Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oh, What We Humans Are Capable Of

What a week. And it's TUESDAY!

Yesterday morning, Hubby's mom called to say that his uncle was in the hospital. He's been battling cancer for a couple of years. He'd undergone chemo and gotten rid of it. Then... it came back with a vengeance.

This weekend he went to the hospital with a fever. When Hubby's mom called, she said that he was on life support and they were taking him off of it. He was comatose and there was nothing we could do. OK. So Hubby went to work. Don't get me started on that.

Hubby's sister called around 11:30 and said that everything MIL said wasn't entirely true. Uncle J was opening his eyes every now and then and clearly understanding what people said to him. The "taking him off life support" was actually the fact that they were not giving him another dose of the medication that was keeping his blood pressure up with the knowledge that when it worked its way out of his system, his blood pressure would drop and everything else would begin to fail.

Hubby and I headed to the hospital and got there about 1 and stayed through the afternoon. His uncle held on until this morning at 1:00.

What makes it especially hard is the bond that Twinkle felt with him. Last year at Uncle J's 60th birthday, Twinkle told everyone that he was her "GREAT Uncle". Then she asked to sit beside him at dinner (without mom and dad). She was thrilled! She was so well behaved and talked to him all night. She truly loved her "great" uncle J.

Last night we told Twinkle that Great Uncle J was very sick. She asked if he was going to die. I didn't want to lie and say no. And I didn't just want to say Yes. So, I lied and said that we didn't know, but that he might. She burst into tears and said that she didn't want him to die. When she went to bed, she cried a little again and prayed for Jesus to make him well.

I'm not sure how I'm going to tell her that he died. I usually just blurt things like that out. I feel the need to be straight up with her. We're planning to take her to the funeral. She's almost 6. I want to shield her from all that sadness, but I want her to know it's OK to grieve. We grown ups don't know all of the answers. Sometimes we bawl our heads off. And that's OK. I don't think she's too young to be a part of all of this, and I think she'd feel left out if we didn't include her. She needs to grieve this loss in her life. She needs to see that that's OK. She needs to hear happy stories about Uncle J and know that he'll always be a part of us.

Now, if I could just learn those things myself.

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