Thursday, December 19, 2013

Random thoughts and Routine Days...

 Sitting here reading a paper I got at the spouse loss meeting last night and the words "It's possible to take two to four years to recover..." now couple that with going to bed last night feeling like my life, how I lived it, and that I was comfortable with, is over. Trying to grapple with these feelings this morning, feeling alone...feeling all the losses in my life since a child beginning with my mother and not feeling very good and started to cry...then the phone rings, and I think I am almost happy that I have been interrupted and can talk to someone...instead some one says something quickly and where they were from...and a group of women just start to sing and laugh through a version of Joy to the World and We Wish You A Merry Christmas and hung up on me...as I cried through the whole call, crying because of my deep reaching sorrow and that there is no way to feel joy or have a merry anything right now and I needed to talk,  not be hung up on... The best wish I have received thus far is that Christmas be peaceful and I will be thought of...that was honest and heart felt. And the stinking splinter remains as a reminder that all is not well. Off to pay a bill and leave this sad, quiet, empty house for a while only to come back to it and trudge through another night. 

But before I leave there is this...I have been searching for a notebook I was using last spring semester...seems so long ago. But anyway, some things are in it I need but today instead came upon another notebook from 2002. I write pretty random notes so as to not forget because I tend to think pretty random thoughts...anyway looking through it I found recipes, knitting directions, and list's of books to get or read as well as other assorted stuff. One book was,  'Gwen John:A Painter's Life' by Sue Roe. Oddly, a year ago I was in a class with the instructor showing slides with the subject being the life and work of Gwen John. This week I stopped at a used book store, something I have not done in a very long time. A year...maybe more. I had a book in mind but it was not there instead though, were a few things I have had on a running list in my head. As I perused the store to make my way out the door empty handed I stopped at the art section and as I read the spines of the books there was the Gwen John book I have wanted for what eleven years? Also a biography about Lee Krasner, wife of Jackson Pollock by Gail Levin! But to make the pot even sweeter was the two volume set of Drawings of Rembrandt with commentary by Seymore Slive! I borrowed those from my instructor and she let me hold on to them for a very long time as they were wonderful to study. She had told me to try to get them as one can always learn from him...and there they were! I don't know what this post even means in regards to the sharing of it but I guess I just needed to tell 'someone' of my finds and excitement towards them as it told me I still care deeply, somewhere inside about something I have cared about all of my life. This awareness after an expressive dance rendering grief with my body in my studio that even Maggie came in and participated in, and then falling in a heap on my studio floor in deep wracking sobs...found the notebook not looking for and you know the rest. Grief, what a bumpy, unsettling ride...
Maybe the point is the routine of one's life and the picking up of that routine after a loved one has passed away...I was reading this morning also where one must slide back into one's life...I realized sadly on many levels, Richard was my routine, my life revolved around him and his needs for a very long time and before that my children were my routine. So then what? One is faced with the daunting thought of how to make your own way, your own life, and routines...so were the books bread on the path? Maybe...


Thursday, September 26, 2013

"Carol, Richard is gone..."


The following few lines were from my post on August 28 on Facebook:

My husband, my lover, my friend...I have missed his presence all day. He slipped away at the Philip Hulitar Inpatient Center this morning at 5:05 while Maggie and I slept near him. Thank you all for your loving support over the last 16 months as I cared for him...while at the same time knowing I was loosing him. Caring for him though very difficult at times, taught me much about compassion for another and much about myself. It was the hardest, most frustrating, and the most loving thing I have ever done. I love you Richard Rodi...

  

Tonight:
And my life has changed as his is no more.   How does that even make any sense?  My husband of 49 years passed away on the early morning of August 28.  It is four weeks today.  I wear four bracelets to remember...like I would ever forget.  There are details of course from that previous blog post where I knew we were on our way yet I could not grasp it...right to the end I was numb.  My brain knew it was happening but my heart refused to engage in this foolishness.  But the end came...he had to go to the inpatient hospice center as his symptoms were no longer able to be controlled and for eight days I was no longer his care giver but rather just his wife.  I was given eight days, five with which he was non responsive, for me to just love, talk, and touch him and nothing more.  And yes, watch him leave a little each day.


But four weeks have indeed gone by and my heart is broken.  I am lost with out this person who has been a major part of my life for 50 years, almost all of my life as well the father of my five children, and grandfather to eight.  I have a lot of grief and mourning to do...a lot of feelings to deal with, tears to shed, and try to figure out what the hell just happened to us. Puff, and it is over...


Richard Rodi

Obituary
  • "Dear Carol I am sorry sad that Richard pass on my deepest..."
    - Terri Mottola

RODI, RICHARD R., SR., 66, passed away Wednesday August 28, 2013 at the Philip Hulitar Home & Hospice Inpatient Center, Providence. He was the beloved husband of Carol Ann (McGillivary) Rodi. Born in Providence a son of the late Alfred Rodi, Sr. and the late Lucia Sionne. Mr. Rodi was a Truck driver for Waste Management. Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Richard Rodi, Jr. of Cranston, Gregory Rodi of Alabama, three daughters, Deanna Quaranta of Woonsocket, Cheryl Rodi, Julie Lyons, both of Cranston, and eight grandchildren. He was the brother of Alfred Rodi, Jr., Joyce Ianniello and the late Robert and Ann Rodi. His funeral is Saturday at 10:30 a.m. from "WOODLAWN" Funeral Home, 600 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston followed by a funeral service at 12 noon in Christ Church, 1025 Main Street, East Greenwich. CALLING HOURS Friday 5-8 p.m. www.WoodlawnGattone.com
Published in The Providence Journal on August 29, 2013
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/providence/obituary.aspx?n=richard-rodi&pid=166676901&fhid=28486#fbLoggedOut

Richard Rodi

Obituary
  • "Dear Carol I am sorry sad that Richard pass on my deepest..."
    - Terri Mottola

RODI, RICHARD R., SR., 66, passed away Wednesday August 28, 2013 at the Philip Hulitar Home & Hospice Inpatient Center, Providence. He was the beloved husband of Carol Ann (McGillivary) Rodi. Born in Providence a son of the late Alfred Rodi, Sr. and the late Lucia Sionne. Mr. Rodi was a Truck driver for Waste Management. Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Richard Rodi, Jr. of Cranston, Gregory Rodi of Alabama, three daughters, Deanna Quaranta of Woonsocket, Cheryl Rodi, Julie Lyons, both of Cranston, and eight grandchildren. He was the brother of Alfred Rodi, Jr., Joyce Ianniello and the late Robert and Ann Rodi. His funeral is Saturday at 10:30 a.m. from "WOODLAWN" Funeral Home, 600 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston followed by a funeral service at 12 noon in Christ Church, 1025 Main Street, East Greenwich. CALLING HOURS Friday 5-8 p.m. www.WoodlawnGattone.com
Published in The Providence Journal on August 29, 2013
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/providence/obituary.aspx?n=richard-rodi&pid=166676901&fhid=28486#fbLoggedOut

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Road Narrows...

The last Christmas party hosted by the company he worked for before he became ill.  We had such a good time that night...sadly we did not have enough of those times in our 50 years together(49 married).


  A long time friend of 30 years who I have not really seen in a long while sent me this post on Facebook last week:

"So at this point I personally rely on seeing your posts as I have become involved in your journey of life. The fact that you have become primary caretaker for your husband of 40 plus years has had such an impact in my own life. When my ex-husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer he came to live his last days with his son Christian who lives behind me. I felt helpless and angry that I would be put in this position. You are teaching me to forgive my feelings and be thankful for every situation we are given."


My response:

I was told a year ago that I was beginning a journey, a hard, difficult one. That my emotions would be all over the place. Well, they were right only they didn't tell me the half of it. You are watching someone that you love, care about fade away. Then you are called upon to be the care giver which in essence means give up you life as you knew it. You are caught between grieving your life, their life, your life as a couple. I was just talking to someone last night who was called upon to do the same as you with her ex husband, the father of her kids. That is a huge undertaking. Are you kidding me? Absolutely take yourself off the hook. At some point healing comes out of it I am sure. Maybe that is why we are put in these situations, to give the opportunity for forgiveness, all the way around...to allow the grace of God to heal those things that needed to be healed. I don't know...the whole suffering thing makes me crazy. Also, life does not stop because you are a caregiver. Other situations, worries, and in general life hits you daily. I have to think about now taking care of myself, running my home alone, keeping a car on the road...just to name a few, this while grieving and caring for Richard. So 15 months with hospice, after he having been ill for such a long time, well needless to say I am spent, worn, irritable, and have little patience for things beyond my control...I have to save what little I have left for Richard. I worry about my own health these days because of the stress. People think your home doing nothing, caring for someone but they really do not get what that really means. But still and all I would not have done it any different...this is how he wanted it and I agreed. Thanks,R-------. Thanks for sharing that with me, thanks for reading my posts and I am so pleased to know they have helped you. I don't know how else to be other than frank, no filter. I just put it out there, honest and raw...death is raw. Grief is raw. It is the ending of a life...forgive him, he turned where he knew to go. Think on that. Forgive you? I don't think there's anything to forgive...those were your feelings. Just deal with the feelings, feel them and let them begin to leave. God bless and thank you...


I received a similar email from another long time friend whose husband has just been diagnosed with cancer and for now responding well to chemo...but she is fearful and understandably so.  I am grateful for these women and many others who have reached out to me in one way or another.  I am grateful that my ramblings have given them some measure of peace or comfort.  It is a hard road for both the person who is dying and those of us helping them on this, their final journey...we must not minimize our feelings in any of this.  I choose to be honest and frank because it helps me and it is obviously a source of support to others.  We don't like to talk about death.  There are people in my own family who avoid Richard, thus me because they don't want to confront their own mortality I suppose.  They say things like they can't handle it or it makes them depressed...Sorry, I have no pity for them.  I can't leave, run, or pretend it is not happening.  I have to be here and watch the decline but I am better for it.  

Maggie, the ever faithful companion can usually be found with Richard.  This was a quick ride to the water...quick being the operative word here as soon as we arrived and I got him settled in a chair Richard wanted to leave.


Richard has been in bed, sleeping pretty much since Friday eating no more than a cup of yogurt a day or maybe a Popsicle.  He had some relief from the encephalopathy which allowed for some clarity of thoughts.  He asked me what I thought dying was like or would be like.  A shocking question from him as he has not been able to even talk about his passage partly because of his confused thinking due to the encephalopathy.  I related some of my thoughts and things I had read. He seemed comforted by our exchange.  We said some things to each other that I am grateful for leaving me in tears.  Yesterday was more little talks of him remembering times past, people, houses we lived in, things he wished were different...again bittersweet.  He said he wished we were young again.  I am so grateful for these moments in time with him. 

I was strangely calm this past weekend and I can not explain that.  Even last night I did not get to sleep until 4:30 AM because he awoke a few times and I needed to help him and of course I was unable to sleep because my mind was racing with all manner of thoughts...primarily I know he is declining.  Oddly,  I feel like I am in this very soft cocoon of sorts and I am just going through the days and nights relatively untouched by anything.  I know what is happening but yet I can not seem to grasp it.  Self preservation kicking in?  I am on over load with a few irons in the fire right now and maybe it the brain and the body's way of protecting us.

I have little energy reserves and sometimes just the thought of opening Blogger is too much.  Today after very little sleep I had the energy...go figure.  Thanks for reading and please, comments are welcome.  Have a great day.  And remember, it is not the things you have done in life that you will remember but that which you have not done that you will think about and regret having not done.  So look at that list of things you are waiting to do and begin!  What are you waiting for?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sorting...



I am going to try to write here what I feel.  I have just read over my blog since the beginning and so much has changed.  My last post I was busy working on an art degree of which I finished and graduated with honors in May with a second BA in Studio Art/Painting concentration.   Hardly seems possible that 3 and 1/2 years have passed since beginning that journey.  I don't know if I ever worked so hard at something in all my life...sure I did but boy it was a journey on many levels but it is done and I will sort it out as I need to.

There have been so many changes while these three years were passing buy.  My dear Amy passed away at the age of 15 from  natural causes.  I had not realized the all consuming grief I would feel for her.  I miss her still these 2  years later. 














Then my Mother passed away suddenly.  She lived 3000 miles away so I did not see the decline...then my dear Abby, my cat of 10 years  became ill and was gone 8 weeks after the diagnosis in January.

But the most life changing loss is happening slowly and sadly before my eyes as my husband was diagnosed with two terminal illness's and their respective complications and was told to think about home hospice...and that is what he chose.  With me as his primary caregiver we have been traveling this path, this path that leads nowhere...that leads everywhere.  The photo of him and I was taken a year ago.  He has changed considerably some 13 months later and so have I.  He has lost all fat and most of his muscles.  I have been pushed to the limits...examining everything I have ever believed and then some.  We have been on an end of life roller coaster and to say it has not been easy would be an understatement.

So with school behind me and at the moment I am not feeling much like a painter, I am not feeling like me even,  I am going to write about my losses as it is a huge part of my life these days just to try to sought it out.  I am not looking for pity,  so please refrain from that but comments are welcome.  I am trying to walk through this as best as one can.  I can barely put two clear thoughts together and have them make any sense at all.  So I expect there will be wrong words, spelling mistakes, and run on sentences...so no blogging police please...free pass for now.

My husband is failing and I know it and he knows it but as for time it is anybody's guess.  He sleeps a lot now and talks and eats little.  He is disengaging and that makes me so sad.  He has some better days and some where he sleeps right through and it scares me.  I am alone most of the time and sometimes I am so sad I don't know where to put myself.  Then other times I embrace being alone and try to make sense of it all...impossible at present.  For tonight I needed to 'talk' with no one telling me that it will all be alright because after all,  it won't be for a long time.  We have been married for better or worse, for 49 years.  It will change and all be different...it already has changed so much that I no longer recognize my life.

If you happened by...thanks for reading.  Grateful... Have a good night or day...depending.