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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you may remember that back about 5 months ago my older brother's wife had a massive stroke that put her in the ICU for 2 weeks, and after that she was released to a rehab facility to begin her recovery. Well after about 2 weeks in there she suffered a series of mini strokes as well as a mild heart attack and was sent back to ICU, and now here it is 5 months later and she is still alive but cannot breathe on her own nor do either of her kidneys work and she's hooked upto several machines, and she sleeps at least 20 hours a day and hasn't spoken a word this entire time.

Now that you know all that I will tell you this that I finally responded to my brother about the whole situation, and I basically told him that it's probably best to just let her go and to end all the suffering finally. Well he responded angrily and in so many words told me to "BUTT OUT" and mind my own damn business, even though I was just being up front and honest with him and said it as nice as I possibly could.
 

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That's difficult...all the way around. I imagine you were offering your opinion from a place of love and compassion, but he's probably so raw and in such intense pain right now that all he can do is lash out his frustration and anger. It's hard, but try not to take it personally. Just let him know you care about him and will support him no matter what. Sorry you and your family are going through this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's difficult...all the way around. I imagine you were offering your opinion from a place of love and compassion, but he's probably so raw and in such intense pain right now that all he can do is lash out his frustration and anger. It's hard, but try not to take it personally. Just let him know you care about him and will support him no matter what. Sorry you and your family are going through this.
Thanks; and this morning I got another e-mail from him basically saying thanks for my concerns, but from here on out please keep all of my opinions on this matter to myself.
 

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All you can do now is let him know you love him and are there if he needs anything.
 

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ultimately it's his choice, he knew his wife best and has the responsibility of enacting what he feels is the best course for her. He acted out in anger because he feels you do not support his decision to keep her on life support.
My wife and I both have living wills so it's crystal clear to anyone else who wishes to interfere what our true wishes are (to not live like that). I know it's tough to see your brother go through this and I truly understand your position but the support he needs right now isn't a contrary opinion unless he asks for one. This isn't a crystal clear situation of right and wrong and the decision lies within the heart. Help him with what he wants to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ultimately it's his choice, he knew his wife best and has the responsibility of enacting what he feels is the best course for her. He acted out in anger because he feels you do not support his decision to keep her on life support.
My wife and I both have living wills so it's crystal clear to anyone else who wishes to interfere what our true wishes are (to not live like that). I know it's tough to see your brother go through this and I truly understand your position but the support he needs right now isn't a contrary opinion unless he asks for one. This isn't a crystal clear situation of right and wrong and the decision lies within the heart. Help him with what he wants to do.
I guess I just got tired of hearing about her suffering for 5 months now and for all that it is putting him through(he barely sleeps or eats), but I will stay out of it now and keep on praying for him from afar because they live about 50 miles away.
 

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I guess I just got tired of hearing about her suffering for 5 months now and for all that it is putting him through(he barely sleeps or eats), but I will stay out of it now and keep on praying for him from afar because they live about 50 miles away.
I'm truly sorry this has happened to your family CP, some situations are what they are. I know it's tough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: my sister in law passed away Monday after having a massive heart attack and could not be revived, and so now the suffering is finally over and the funeral is set for this Friday. :(
 

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Sorry for your loss. I hope that things are going to be okay between you and your brother and he will put it behind him.
 

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Sorry for your loss, people think and handle things different. You were being compassionate about her suffering your brother did not want to lose his wife.

Very hard situation, there is no right answer just support.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The funeral was this morning and my brother and I hugged and had a nice talk so it's all good now, and we both understand where each one was coming from.
 

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The funeral was this morning and my brother and I hugged and had a nice talk so it's all good now, and we both understand where each one was coming from.
This is great! He will need lots of ongoing support as he grieves so it's wonderful he has you. Tell him you are there for him if he just wants to talk about her and look at pictures of her, or to go out in the world and do something for awhile and take his mind off it. It's entirely his agenda and either way you will support. Live, love and laugh as they say. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This is great! He will need lots of ongoing support as he grieves so it's wonderful he has you. Tell him you are there for him if he just wants to talk about her and look at pictures of her, or to go out in the world and do something for awhile and take his mind off it. It's entirely his agenda and either way you will support. Live, love and laugh as they say. :)
I will have to give him support from afar because he lives about 50 miles away, and as far as going anywhere he lost his job throughout this whole thing because the company went belly up so that will have to be his focus very soon(getting another job).
 

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During my mothers final illness, I kept hinting to my father and brother to honor her living will. Her kidneys had stopped working, and the doctors wanted to put her on a dialasys....I objected, but they hooked her up....

then they wanted to put her on a ventilator...I suggested they shouldn't....

She was put on the machine.

Then they said she had a bleeder and wanted permission to operate, or she would bleed out. Again I suggested they honor the living will...

They operated...

I talked to everyone, my dad, my brother, her sisters, everyone. Alone they all agreed she should be allowed to die, but none had the courage in front of the group.

I was 2 hours from home, and had stayed at her side holding my brother and dad up emotionally as well as I could. I saw I was making things too easy on my brother, and went home for a couple of days....

He called 2 days later and said "This is killing me. You have to come back here and get her off this damned machine.....

I came back, I had to stay at my brothers side constantly to keep him from unpluging the life support himself...the next day, they took her off the ventilator. Within 20 minutes she passed away in her sleep.....

Since her passing, no one said we should have insisted on additional life support. Everyone knew it was the right thing to do...Even my dad, her husband of 57 years...

It was 15 years before my brother mentioned it. Then in a phone call, he told me, being too emotional was the biggest mistake he had ever made, and he hated what he had done. Not being strong enough to make the right call had put her through 3 weeks of pain and suffering that we should have prevented.

Sometimes it is just hard to admit what is the right thing to do.

And to be perfectly honest, I don't know if I would have the courage to do the right thing if it was my wife. I would need a lot of support.

I think my stepson would have the courage to help my wife do the right thing by me...



the woodchuck
 
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