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Off Topic :
Thanksgiving expectations versus realities

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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 3:49 AM on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

number4, we have some parellel experiences, I'm thinking! What happened to my brother in the hospital sounds almost exactly like your brother's death. (A PA admitted to his GF they had over-sedated him when he first started into acute alcohol withdrawal after one day in the hospital. Apparently he got belligerent about being hooked up to something. They don't put up with that, so they had to restrain him and he flipped out. Nurse thought the first dose of Ativan hadn't done the job, and gave him another slug which sent him into respiratory suppression and cardiac instability. Then they had to intubate him! Trouble is that a bad liver slows down the drug metabolism and his liver was already failing, so it was likely an honest mistake. I think he was his own worst enemy in the health department, but he was all his life a hard worker, good provider, put 3 kids through college on his high school education and paycheck, doing strenuous work that gave him arthritis early. Then his wife gave up on him because of his drinking, found another man and left. He'd had so much loss in his life that he never processed, starting from his father's alcoholism breaking up our FOO. So it grieves me he had to go out this way, even though I knew he wasn't doing "middle age" right. His son told me they had gone through the whole inpatient rehab thing with him in 2014, which was news to me. No wonder the children were more accepting of this. His long-distance lady friend of 20 years had no idea he abused alcohol, would you believe. She is in utter disbelief. He had a massive level of alcohol tolerance, and she grew up with an alcoholic parent, so didn't notice this, I guess? It truly is a destructive family disease.)

So at this point, is it safe to say the holidays seem to bring drama in some families, almost a pattern?

Thanks again.

posts: 1549   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8766402
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EvenKeel ( member #24210) posted at 2:06 PM on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022

I am so sorry about your brother!!!!

My aunt who ALWAYS hosted Thanksgiving had passed the week of Thanksgiving (not now - 8 yrs ago).

As you are saying, it is just never the same. But you just have to make the new way the best you can. Whether that is going big or opting just not to make Thanksgiving a big thing or something in between.

My friend never did a big celebration. She said she would make some thing and they would go off to the movies...that was their tradition.

posts: 6776   ·   registered: May. 31st, 2009   ·   location: Pennsylvania
id 8766429
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 12:01 AM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

Thank you ALL so much for the condolences about my brother.

Went for a drive to a nearby town today to get auto parts (WH is a mechanic) and took the dogs along, as they always want to go with us. I guess all the time in the truck the other day, at the hospital, traveling to and from that part of the state which took 6 hours, and then a long afternoon today wasn't good for our older boy.

As his "Dad" opened the rear cab door of the truck, he said the dog slid down rear-end first and had to use his weakened right hind leg to brace his descent, even though "Dad" was trying to break his fall by holding him. It was an awkward, probably twisted landing and I think he must have jarred that bone spur on his spine again (when it first happened a year ago, he was in agony for 2 days. But the worst was just a few hours until pain meds kicked in).

So we took turns walking him around longer than usual, to encourage him relieve himself, which he did. Then we gave him a dog aspirin but 15 minutes later he threw it up. We just gave him a Vetprofin (Ibuprofin for dogs) but not 10 minutes later, he barfed some more bile up and maybe the medicine, too. Vomiting is new. He then went to the door again, so I took him out to see if walking again would help him. Outside, he moved very slowly but wanted to keep going walkabout and smelling the cold air for quite a long time. Came back in but refused his water and his lunch, too, so he's in PAIN. We know to keep him calm and wait for the pain medicine to kick in. Any old dog owners who can suggest what else right now may be good for him? We put down a larger dog bed on the floor for him and after a few minutes with me holding his collar, he very carefully lowered himself down onto it. He usually doesn't like that dog bed as it's too cushy for his old bones, but right now, he's perching himself on it like a sphinx and alternately panting and 'snoozing" a bit.

I just cannot believe this drama-trauma movie I'm in this last few weeks, but for all the reasons already mentioned, I'm not completely surprised. My nephew just texted me for the first time since we left my brother's deathbed, to ask where my brother was born; he must be filling out paperwork for the funeral. I told him and then asked if they had any plans for tomorrow and if not, we'd feed them if they wanted to make the drive out here 2 hours...nothing back. I'm sure he's not feeling up to that effort, either.

So, looks like as of now we are going to grab "take out" at a local catering place for $15 a plate, have an early lunch with a very casual friend who, like my brother, is an older single alcoholic who lives alone in his (much more expensive than my brother's) RV but has no permanent home anywhere anymore. After that, I'm going to have to play the day as it unfolds, it seems.

Getting older and nursing a 100 year old equivalent pet isn't easy but c'mon.... I'm thrashed.

posts: 1549   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8766521
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 5:24 AM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

Regardless of our personal circumstances, the day of giving thanks to God has arrived here in Eastern Time Zone USA. One way or the other, we shall do that. I send each of you my heartfelt wish for your Thanksgiving Day celebration to be peaceful and meaningful; your responses here have helped lift mine, too.

posts: 1549   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8766543
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 8:32 PM on Thursday, November 24th, 2022

Our beloved and wise old Mr. K barely made it through the night. We knew he was fading away this morning when he couldn't or wouldn't get up to go for his ritual truck ride with his Dad. We attended to him as he slowly died where he lay, stopped breathing at about 10:34 a.m., surrounded by his younger GF German Shepherd and his "Mom" and "Dad," to whom he meant the world. Two people who wouldn't be together today, I suspect, had we not shared our passionate love for this special animal for over 12 years, and shared the desire to keep him on his own land when it was almost D time 8 years ago. Ironically, my brother's only son was texting me just as he died...I thanked him for being there at that poignant moment, which is the 2nd time in 3 days that young man and I have gone through something like this together, after I hadn't seen him for over 15 years. Must be some lessons in there, for another time.

Mr. K truly fulfilled a Dog's Purpose in a way that is indescribable. Rest in Peace Until We Meet Again, Kodiak.

posts: 1549   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8766611
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 1:48 AM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

So sorry, Supresse. There are no words to say to make it better. Wishing you peace and comfort.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1490   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8766636
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DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 1:54 AM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

Oh so sorry for your loss.

Hugs

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25035   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8766637
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 3:15 AM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear fur friend.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3001   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8766643
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 11:53 AM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

Oh my goodness. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your brother. And now your precious dog.

These things are so hard around holidays. And when lives have been fraught with hardships and disappointments- even harder.

I’m so sorry.

The other night I woke up with my 13 year old black lab mix curled up under my shoulder. She was having labored breathing, and her eyes were glassy. She was staring straight ahead but did not flinch when I passed my hands across her line of vision. I panicked, but didn’t want to upset her. So I just loved on her and told her what an angel she had been to us. It was hard…so hard…so I know your experience was so very hard.

In my dog’s case, she sort of snapped out of it, and seems as OK as she has been lately. I’m sorry your baby didn’t not get through it.

I think there are two ways to look at holidays. One way is that it’s just another day, and too much emphasis is put on things, good and bad, that happened around the time of holidays.

The other way to look at it is that it’s a special time to focus on family and friends in our lives. And as some of you have pointed out, a time to give thanks for our blessings, and to give to others.

I’m a big believer in the latter. But that’s just me.

As so many of you have shared, sometimes it’s best to proceed with these special times (holidays) despite struggles. And if tragedy strikes, and we are struggling, we can let the holiday help us through it, or we can let the timing make things more hurtful.

This thanksgiving my son wasn’t able to be with us. He is incarcerated. I convinced his lady and their son to join our extended family. Some of whom she has never met. She was hesitant, saying she felt odd coming without my son. Turns out, my family welcomed them with open arms, and they actually had a good time.

Sorry to ramble so much here I guess I’ve said all of this to say that hard times during "special occasions/holidays" can really suck. But, if we can, to move through those holidays despite the struggles, can be empowering.

So let me just say, among other things in my life, I am so thankful for all of you. And as we look toward the Christmas/ Hanukkah/Kwanzaa holiday, I pray that our lives will be as hopeful and loving as is possible.

❤️

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7681   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8766663
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 6:12 PM on Friday, November 25th, 2022

Supersede— I am so sorry for all the heartache you have experienced recently. I had to put my most beloved cat down on my 45th birthday- he was very ill even though he was he young, and it was the merciful thing to do. But my goodness that hurt. I’ve had many pets, but he was my most special boy— we just had an incredibly strong bond. And yes, the date is now tainted, but it is less every year, and now is more sweet memories than sorry. Time will help.

You loved your pup up to his end and you were with him as he crossed over the bridge. You did your very best by him and showed him the love he deserved.

Sending you peace and comfort and hoping that you are able to grieve all the losses in a healing way. (((Hugs)))

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5101   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8766716
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 2:30 PM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

Thank you leafields, DragnHeart, zebra25, WhatsRight, and BearlyBreathing for your hugs and sweet words in the loss of our "firstborn" fur baby. Yesterday, we chose a new spot to bury him on the hill, on a pasture slope overlooking the barn where his "Dad" makes his living and the garden where his "Mom" toils most of the year. WH used his huge tractor front end loader bucket to push grass and soil uphill in a line of about 20 feet length, parellel to an abandoned concrete water storage building just a little higher up the hillside we cut into. We then laid him to rest in the center of that line, just down from the center of the old building's gable roof, covered him with his doggie blanket, and finally placed about a ton of earth from the giant front end loader scoop. Doing that job was almost the hardest thing, ever. 😢😢

But I will now need to build a long, low retaining wall downslope a few feet from his resting place and then pull all the tons of dirt we pushed up against the building wall, to level it all out. When finished, it should appear like a natural terrace, not a gravesite. I got inspired to do this retaining wall as we were discussing where on the farm to bury him. Not somewhere far away, or that he never stayed, but overlooking where he spent his life; WH came up with the idea, then I got to thinking how it would have to be done to look natural. The thought hit me that such a terraced slope can someday serve as a resting place for our other dog, too; Ouch!! Before our boy fell sick so suddenly the other day, we had never once thought about all this. We should have looked into the practicalities before now as we both knew he was old-old but, as we know, denial is powerful. We had to learn the hard way that we cannot keep our fur babies for as long as we like.

This wise, wolfy old dog whom we adopted at age 2 or older, with buckshot all through his body, meant so much to us, to my brother, and even to our neighbors, that a new landscape feature will be fitting to his memory. (But oh my aching back...and pocketbook.) I know we must sound a bit 'touched in the head' to some people, but we had no other option besides to bury him ourselves, as the vets locally were unavailable when he passed and won't open until Monday. We do not have a 'hole digging' attachment for the tractor, and didn't want to ask our contractor neighbor to bring us one on Thanksgiving weekend. So, as with most things in the country, we had to make it happen by ourselves and - as usual - on short notice. Kind of like being in the Army....

After we accomplished this gut-wrenching task, I received a text from one of my nieces with an internet link to my brother's funeral home service 2 weeks from now. Such a detached way of dealing with his death, sending out batch texts....not even a little 'personal' message for the batch text recipients, just a freaking link?! Will he be buried? Cremated? No idea. So far, not one of his children has contacted me to ask for any help, or perhaps to ask if I had any photos from his childhood they've never seen. I have lots of old albums. They may think they have what they want, or they may still ask me but I doubt that will happen. From this text notification, I get the sense they're happy with how they are handling his Celebration of Life. I know I'm old fashioned, but if that's the way dying today goes, I'm glad I've taken the time to make my advance directive and funeral plans. Really, everybody ought to.

I'd love to hear what everybody else did on Thursday? How did it turn out, expectations versus reality?? 🙂

posts: 1549   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8766785
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 12:45 PM on Sunday, November 27th, 2022

We had a pretty good day.

On Wednesday, my H felt well enough to get up so I could give him a shave and a haircut, and a shower. And then on Thursday, he was able to go with us to my nephew’s house. That had not happened for a few years.

Then, my son, (who is incarcerated), his lady brought their son - almost 3 years old. She was self conscious, meeting some of my extended family for the first time without my son. My family has quirks like every other family, but there isn't usually any holiday weirdness. So I think she felt comfortable with them.

This was my first thanksgiving without my son. It will be my second Christmas. It is certainly nowhere near as hard as losing someone and death, missing them that way. But it is heartbreaking. Fortunately, where they are holding him until sentencing, he is at a county jail that is privately run and he is treated quite well. He and his fellow prisoners were treated to what sounded like a really nice Thanksgiving dinner.

Considering all of the pain I have read here, I feel fortunate to have had the Thanksgiving that I did.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7681   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8766882
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