Thursday, March 3, 2016

#SOL16: Food

Rob with my brother, Jack early one morning.

I.

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.




II.

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

from here: http://www.areaofficeonaging.com/ECHO3.pdf 

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.


2 comments:

  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

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    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.

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