But that’s not true, really.
The truth is that I’ve written a lot.
I’ve written thank you notes and messages to friends expressing my deep appreciation for being there.
I’ve thanked people for caring for our family and bringing food. I’ve thanked people for donating money to my dad’s memorial.
I’ve written notes to a pastor. I’ve emailed questions to a funeral director.
I’ve written an obituary.
And after a wonderful experience at the hospital, I’ve written to a palliative care navigator:
I know you meet a lot of patients and families, but I wanted to let you know how much your work was appreciated when my dad was a patient in Allen Hospital. You spent a lot of time talking with my mom and me about my dad, his condition, family dynamics, wishes, etc. It was such a relief for me that you were able to guide some of these difficult conversations with my parents.
I had talked to my dad about hospice, but he wasn't ready for it. I desperately wanted him to be. I thank you for empowering him to make his own decisions and for allowing him to understand his options.
The last day my dad was at Allen, Dr. Jaoude spoke further with him about the progression of his cancer and the options that existed. He was kind and honest. I was really proud of my dad when he chose to go to hospice. He had wanted to go home for so long, but near the end he knew it would be impossible. As his condition worsened, he knew my mom would not be able to care for him.
My dad was transported from Allen to Bartels Lutheran Home. I was grateful for the assistance of the social worker, Hillary, who lined up the details for us. Megan, his nurse, was outstanding, too, in her care and communication with him and our family.
He passed away very peacefully the evening of April 28, after having been in hospice less than 48 hours. He had spent the day with many family members and friends who loved him.
He was finally ready.
Thank you so much for the work you do every day. It means the world to families like ours and many others who may not tell you so.
Tyann Sheldon Rouw
I told Henry I needed to carve out time to write regularly again this summer, which is difficult because school isn’t in session. Our routine is kind of crazy, and I need a whole lot of silence in order to collect my thoughts and write. Silence is a rare commodity these days.
I have many stories to tell.
I told him to be patient and wait for me.
Soon I’ll be back.