was eating and drinking nothing.
On Sat, I had a sense that things were coming to a close. I called all three children (who live in London but no longer at home) and they were with him all day Sat through to Monday. We spent quality time together, looking at photographs, massaging his back and feet and talking about our experiences as a family. The rest of the time he dozed.
On Monday four friends came to visit and he sat up in bed and talked and laughed with them. Later on Sat, he started to have new symptoms indicative of internal bleeding. I suggested we call a doctor and he was emphatic he would not see a doctor nor go into hospital. He was absolutely firm that there would be no more medical treatment.
At 10.00 yesterday morning in his own home with me, his elder daughter and a close relative who is a doctor around him, he suddenly passed away.
At Bristol Cancer Centre he had stated that he 'Wasn't afraid to die but he wanted to die with dignity.' His life was too short, - prior to the illness he was a very fit 66 year old, had just bought a bicycle and cycled to work -- but he had a 'good death' Surrounded by family and friends at home and fortunately without any pain. For the whole duration of this vicious disease he took only a few paracetamol, for that we are really thankful.
We are devasted. He was a wonderful husband and father and friend. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection for him from all kinds of people. If the measure of a man's life is the number of people who are touched by his death he lived a truly good life. I feel a huge hole in the universe has opened up, one he used to fill and my life will be empty without him.
My thanks to everyone on this board who offered support help and advice. I felt comforted by the little community that grew here. In particular my best wishes to Jules and her father and I hope that the new regime works for him. I will keep visiting this site and everyone here will be in my prayers.