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A New Beginning

At long last, the story continues…just not here. New blog: http://celestekaran.wordpress.com

One Week

I realized today that it has been one week since…well…since the door slammed shut on this chapter of my life….since I went back into Alex’s room to get milk for my coffee and noticed that he seemed…restless. I took his hand and hit the call button to summon the nurse and before she even came in to declare, “oh my…” I knew what was happening.

They seemed not to expect it, but I did. They said it would likely be a week or two, but I knew better. I still wasn’t prepared for the universe to hit the fast-forward button. I wasn’t prepared for that to be the moment (I was just fixing a cup of coffee.) that I would realize it was ending. He was trying to breath, but his lungs wouldn’t inflate. He reflexively opened his eyes and they were at first unfocused, but then they rested on mine. And all I could do was hold his hand.

I knew when his eyes closed that that was it. I needed no sympathetic doctor’s declaration.
Something like an emotional bubble closed around me and there was action to be taken…phone calls to be made…and other people’s tears were uncomfortable and inconvenient, but had to be born.

The next day was a blur of meetings and check writing and coordination of details. The funeral was a lovely service…and also a bit of a blur. I found it very difficult to grieve publicly, especially when trying to shuttle my 6-year-old child through the ceremonies.
And the Rabbi spoke eloquently.
And the casket went into the ground.
And the hole was filled up.
And the roses were laid on top with the temporary marker.
And crowds of people came and went.
And I slept.

And the next day, another crowd came to spend their last hours before long road trips with us. The children played together and it was almost…(almost) like any other gathering we had had over the last 15 years. Then the house was quiet again and the late afternoon sun cast a warm glow through the west windows, and I was alone in my room without the buoy of All That Must Be Done keeping me aloft, when my bubble exploded like so much plate glass in an earthquake: I had just buried my husband.

Service information

Service will be at Lakeside Congregation, 1221 County Line Rd.(also called Lake/Cook Rd.), Highland Park at 12:30pm tomorrow.
Burial at Sunset Memorial Lawns. Post-funeral luncheon at Grazie Ristorante in Des Plaines. We have also reserved a block of rooms at the Best Western on Lee Street near our house.

Arrangements

Alex died at approximately 2:30 this afternoon. The funeral will be on Tuesday at 11:00. I will post more tomorrow when I have concrete information to share…and can manage more than three sentences.

Celeste

don’t know what is going on

i am less and less and able to talk. Takes huge amount of effort and involves some pain — like I just ran 30 miles. Anyone know what is going on?

To do.

We met with Rabbi Chalom for several hours. That was great.
Now we need to find a cemetery that can do a bench and has nearby or adjacent center where the service can take place. Not much luck there so far. And then there is my task: a letter to the girls. Not sure what to share yet, so if you have advice: go for it.

Bad news

Today I received a reality check that puts my death plans in perspective. For a week now, now have had terrible problems with congestion. You can actually hear the rattle across the room. This is very miserable, becomes intolerable when I lay down for a few hours (phlem accumulates). Some relief is offered by a few drugs and and an inhaler, but this will also get worse. I cannot tolerate this if it gets worse. So sometime quite soon, I am going to launch my plan — which is to refuse dialysis. From that point, only a week or so until the funeral.

As you know, Celeste and I need some help getting funeral content together, so if you have an anecdote or story, I would very much enjoy seeing some of these soon, as I would like to read them before I go.