Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm So Sorry...

Those words... I'm so sick of those words.

I know there's not much a person can say after they've discovered you lost someone very close to you... But I'm just so sick of hearing that phrase.

On January 1st at about noon my cousin Kristen was admitted to Wheaton Fransiscan Medical Center[formerly known as St. Mary's Hospital] complaining of severe pain in her abdomen and groin area. She had an alarmingly low blood pressure and oxygen saturation. A few hours later they see a sore on her thigh and a "bruise" around it...

Turns out it was Necrotising Fasciitis, which is a Flesh Eating Bacteria. Kris was admitted to surgery to remove the infected skin- basically everything on her upper thighs, to about her belly button was taken. After that she was put into a medically induced coma, from which she never woke up.

My mother and our family and all Kris' close friends waited in the ICU Waiting Room and in her room taking turns talking to her. Around 7pm on January 2nd we recieved word that nothing was helping and that she was just getting worse. At this point Life support was the only thing keeping her going.

We had two choices... Hang on and see if a miracle happened, or take her off life support. It was decided we would call a priest for Last Rites and "pull the plug".

Around 8pm the priests arrived and performed Last Rites. She was taken off life support about a half hour later.

She passed away at 10:22pm, listening to Sugarland and Bon Jovi.

I lost my best friend and second mother...

Kris was the liveliest 40 year old I'd ever known. She never did anything small, either. She had a large garden, drove a truck, came over to mine and my mother's house and put in a garden in our yard, played with our rottie, Hunter. So leave it to Kris to go out in a big way... A rare flesh eating bacteria that kills 1-in-4 people. I guess she was number 4. >.< Which makes sense. Because my family has known three, now four people who've had the same thing... three lived.

We had a catholic Mass for her and then the mourners went to Infusino's to have a kickass party- just how she'd wanted it. That night she was cremated and her urn is a cute plant pot- it's blue and like... a yellow goldy type color.

I said it when Hunter died, and I'll say it again:

Pain doesn't heal all wounds. It merely masks the pain.

A week later and it's still painfully hard to realize it was actually Kris who died. I keep wanting to wake up from this horrible nightmare. I keep thinking of things I would talk to her about and I keep thinking things like "I wonder how Woofdorf's training classes are. I'll text Kris and ask."... but then I realize she'll never get the message.

The only things that makes this all feel better?

Hunter finally has the company of someone that he actually knew in life...
and Uncle John[her father who died in 2002] and Kris can finally go hunting together.

Why did it have to be Kris and not someone else?

She wouldn't have wanted us to be so torn up about her death. Hell she wouldn't have wanted a Mass...

There are a few things I want you guys to get out of this I suppose...

One: Funerals are for the survivors. Yes, make your wishes known as to what you want done with your body. What readings do you want? Do you even want any readings? What kind of music do you want? Things like that. But ultimately, it's about what will help your survivors feel some sort of closure.

As morbid as this sounds, I have written everything down that I want right down to the Purple Casket and Corset that I want to be buried in, in a notebook for my mother should I die before her. It's loosely written though, so she can plan for her own closure.

I think after this whole situation, I'm going to go back and tweak a few tings in my little Notebook. I may be Wiccan... but I found such HUGE comfort in the Last Rites that I'm gonna ask that a Catholic Priest be called... Or atleast have someone say a few Hail Mary's and Lords' Prayers over me. Hell if my Uncle Joe is still alive when I die, I actually want him to be the one to lead the prayer's.

Two: Make every day count. Live it like your last. Love as hard as you can. Live without regrets, because you're never guaranteed tomorrow.


Three: There is no wrong way to grieve... Everyone grieves in their own way... But don't bottle it up, it isn't healthy to bottle up that strong of an emotion.


Four: If you don't have a Power of Attorney, get one. It is honestly one of thee most important documents you will ever fill out. If you dont know what a power of attorney is, it's a document that states the names of the two people you want to call the shots on your medical situation should you be incapacitated/unable to state what you want done. It's not something that should be taken lightly, at all. My power of Attorney[s] are my mom, and my bestfriend, Richelle. They know that should I be in a vegetative state [brain dead]/ in a coma and there is no chance that I will recover and still be "Anna" mentally, they are to pull the plug and let me go...


Bottom line though? Don't be afraid to open up a dialogue with whoever will listen- and I do mean LISTEN about death. It shouldn't be a Taboo subject. And shame on whoever put such a huge taboo on it. It is a normal part of the cycle of life.



Thanks for listening...

Love always,

Anna