Aunt Livia and uncle Joe part 2
I sort of wish I didn’t have to write a part two for this but I must because the story continues. As difficult as it was for my uncle to look after my aunt and as straining it was for him my aunt pulled through. My aunt was and is a fighter.
Some of my aunt’s ailments included a heart attack, knee replacement surgery and continuing COPD. Even with all these difficulties she somehow managed to keep her spirit up and continued to fight. After getting out of the hospital for the last time she made it home and was settling back in when my uncle came down with issues of his own. This included swelling of his legs and soon-to-follow fluid build-up around his heart.
Off to the hospital, he went and very quickly the tables turned. Just as he had finished his rounds to the hospital and my aunt got better he got sick.
After a relatively short stint in the hospital, my uncle came home but he wasn’t the same. It seemed that my aunt’s recovery came at a huge cost to my uncle’s health. For months on end, he visited my aunt and at the age of 86, this was very demanding.
Upon my aunt’s return home he began to fall to pieces. The life he was already bored of became even more difficult. He withdrew further and further from everyone and we realized that there was more to this. He mentioned several times that he didn’t want to continue living like this.
He was giving up on life and it showed. He was often lost in his thoughts and within days he became a shell of his former self. A man without hope, a man without a will to live. A man that managed to give strength to his beloved wife who spent months in the hospital was now giving up on himself. My Aunt counted on him and fought to recuperate and at the same time, my uncle spent all his energy on helping her.
Within a week my uncle was back in the hospital with similar issues as earlier and weaker than ever. Physically, I would say he was just as strong but mentally he was at his weakest.
While in the hospital; he tried to leave the bed and fell. Fracturing five ribs in the process and further reiterating to himself that he is old and weak. The fall was not only a sign to him that he was weak and old but that his idea of giving up and passing on was not coming soon enough.
While in the hospital he refused an intravenous and at the same time he refused to have a tube stuck down his throat to be fed.
His will was very clear… Do not sustain life and do not resuscitate. However, this was not the main problem. The biggest underlying issue was that he had given up and wanted to die.
These words were difficult to say and even more difficult to hear. My aunt knew his wishes and knew that he was giving up. Seemingly spending every last bit of energy to help my aunt recover and be strong for her partly lead to his demise.
On December 29th, 2021 my uncle passed away sometime after midnight and left this world just as he wanted to. His heart failed and seemingly without pain or other difficulties he passed on.
This was not something anyone of us wanted to hear but he got his wish. Good for him I say… He lived a wonderful life, he did so many amazing things and he was ready to go.
In his room, he left a box marked, “My accomplishments” All the best to you uncle, Joe. You will be missed…
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