Grief Poems

I think I’m starting to rise out of the fog more often than not. I think the writing group has helped a lot…and we have less than a third of the way left for that. I’m so happy to have found something that suits my nature so well in this time. It’s been so much work, a lot of thinking, a lot of reading, but for over a week now, I feel more in touch with the appropriate emotions. The superimposed image is beginning to line up. I’m not out of the woods entirely yet, but I am beginning to think about the future almost as much as the past. This must be progress?

Today I managed to spend time re-organizing the pile of medical forms that keeps getting shuffled around. Last time I tried to get my way through it, I had help (thanks, Mom!) Today, I did it alone…even chasing down some answers to the confusion by phone. I looked closer at a stack of yellow operation forms from early in Vernon’s journey and realized I hadn’t looked at these since I’d signed them.


A Patient’s Guide to Blood Transfusion

Jaw Surgery



Jejunostomy tube placement


Left Forearm Irrigation and debridement with possible placement of antibiotic beads

Left forearm internal versus external fixation

External fixator placement to pelvis

irrigation and debridement,

Right femur open reduction and internal fixation

Brain Surgery

Placement of wires to to upper and lower teeth

(Intravascular stents, filter, coils or grafts)

(Wire sutures or surgical stapels)

(Metal rods in bones)

(Bone/joint pin, screw, nail, wire or plate)

Right frontal ventriculostomy and licox monitor placement,

Repair of facial lacerations

Arterial line placement

(Removal of Pelvic external fixature)

Percutaneous cholecystostomy tube placement

(another) Bronchoscopy

Pelvis open reduction and internal fixation, possible screw placement, right sacroiliac joint

All of these are out of order, and they are from one small stack that I’d kept together from 5/23/14 to 6/11/14 and in this group, I see nothing of the renal failure and requisite surgeries to get him ready for dialysis. So I’m obviously missing a few. How fitting—isn’t that just like Memory?

On Facebook today, a post from two years ago showed up. Usually, I like them, because it reminds me again that all this was real. But today’s memory, for the first time, made me cry. I relished in the tears, just because they were appropriate to the loss. It passed, of course. Here it is:

These are hard to watch because he was doing BETTER then. His voice and his cognizance seem so much brighter than they did in the months, years to come.  I am only beginning to come to the awareness of his disintegration. I know it in my head, I’ve accepted that. But wow, in this videos, he seems like he has a chance. It’s been two years since these videos were taken, even longer since those yellow papers were signed. It’s been a difficult (but also growing) day of realizing now how much he declined from the beginning…and the fact that I didn’t notice it till now. The fog is lifting.

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Grief Poems