After my blog post about after care, (find the post HERE) I had a lot of responses. Some were comforting…some people had experienced similar situations, some were in the hospice field and told about how they handle after care.
One was none of those things. This comment came from Gayle R Tucker. (I am putting the whole name here as there are others who comment here who go by the name Gayle and I don’t want to link them to the commnet). Gayle wrote:
“I am sorry you are so cold about something people were trying to do to make you feel as though they could serve as a lifeline or connection if you needed that. Instead you just explained their contact was only acceptable if they worded their contact in an exact way to appeal to you. Hospice nurses are so busy but you think they should be the ones contacting you. Did you send a note thanking hospice for what they did for you and your family. Grow up Jo. These folks were doing the best they could. Don’t attack an honest effort.”
I’m not going to say a lot about the comment. So many of you already left a comment on the post telling your opinion of Gayle’s comment. Like me, others are entitled to comment, even if the way the word the comment is awfully rude.
All of this is part of what happens when you open yourself up in a blog post. I think really hard about things and consider the consequences before I write a post. Sometimes I miss…I fail, but I didn’t think I had with this post.
I do want to point out to Gayle that our family was WONDERFUL to hospice. We know the gal that helped us with Kramer during hospice. We were acquaintances before we ever needed her care. We donated all of Kramer’s unused items to hospice….he only had care for two days and used very little of it. We helped load it. We later called and asked if anyone could use the unopened boxes of formula for feeding tube feedings. We donated all we could to hospice and yes, we did send our thanks.
We sent out thanks to all of the groups who helped with Kramer. The neighboring Fire Departments all got thank yous and donations. We sent thank yous all around….we shouted out businesses who served our family via Facebook. We took pictures and wrote how pleased we were with the monument company…we shouted out the local restaurants and catering places that brought us food for free.
We are those people…the people who are overly thankful. Every “honest effort” of comfort that came our way, we appreciated and thanked. There might have been a casserole that came our way that didn’t get written down and a thank you sent but if that happened, it was in the confusion of it all…we tried the best could. Those of you who have been through this know that missing a casserole is something that could easily have happened.
On the flip side of things…I did get some wonderful comments. I got an email from “another Iowa farm wife”:
“Hi, Jo! I continue to love getting your blog via email. Thank you so much for writing it!!
Today I read about the phone calls you had been getting in regards to grief. You mentioned needing to “set that aside” during your workweek— When I was a (younger wife) a colleague of mine had been widowed at about your age. She was a middle school teacher and when I met her, it had only been a couple of months since her husband had died. I met her while at work. I tried to (carefully?) offer condolences and also knew we had a classroom of 7th graders….
She was just the loveliest and told me how she had deleted every last thing off of her calendar on Sunday afternoons for the foreseeable future. “Sunday afternoons are for crying. Can’t during the week, I get it all done on Sundays.”
I was a young wife (prob late 20s) and I had NO idea what to think of this, except for knowing what a wonderful professional kind caring teacher she was. I decided this grieving process she had adopted was probably brilliant. After hearing your story about the phone calls, I’m now sure she was brilliant.
No doubt the timing is difficult just running into people you know and having “how are you doing” questions come up when you’re trying to get stuff done/be in public. Can’t imagine how invasive those phone calls must feel. I think I would feel just as you do.
Again, thank you for sharing about this. These stories are so powerful.”
I was so pleased to get this note. It really hit home for me. This is what I’ve been doing, but I guess didn’t even realize I was doing it. For me it’s not always Sunday night…sometimes Saturday but it’s on the weekend. It’s when none of the kids are around.
I compose letters to him in my head. I listen to music that reminds me of him. I ask the why me questions? The whys to God. I wonder if I can figure life out without him. I wish I didn’t have the heated mattress pad and had him instead. I drive his vehicle that still smells like him. I remember the important meaningful talks we had to and from radiation appointments. I remember cussing having to patch his jeans now wishing I could patch them. I remember when we were young and dumb when we thought we knew it all. I remember going on “farmer dates”. I remember listening to talk about how he loved his job. I remember his jokingly teasing me about how “not practical” I was. I remember him sweating under his eyes after what he thought was a good supper. I remember and cry and wish for things I can’t have. Sometimes I wish the cemetery. It is my Kramer time.
Here’s one of the latest songs that gets to me.
The link is HERE if you don’t see it embedded into this post.
Then I go to bed and wake up the next morning….the whys and what ifs are at bay for another week. I have work to do. I have people who need me. My big girl pants are pulled all the way up and I move on for a few days until the weekend rolls around again.
All of us who grieve find our own way through. The dedicated weekend time, for me, works. After reading “another Iowa farm wife’s” email, I found out I’m not alone. I wonder if that’s why I felt the email and phone calls that I told you about earlier in the previous blog post, bothered me so much too.
I know many of you are likely hot and would love to blast Gayle for her comment, seriously, it doesn’t bother me. I’m not hurt. I’m not going to quit blogging because I can’t handle a poorly worded comment. I’ve had the ultimate kick of watching my husband die. This is nothing.