Supporting my father-in-law through Hospice
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Supporting my father-in-law through Hospice

My last posting was when my father-in-law passed away.  Now in the same room slept my mother-in-law who we had to wake up and let her know that dad had passed away.  Mom was very hard of hearing and did not sleep with her hearing aids in.  

At first my husband wanted to wait.  I remember the look and the reaction my husband did when he first walked into the bedroom and he was told that his dad had passed away.  He immediately got choke up and step back out of the room.  Present was myself, a nursing assistant we hired to do the night shift, my daughter-in-law and my husband as well as mom.

I told my husband Dan we had to wake up mom as she needed time with dad.  Dan slowly walked over and touched mom's arm and she immediately sat up and started to cry.  She struggled to get her hearing aid in and when she could hear, Dan told her dad had passed away.  She screamed "Why didn't you wake me up"!  We told her that dad had passed away when we were out of the room.  With my husband and my daughter-in-law on either side, they brought her to dad's bedside and she wailed calling his name.  

The Hospice nurse arrived and declared dad dead.  Then it was waiting for the funeral home to arrive.  This gave mom time to be with dad.  She cried, wailed, cried, and kept calling his name.  Dan kept silent but I knew he was trying to keep it together.  

I made the phone calls to 2 relatives to spread the word.  I cried in between the calls and on the calls.  Just hearing my mother-in-law wail was enough to trigger my emotions, which I released out of my body.

Finally, the funeral home staff arrived and mom did not want to leave dad.  Dan had to tell mom you know dad has to go.  It was a couple of minutes that Dan and my daughter-in-law helped mom up and out into the living room as they prepared dad for his next phase of the journey.

It seem so surreal.  It was 3 am in the morning when dad finally left our home feet first out the door.

Then the next phase was to go to New Jersey to bury dad.  Because we had the funeral plans already in place, it was fairly easy for that task to be accomplished.  

We flew back and did the visitation and burial in one day. At the grave site, mom did not want to leave dad.  So emotional what we go through when someone we love dies.  Coming back home and not having dad around was strange.  For at least 3 months my mother-in-law would cry and wail.  This tore up my husband.  At first he wanted me to go in to comfort her and then he went in which they both cried together, which was good.

But later my husband realized he had to let his mother the space to grieve, to cry, to wail, to just be.  

Now a year later, she is now in the hospice program because of severe lung disease and up to 5 ltrs of oxygen.

As a note, from a holistic view, the lungs are about taking life in and I believe her body is telling her that she is having difficulty taking life in without dad.  She has been in an environment of always being told what to do. 

I hope you have enjoyed my journey. 

4 Comments to Supporting my father-in-law through Hospice:

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