Monday, January 7, 2008

To Write, Or Not To Write [About This.]

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
I've been going back and forth about whether or not to post here about my past 2 weeks. I've decided to write about it. I'll tell you up front, it's been a difficult time.

On December 20th I had a phone conversation that bothered me. I wrote the following immediately after, but never posted it.
I have a friend who I've known for over 15 years. Christmas has always been her favorite time of year. This girl used to throw parties to end all parties. I don't mean in a wild way. I mean in a "going all out" way. When you stepped into her home at Christmas time it was like you'd stepped into the North Pole! I have some funny stories about those parties that I may share with you sometime.

For the past 2 years she hasn't been able to throw her annual Christmas parties due to some mobility problems she's been having. This year, she's spending the holidays in a hospital recovering from hip surgery. She'll be there until January. I called today to see how she was doing. This is the conversation we had:
HER
Hello?

ME
Hi!

HER
Who is this?

ME
It's Melissa [my last name].
(*Note: I always tell her my last name when I call because her sister and I have the same first name and apparently we're not easy to tell apart on the phone!)

HER
I'm confused right now.

ME
Can you hear me ok? It's Melissa [My last name].

HER
Yes. But I'm really confused right now. Could you call me back tomorrow please?

ME
Of course.

HER
I just... I don't know where I am.

ME
You're in the hospital honey.

HER
Could you please call back tomorrow?

ME
Yes. I will talk to you tomorrow.
This is most likely from the pain meds she's on. Still, it broke my heart to hear her say that she didn't know where she was. My friend is in her 40s. She's not a senile old woman. I hung up, then called back and spoke to a floor nurse about our conversation, and asked them to check on her. The good thing is that my friend knew she was confused and disoriented. The bad is that she told me she didn't know where she was. It's not as if I called her on a cell phone where she might have been wandering around. I called the hospital phone in her room, -and she didn't know where she was.
I tried calling her a few times over the next few days, but was unsuccessful in reaching her. I didn't think much of it. It's hard to get ahold of people in hospitals. They get moved around a lot for tests or for physical therapy, or they're on the phone with other people.

I knew her husband and sister would be in touch with her daily and keeping tabs on her so, finally, on December 26th, I left a message at her home for her husband. I was cheerful and upbeat and told him to please let her know that I'd been trying to call her back ever since the brief conversation we'd had, and that I hadn't been having any luck getting ahold of her. I was getting busy signals or no answer... I asked him to let her know that I had been trying to reach her, that I was thinking of her, and to send her my love.

Three days later, on December 29th, I got a message from her husband on my voicemail. When I heard his voice I thought "Great! He's returning my call!" but it turned out he hadn't checked his messages. He was calling to tell me she'd died.

Next: Part 2: "Emergency Work Mode."

 

5 Comments:

Kendra said...

Oh god..I am so sorry Melissa. I know its hard...but thank you for sharing. My thoughts are with all of her family and you.

storyteller said...

What a shock! I'm sorry for your loss and the sudden way this came about, apparently without warning. I shall remember you and her family in my prayers.
Special hugs and blessings tonight,

momof3gr8kids said...

I am so sorry. I unexpectedly lost a friend who was in his early twenties. My prayers are with you and your friend's loved ones.

Melissa said...

Thank you. All of you :) I'm glad you don't mind reading about this because I was really on the fence about posting about it. Partially because it felt too private. Partially because there's a lot I'll have to leave out. And partially because I'd really prefer to keep this blog upbeat. But it was beginning to feel like by not posting about this I was "hiding" it, and that just seemed ... I don't know... dumb. ;)

I think there will probably be 4 posts about this. -So if anyone's bored, feel free to skip the next few days and check back after then! ;)

Grandy said...

Not skipping a thing Melissa!! My only hope, since I don't think there's anything I can say that would comfort you, is that perhaps by writing about this it will help you heal?

I'm so sorry for your loss!!