Thursday, March 3, 2016

#SOL16: Food

Rob with my brother, Jack early one morning.


The bony shape of Rob's shoulder sticks out of the hospital gown. It looks more like a small child's knee than a grown man's shoulder.  This is what happens when eating ends.

It has been ten days since Rob has eaten food. Ten days that as his wife I have watched him not want to eat and I have not forced the issue as it is my issue--not his. Rob turned away food beginning on Saturday, February 20.  The last meal he ate was breakfast the morning of February 19.  I made him an egg sandwich on corn rye toast--a favorite of his and he ate about half of it.

Each day I eat food I feel sick. When I listen to family and friends eating in our dining room I sometimes feel nauseous. I know this is irrational and I understand that the body rejects food as it is dying. I can read and comprehend that, but somehow when it is Rob and not some anonymous body, my understanding falters.


In one book about death and dying I read the following:

from here: 

Each phase of dying brings tensions and sadnesses that are hard to name and even more difficult to hold. But hold I must. Bearing witness to Rob's last days is the greatest of challenges and also the most necessary.  How might I help you to be more comfortable? That's the main question these days.


  1. Beautiful classic picture of Rob and Jack.

    Watching someone you love not eat is very hard. But that's how it's supposed to be, I guess. The last day I spent with Rob, the day before he went home from the hospital, he didn't eat from 11-6, although Anita and I offered him food. He said he would eat "when Mary Ann gets here." For Rob, life begins and ends with Mary Ann. Mary Ellen

    1. I will never be loved as I am by Rob nor will I love as I do him. He doesn't ask for food at all and when I had offered he was quick to say no. A bit of applesauce, a bite of ice cream. That's it.