Thursday, September 13, 2007

long week

I'm exhausted. Completely. At least today I only got one more new call. I'm floating ten calls right now and I feel like a juggler. The new manager, Jargon King, calls me from The Gardens every morning and puts me on speaker phone for their morning meeting and asks how they can help me today. I've said no thanks because the last person who came to help had no idea what to do and it took longer to teach her how to use the typewriter and the copy machine than it was worth, until yesterday when I asked for someone to come over and do a preneed arrangement for me. That idiot had no idea what to do. He stammered and stuttered and said, "Uh, we have four services today and we don't have anyone to help you." I wanted to ask, "why then are you wasting my time, i'm too far behind to participate in the pretense that you're supporting me." The Boss's daughter piped up that maybe her older sister could come over and help. JK then spewed some crap like, "oh, now there's an idea, I didn't realize we could utilize her knowledge in this way. Noelle, I'll see what I need to do in order to facilitate making this happen for you. I'll get you the support you need to be successful today and we'll be in touch to fill you in on a timeframe." All i could think of was, "ok". Gone was my own silver tongue. IDIOT (spoken aloud in true Napoleon-ese after hanging up the phone ).

Ok, here's a few of my families.
1. Dad, 80s, natural causes. Daughter, 40s, caretaker for him and for Mom, who has dementia. Dtr brought Mom to arrangement conference. Dtr has the biggest circles under her eyes, she's exhausted, and she cries, for what i think is probably the first time. She's given up her own life to care for her parents who aren't wealthy people and she has no idea how she'll pay for a 650 dollar cremation. I am deeply saddened when she pushes Mom's wheelchair out to the car.
2. Wife, 58, liver cancer. Diagnosis to death = 6 weeks. Husband, devasted. Four children early 20s to early 30s. Two grandchildren who'll never get to know her. They're all in shock. Her daughter and I have swapped emails about the folders. Her last one was signed "love, X". I cried to see it. She's so vulnerable right now that she absentmindedly included me in her circle of trusted ones. She and her dad, Husband of deceased, came in this afternoon to make sure the CD she'd burned would work in our sound system. It did. I think she just wanted to come in to sit in our chapel for a few moments. Husband said she was a little upset with him cuz he'd had a drink before coming in there. I chuckled and said I often want to have a drink before coming in.
3. Boy, 12, brain cancer. He came to us from the same social worker as the Stripper's son some months ago. Born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Ward of the courts. Passed from home to home all of his life until 3 years ago when he got to go to Guardian's home where he became a part of a real family for the first time ever. Guardian and Social Worker made the arrangements together. The three of us cried alot and I didn't even know the Boy. They're having a memorial service this weekend at a local high school cafeteria where there'll be corndogs, hot dogs, cookies, and fun stuff that a 12 year old boy loved. No vegetables and no fruit because he wouldn't have eaten it. How fun.
4. Husband, 60s, blew off head in front of wife. Held gun to her head first and said he should kill her because then there'd be no way for him to chicken out and not kill himself. After terrifying her he pulled the gun back to himself. Asshole. She's so angry. And confused. And sad. There is nothing more selfish than to take one's own life. They just bought a new truck and a fifth wheel and were planning their retirement. I am trying not to judge him too harshly because i don't think that suicide should cancel out the entirety of a life. It's an act of desperation and I do understand feeling that way. Maybe it's why it's so draining to me. I've felt that desperate before, I get where he was coming from. But I chose to think of those around me whereas he chose to wallow in himself. That's the part I don't understand, making the decision to ignore the pain of family and friends left behind and making the decision to take the most selfish path there is. I just don't get it.

I long for 95 year olds who die peacefully in the night. I'm a little tired.


Sayre said...

Ouch. that suicide sounds brutal. I'm so sorry for that wife.

You know what I think your strength might be in conducting your business? You're not afraid to cry with people. Even if you don't know the deceased, you care enough to cry with them. I think that may make all the difference in the world to your clients.

There just aren't that many empathetic people out there anymore.

Catch said...

Suicide is so hard on those left gfs husband committed suicide and I dont think his sons will ever get over it. SO sad.

I could cry for the 12 year old who had brain cancer...poor thing shifted from home to just breaks my heart to think about it.

You have a tough job doubt about it....some days your heart has to ache.

Its so much easier to let a 90 yr old go, when you know they have had a long happy life.