It has been two weeks

Two weeks ago today, my wife’s aneurysm burst. About 18 hours later, we were discussing the mechanics of letting her go in peace.

I am very angry, frustrated, and hurting. I know we are all flawed but she was 1,000 times better as a human than I am. She suffered from so much physical pain: orthopedic, pulmonary, digestive, spinal, on and on. For years. Why did such a loving and outgoing person have to go through that? I cannot fill the void of how she took care of our family and friends in so many ways, big and small. The big holidays are coming up, her time of year, and I am horrified about how I am going to manage that.

I am not the most spiritual or religious person, but I do think that her subconscious (her spirit?) was negotiating with God about enduring her suffering. I think the deal was that death was the only way out of it. She talked to me in oblique terms about it but it was hard to understand. I asked her if she wanted to talk to somebody about it but she said no. And now it came to pass just a few weeks after she started talking about it.

Here, I am an outsider. Having read many stories here about you all having ruptures, more than one, in some cases, I am amazed that you survived and pray for your healing. I understand that post-rupture life has been hard but with life, there is hope. I cannot relate to that because it did not happen to me. In my wife’s case, things happened so fast that I never witnessed the recovery and post-burst life. I was told about it while in the hospital but she did not get that far.

I’m looking for recovery options for myself and our son. Maybe I’ll go back to a church I was a member of many years ago. Praying and talking to others has not help me understand why this play had to go the way it did.

I know you all are hurting and I am truly sorry and hope that you can heal, that your family and friends can help you and heal themselves and that we all have a good life.


Mr. Joe, if I could just sit with you in silence I would. It is so very hard to get our heart and mind wrapped around our loss and the void that loss creates. In our county, Hospice provides free counseling for family members who have lost someone, maybe that could help.

I’m no longer a church goer, I didn’t like the politics involved. But it hasn’t shaken my belief in a Higher Power. I get solace in every day things, mostly when I’m doing yard work - weeding was always a way to deal with my frustrations or anything else. We, BH and I, both believe that we will go when it’s our time and not a second sooner. I’ve seen a lot of death in my life, mostly because of my career choice. Decades ago, a woman named Elizabeth Kübler-Ross wrote a book called “On Death and Dying”. In it she describes five stages of Grief. I found a Cliff Notes version, if you’re old enough to remember those from our school days The Stages of Grief: How to Understand Your Feelings. Remember there’s no set pattern or time we go through all of these, but we do need to go through them and we can’t rush them, it doesn’t work that way.

When one of my deceased loved ones pop in my brain, I do some deep breathing exercises and then remember something funny they did with me. That gets easier with time. When a client I worked with that died needlessly because of abuse pops in my mind, I didn’t have the relationship I had with family or friends, so the anger comes and I weed the flower beds or try to fix something that broke. When I weed, I can cuss out the Universe, when I’m focused on fixing something I can let it go. I haven’t worked since I ruptured back in November 2013 so the feelings are still there and need to be addressed when they pop up.

Yes the Holidays will be hard, memories will pop up that can push us down sometimes. When my brother died, my Mom went all to pieces as did my Dad. They dealt with it differently. The first Thanksgiving was really hard with him being born on the 27th of November. Mom went so deep into depression that she just couldn’t get out of it. It angered my Dad when she started refusing to make Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, she wouldn’t decorate anymore for the holidays, things like that. Their fighting was too hard for me so one year after they moved to NC, we decorated their house for the holidays and got Mom into therapy through her PCP who also put her on an antidepressant. Dad could deal with his loss a bit better with the house looking festive. My brother loved the holidays and he and I often were the ones that did the most decorating. Dad believed it honored what he my brother so loved to do. For me, my birthday was difficult for several years because a member of our extended family decided that we had to do my brother’s memorial service on my birthday. 20 years have passed since that day and it has gotten much easier, but there’s still some sadness and of course conversations on or around my birthday are often centered around him.

Remember to breathe Mr. Joe when feelings grab your heart and soul.

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