Tag Archives: dying

Not a Good Way to Start the Year…and a DREAM

We got a call this morning that our friend Tim passed away last night. This was no surprise, as we were expecting it after his brain hemorrhage a couple weeks ago, precipitated by his infection a couple weeks before that.

I had a weird dream with him in it last night. But after that dream, I had an even weirder, more disturbing dream. But it needs some background and explanation. So now before the dreams, here is the real life background info, that I should’ve written down last year, but I wasn’t exactly in a writing mood:

On New Year’s Eve/Day 2009/2010, I was awoken in the middle of the night by the sound of someone screaming “help! help!” outside. I couldn’t move, but I heard someone running up or down the steps next door, probably a younger and more awake neighbor looking to see what was going on. I think Stan slept through it. Soon after, I hear sirens, so I finally get up to look outside. The old guy who lived alone across the street had a fleet of 3 vehicles: van, SUV, pickup sort of vehicles…one of those WTF sort of things (this is in the city…on a corner lot…not in the country). A pickup with a camper shell had somehow caught fire under the hood, and by the time I got dressed and looked outside, I saw flashing lights and smoke emanating from the truck. The old guy wearing shorts stumbled outside to view the damage, then back inside, never to take care of the problem. The truck sat on his lawn for the next few months, never hauled away or repaired under his watch.

A couple months later in March on a Saturday night, Stan and I were watching a movie and I heard sirens. They stopped in front of the old guy’s house. Paramedics went inside and emerged a while later carrying the old guy on a stretcher. We figured he won’t be coming back. We were right. Several weeks later he died.

For many, many years prior to this incident, I would have creepy dreams about the old guy…that he was watching me and could see me inside my house. This was impossible…he never opened his drapes to look out his window…and we have a jungle in front of our front window, so it would be hard to see through all our houseplants even if he did. Once I dreamt I could see him on the top floor, and he was sitting up in a hospital bed. I don’t know if this was before he was taken away on a stretcher or not. But all these dreams took place from the safety of my own home, watching. I never actually went over there in any of the dreams.

For the next few months, a daughter of his and her family would come over and clean up little by little, hauling big bins of trash outside, and then eventually renting a large dumpster. But first they got rid of the 3 cars, including the one that had caught fire. Some young guys came over and in an afternoon disassembled the entire thing for parts and hauled it off. By the time the dumpster rental had expired, they were still coming over every weekend or so to clean up some more and to throw away more stuff.

I knew that he didn’t have a good relationship with his family…one daughter, the youngest, basically left and never returned, except to pick up a piece of furniture, and then her car wouldn’t start as she was trying to leave…something that would happen to me. There were two older daughters, and I don’t know which one was attending to taking care of the situation. By the time we came back from our vacation in August, we didn’t see them come over to clean much anymore. The house hasn’t been sold…nothing has happened with it. From the outside, it looks the same as it’s always looked…clutter in the front porch, old refrigerator on the back porch, closed drapes on all the windows. Who knows what’s going on inside.

Last night or early this morning, before we got the news Tim had passed, I had a dream that I saw Tim. He was sitting in a chair in a hospital, sort of slouched, but he was awake. His skin was rather grey and his lips looked blue, but he was alive. I asked him if we could see him and talk to him, but he said now would not be a good time because he looked awful. I said that didn’t matter to us…I was just glad to see that he wasn’t comatose anymore.

I woke up from that dream, and went back to sleep. I had another dream. It started out very realistically. I was sitting in the living room, and look out the window and notice that there is a light on in the windows across the street. I assume it is the daughter and her family come to clean up some more. But it’s New Year’s Eve in the middle of the night…why spend the night doing that? I saw motion inside…there were lots of people there. Were they having a party? I don’t know why, but I went over there. There were three women, probably his daughters, and they were all sleeping downstairs in the living room, like a slumber party. One had pulled out a sleeper couch, and the other two were sleeping on a very long old fashioned sofa. The room had wallpaper and in the corner of the wall was a large blood stain with splatters. It was scaring me, and I asked them what that was from. One of the women starts to tell me something, but it doesn’t make any sense, so I figure she does not want me to know what it is, or it is a sensitive subject or something. I keep staring at the blood stain. And I wake up.

I’m not surprised I had a dream about Tim the night he died. People say that happens when someone dies you are close to. They come visit you. I’m thinking he must have been on the other side at the time I had the dream. I hope he doesn’t forget about the house in Kenosha where we’ll all meet when we’re all gone.

As far as the dream about the old man’s house across the street? I don’t know. But I’m sure it’s connected somehow. I thought when he died someone in my family would be next, like it was an omen. I guess Tim was as close as one could get to a brother for someone who has no siblings. We were born in the same hospital.

Crying My Eyes Out

I had started crying my eyes out over a month ago when Plato first showed signs of going downhill quickly. I was preparing for that day for a while, yet it always comes too soon, and Stan and I wish we could both hold him just one last time. However if we had that last time, we’d always want one more last time after that.

I keep thinking of all these things to write down, short remembrances of him, like the day we brought him home, and when he (and we) discovered beds and how he was “good in bed” (he just lied down and slept, unlike our then-pug, Hieronymus, who would chase around on them and do a bad doggy potty thing).

I remembered when we travelled with Plato when he was still just a few months old to go to Stan’s Dad’s funeral, and then when he was about a year old to go up north to the UP to see the Paulding lights. I remember a photo of him with Hieronymus and a gigantic mushroom.  I remember his silly tricks like “go get the hair tie”, and how he would spin around on the futon and stop and stare at my paintings on the wall, as if the metallic cosmos-like reflections did something to his imagination.

I remembered how up until recently he would snuggle with me and Lucifer Sam on my futon under a blanket in the middle of the day.

I remember so many things, too many to recount.

In the early morning of  Thursday, May 27, 2010, I awoke to a horrible dream. I dreamt that Stan had a bunch of blue crushed up crystals that looked like Azurite. But I knew what it was, it was Cyanide. He said that we could take it because life had gotten horrible. At that moment, this strange feeling swept through my body, still dreaming, and I started to see our situation from a strange and scary perspective. I did not want to die, yet I was frightened that Stan thought it was so awful. I told him no, I was not ready, that if I was in terrible physical pain I would consider it, but not now. I woke up and cried my eyes out.

That night we had put Plato upstairs in the air-conditioning to try to calm him and cool him, yet he still barked all night. Stan slept with earplugs. I could still hear him. Early in the morning when Stan got up for the early shift, I recounted my dream, and tried to get him to stay home. See, I’m an oracle. Oracles speak in strange words and images that don’t always make sense. He went to work anyway.

Plato would not settle down that morning. He was constantly asking me to take him outside to relieve himself, he was constantly panting from pain. He was maxed out on the highest dose our vet allowed us to give him of the painkillers. Even though he had regained his appetite a bit and was eating regular dog food and his poo was more normal-looking, he was crying in pain more and more when one tried to pick him up because he could not lift himself up.

Stan called from work and we discussed it. We realized he was trying to tell us he wanted to go…it was time. He made an appointment with the vet for later that afternoon, and around 2:45-3:00 pm he left this world.

I still cannot stop crying

Not Even Meat

Plato is still hanging in there, but I know the end is so close. A few weeks ago he still ate regular dog food. Last week he would only nibble at canned food, and recently only allowed us to feed him real meat. Now he is refusing real meat. I was able to get some Trader Joe’s Dog Snacks down him. He still eats those.

He is sleeping more now. Last week was very restless, waking up all the time to take him out. But now he lets us sleep more. Stan had the last couple nights because I have been completely wiped out. I will have to stay with Plato when he works the early shift next week, though.

His breathing, which used to be labored because of his enlarged heart, is now slowing down. I have prepared myself for this for a long time, but it still breaks me up each time I face the inevitable.

I have spent over $400 in the recent weeks at the vet’s. They can’t find anything wrong except for the enlarged heart, which we’ve known about for some time and are treating with Furosamide and Enalapril (sp?). They think his pain is due to arthritis. They could do a (sonogram? radiography?) but last time we put him through that, it was a dreadful time coming out of the sedation. I am not putting him through that again.

We are just giving him as much comfort as we can. We’ll know when he wants to go, when he refuses all food and water and when he’s lost all desire for pleasure. We knew that when Persephone’s time  had ended and we had her put to sleep. Right now, Plato still loves to go for rides. We always put our dogs in their kennels when we travel with them, and when Stan takes the kennel out, Plato always barks so he won’t be left behind. Last night, despite his lameness, he followed Stan out to the van, up the incline to the parking stall. It was the cutest thing.

The last year

I have been through so much. Within the past few weeks, I have been through so much turmoil as my beautiful Boston Terrier, Plato is dying.

Plato is over 13 years old. I do not believe he can make it to 14 in August. He has an enlarged heart and heart murmur. He was diagnosed with this condition last year, yet all the time he was very agile and seemed normal, except he wasn’t active as he used to be.

A few weeks ago, he decided it was time to get old. He started to limp, then scream in pain. He can no longer walk more than a few steps. Stan and I transport him outside to use the potty. He sits on a pillow when eating. Soon he will lose his appetite altogether. Then I know it will be time to let go. I am in tears as I write this. I have been in tears constantly since this started.