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Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423146
05/23/17 03:29 AM
05/23/17 03:29 AM
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Blair Offline
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Your brother needs you. He is your best friend. You must go to help. You need to be there for your brother, your SIL, and for you. There should not be any issue for you to go tomorrow. Time is precious. Do not let your H's guilt sqander your time with your Loved Ones.

Hugs, Sweet Lady. You and your brother will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Blair] #423149
05/23/17 03:47 AM
05/23/17 03:47 AM
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Chrysalis Offline
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Of course you have to go. It may indeed increase tension in your household, but you still have to go.

Your brother's illness is likely precipitated by his son's death. I have aged drastically since Jim died. 3 years ago I hiked up a mountain with my daughter. Now there are days I have trouble with more than 100 feet, and need hiking sticks to help me on longer walks. It totally sucks. But day after day you wake up with that heavy weight of grief on your chest, and it changes you.


Chrysalis
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Chrysalis] #423155
05/23/17 11:21 AM
05/23/17 11:21 AM
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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Thank you. I needed to hear I'm doing the right thing. I don't know how to NOT go.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423161
05/23/17 12:55 PM
05/23/17 12:55 PM
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Miranda Offline
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LG,

your husband is reacting badly to two decisions that HAD to made quickly in a row. He is a man who doesn't do well with things that are done in a spontaneous and unplanned manner, unless I miss my guess. But sometimes life happens in ways that REQUIRE fast, spontaneous action. That's what emergencies are, spontaneous and unexpected and unplanned.

It's okay. He will get over it, you don't do reckless or crazy things as a de rigeur part of your life. You will go and do the things that need doing, for the people you love, as it should be. He will go on loving you, even though he is unable to support you, due to his own anxiety at the unexpected and unplanned nature of events. Don't let his shortcoming in this derail anything you need to do.

In less pressing matters, STOP feeling guilt about the situation with him working and the moving thing. HE refuses to sell the house. HE has a choice about that, and he's making it. So that's not on you. Drop the bag of guilt, it's not yours to carry. Yes, you have always lived in a city, ok, it's not unrealistic to want to continue to do so. Nothing to feel guilty for there, access to food shopping, medical care, services, etc, seems fairly standard and reasonable. You can let yourself off the hook, gentle lady. Take it from me. One with a serious over developed sense of obligation and guilt from way back.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Miranda] #423198
05/23/17 03:31 PM
05/23/17 03:31 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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I feel compelled to be snarky: you have a choice of regrets here. You can regret not being there for your brother, who is your best friend and who just suffered an unimaginable loss. Or you can regret not doing what your H would prefer. Seems like a no brainer to me.

I am striking out trying to rephrase that so it does not seem to be a negative shot at your H. It is not that I want your H to suffer. It is just that your H is asking for you to make a huge emotional sacrifice to save himself a minor inconvenience. Seems unreasonable to me. YMMV.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: holdingontoit] #423250
05/24/17 12:15 AM
05/24/17 12:15 AM
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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Well, I'm here and it is terrifying.

My brother is heavily sedated and has been intubated due to acute respiratory failure. He just lies there, twitching from time to time, completely unreachable.

He told my sister in law he was going to die before they put him under -- he's an ER doc so he knows.

He can't die. He just CAN'T. I won't let him.

I held his hand and said "I'm BAAAACK".

The Methodist minister came and we prayed over him. I held his hand. I'm learning to love the Methodists.

My husband still thinks I'm overreacting. Perhaps I should send him a picture.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423255
05/24/17 12:59 AM
05/24/17 12:59 AM
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Miranda Offline
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Don't bother with the pictures. It's just wasting your precious energies looking for support and validation from someone who probably doesn't have it to give.

I'm praying for your brother and for you. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wish there was something else I could say or do. If there is, please say so.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Miranda] #423259
05/24/17 02:15 AM
05/24/17 02:15 AM
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All of my thoughts and well wishes to you, your brother and his family. Sedation and intubation is scary.

Hang in there, LG.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423276
05/24/17 05:55 AM
05/24/17 05:55 AM
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Orchid2 Online
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LG,

Glad you are there. Knowing the processes because of work makes this even harder in a way.

I recommend you take a picture and share it to your H and your children. They need to know their uncle's current status. It's important.

jmo,
Orchid

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Orchid2] #423278
05/24/17 07:26 AM
05/24/17 07:26 AM
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LG, if you want to pm me any details for some reality check I'd be glad to run them by my h, who is an internist. I told him part of the story tonight, and I forgot about the car accident, and he wanted to know the underlying reason for the respiratory failure. I had no idea what to say.


Chrysalis
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Chrysalis] #423280
05/24/17 11:45 AM
05/24/17 11:45 AM
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LG I am glad you are with your brother. I hope he is doing better this morning.

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: SmilingWife] #423322
05/24/17 04:59 PM
05/24/17 04:59 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Thoughts and prayers are with you and your brother.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: holdingontoit] #423324
05/24/17 05:10 PM
05/24/17 05:10 PM
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LivingWell Offline
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Dear sweet LG, of course you went to your brother and his family..... it's the only thing that a dear sweet person can do.

Try to be as gracious as you can toward your H..... not everyone is able to handle this much tragedy especially in such a short period of time. That can make a person minimize things for a while in order to cope. It's not really about you even though it's directed towards you.

Take extra care of yourself to replenish often.

Praying for you all.

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LivingWell] #423381
05/25/17 01:09 AM
05/25/17 01:09 AM
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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My brother took a turn for the worse last night so they moved him to a different hospital that has heart/lung bypass equipment if he needs it. The transfer was torture because he came out of sedation with the pain from his broken back and all his numbers went to hell. But he's stable now and they are hoping he doesn't need the bypass equipment.

I'm exhausted.

I have no idea what to make of my husband. This morning my sister in law (also a physician) summoned the family together. People flying in from everywhere. She specifically asked me to tell him to come yet he won't. He's convinced that my brother is going to get better. He seizes on one number (say, pulse ox) to the exclusion of all the others and refuses to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.

I'm not pressing him to come. He has to make his own decision on this matter. He has all the facts.

But I have to admit I'm disappointed in him. He resisted coming for John's burial because he didn't see the point. He doesn't seem to get that the point is not to be here for John or my brother -- the point is to be here for everyone else and everyone else to be here for each other.

I couldn't have NOT come. I don't think I could have physically willed my body to stay home.

Scores of people came through my brother's room today - most residents and interns in the emergency department where he teaches, many of whom were quietly crying and some of whom prayed in circles holding his and one another's hands. It was very moving to see how loved he is.

I've spent most of day quietly crying with my sister in law. I don't know how to do this but I always come back to Anne Lamott's guidance that you show up and build shelter. So that's what I'm trying to do, except now I am the one who needs the shelter.

I go back and forth between yelling at God and begging him for mercy. Right now, I'm begging. Please, please, please.....don't take him from us just yet.

It feels very odd to me that i found this place years ago because I had an affair. That feels like another life to me, but i know if certain members were still posting here they would tell me my husband is reacting from that, to this day. And maybe that would be right, or sort of right, but I don't think so. I think LW is right -- he minimizes that with which he cannot deal.

John has been dead less than two months and sometimes I worry that they are treating his lungs when he really has a broken heart.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423386
05/25/17 01:47 AM
05/25/17 01:47 AM
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holdingontoit Offline
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You are not defined by what you did years ago. You are defined by what you are doing now. You are shining in terrible circumstances. Allow yourself to take pride in your decisions. You are doing the correct thing. Even if your H does not see it that way. His blindness and his loss. He is missing an opportunity to be there for you. He may think he always and forever has the moral high ground. Some of us do not see it that way.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423387
05/25/17 01:48 AM
05/25/17 01:48 AM
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Chrysalis Offline
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LG, the weight of grief over such a loss can be physically felt in the chest. You wake up and it is literally hard work to keep breathing.

I'm so sorry. You and your brother and your family have my prayers. And my grief and my anger and my tears and my pleading.

And I don't think your H's reaction has anything at all to do with your affair. That's just ridiculous at this point in time. It's an emotional intelligence issue. That which is too terrible to be borne must not exist.

You will get through this, whatever the outcome. And you have friends here.


Chrysalis
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Chrysalis] #423389
05/25/17 03:13 AM
05/25/17 03:13 AM
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Oh my friend. Your affair those many years ago does not define you. That is not how I think of you. And I highly doubt that is driving your husband's behavior now. He is just a human man, making a grave mistake, an error of judgment in his own pain.

I am praying for your brother. What a horrible thing for your family to endure.

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: SmilingWife] #423391
05/25/17 04:04 AM
05/25/17 04:04 AM
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I'd like to be more charitable, but I think some people either have a lack of empathy or FOO issues that don't allow them to look at reality, nor be able to comfort others.

When I was newly married to my sons' father, his sister's husband's father was horribly injured in a fire on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. My sister-in-law and her family lived in Portland and were told by the doctors in San Francisco that they had hours to get to SF to see the father before he died.

They didn't have the money for the flight, so they packed up and drove. I told my MIL and my husband that we needed to wire the money for a flight, but both insisted that they would make it in time. They didn't.

The funeral was a week later. My husband, his brother, and their mother didn't go to the funeral. It turned out that they didn't see the point of funerals. I went alone to support their daughter who I didn't know and her husband.

It was very uncomfortable because they didn't recognize me and I had to keep introducing myself as her brother's wife.

When my mother was dying, my sister knew the facts, but denied them. She continued visiting only once a week for an hour.

A week before my mother died, I told my niece (sister's daughter) and her husband that they better visit mom. My sister still insisted that our mother was doing fine. My niece did come visit and there with her grandma the day she died.

My sister loved our mother and was overcome with grief when she died. I can't explain her denial and have accepted that it was nothing I could change.

"I've spent most of day quietly crying with my sister in law. I don't know how to do this but I always come back to Anne Lamott's guidance that you show up and build shelter."

Bless you, LadyGrey.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: SmilingWife] #423392
05/25/17 04:51 AM
05/25/17 04:51 AM
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Orchid2 Online
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LG,

I have a message for your H and leave it up to you to deliver or not.

Mr. LG,

This is Orchid who is a BS and who has lived with a spouse that was a WS and continues to maintain the attitude of one, in a smaller way but one none-the-less. I take this time to write to you in an effort to help you understand what a treasure you have with your family.

To overcome major issues on a personal and family level is difficult. To do that multiple times going on for years and with different folks is even more difficult. As a couple, it makes it easier when one spouse is there to help and support another spouse.

Even as a Xws but still a WS at heart (in some respects), my Xws was there for me when my mom died and a few other serious occasions (when I had to help out with several uncles and aunties died over the past few years). I am grateful for that. It was difficult for me but it seemed easier than my other relatives.

It seems LG is the go to person for her family and others. She does have good qualities and skills in that regard, wouldn't you agree? That said, I want to tell you that right now, our family is minus a husband and father. We are a broken family.

See, if my Xws was 1/2 the person that LG is our marriage may have been saved. Sadly that isn't so. We are learning to deal with it and it doesn't relieve us of the responsibility of caring for family members that allow us to help care for them.

Due to my father's affair, I wasn't able to be there enough for my mom and it is a very sore spot in my life that I carry inside of me even now.

I'm writing to you so you can see the same side of events that you may have endured all those years long ago. Yet, you have a better spouse and future now than some of us.

I'm not jealous but I would like to encourage you to see the good you have in your life and not to ignore them. Don't make regret now.

I wish my spouse had the kind of care and energy towards his family that LG has shown for your family.

Now LG needs you to help her support her family through this very very difficult time. The gentle touch and supportive words mean a lot during this time. Don't be afraid to show your feelings. You may be pleasantly surprised how a little care can go a long ways.

LG knows me and if you want to find my story, it is all over this board or I can share it with you via a PM to LG.

I know I can't make you do anything that I want. It has to come from your heart.

If you can please send our hugs and thoughts for LG and her family to LG, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sending prayers of care and support from the middle of the Big Blue.

Aloha,
Orchid

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Orchid2] #423418
05/25/17 03:01 PM
05/25/17 03:01 PM
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Miranda Offline
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LG,

I know it's cold comfort. Not everyone has the same type of gifts. I'm learning this every day. I have a gift for certain types of intellectual pursuits, for instance, but not for artistic ones. It is what it is. I'm happy with my gifts, proud of them, even in some instances, and can marvel at the talents of those who have the artistic skills too.

In this case, you have gifts of the heart, compassion, kindness, tenderness, the ability to set your own anxieties aside and do what needs doing. You husband is not possessed of these gifts. He has a deficit. It's not a moral failing, try not to see it that way. Just as you wouldn't see it as a moral failing if someone wasn't "smart." Ok?

I wish he could be "smart" for you. I know you need it. But he can't be what he isn't. So look for it from someone who is. There's no shame to be felt in that. The best gift you can give him, yourself and your marriage is to stop expecting him to be what he isn't, imo.

I'm still praying for you, and your family. Sending you love, LG. And strength, and whatever else you need that I may possess.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: Miranda] #423428
05/25/17 05:50 PM
05/25/17 05:50 PM
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LG:

Sorry for all the things happening. I hope for a time for peace for everyone in your family.

You asked your H to come with you. He declined. Not your circus. He made his choice. It is NOT your choice. You had to come. He does not feel that way.

Bring the shelter...

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: SFB] #423437
05/25/17 09:05 PM
05/25/17 09:05 PM
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LG:

That's a lot of pain. I'm so sorry.

Keep following your true north. You're going in the right direction.


A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. --Andre Maurois

Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: wiser_now] #423442
05/25/17 11:47 PM
05/25/17 11:47 PM
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LadyGrey Offline OP
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When you say to yourself, "this is the worst thing I have ever been through" you are begging the gods to prove you wrong.

This is, in fact, the worst thing I have ever been through. When my daughter went on suicide watch, I knew she was safe. When John killed himself, well.....he was dead.

But my brother is still alive, barely, and the fear OMG the FEAR is eating me alive.

He's fractionally better today. They may start weaning him from the drug that makes him paralyzed tomorrow. Maybe.

I CAN'T leave until he wakes up -- I just CAN'T. My husband doesn't understand that. He thinks that as soon as my brother is on the mend (assuming this trend continues) I should go home but I just CAN'T. I have to look in his blue eyes and see him there.

I can only do what I can do and I can't leave my brother until he is awake. Maybe that makes me all the things my husband says I am -- a guilt driven irrational reactive woman -- but if so that's just who I am.

I wish that he saw that those same characteristics will inure to his benefit as we age and he may have health problems, but at the moment all he can do is label me and dismiss me.

But this is my BROTHER. I just can't leave him. I just can't. Maybe I'm wrong but I just can't.


Bidden or not bidden God is present.
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: LadyGrey] #423444
05/25/17 11:52 PM
05/25/17 11:52 PM
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You're not wrong, LG. Hang in there.


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: Tonight's note to my siblings [Re: believer] #423446
05/26/17 12:12 AM
05/26/17 12:12 AM
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Hugs, sweet Lady. You are still in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sad that your H does not see the need of going to support you and all of the family. But, it will be his choice and his consequence to bear.

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