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Sorry I haven't been back to post more information.  I just haven't had the energy/time/strength to write.  So, forgive me while I copy what someone else wrote for me on a board we belong to and I'll just add notes:

"Gail hadn't been feeling well for a few days and on Sunday (July 5th) went to urgent care and was diagnosed with pneumonia (and given antibiotics and an inhaler).  (On July 6th Pete, me and the kids went on vacation to MIchigan City, IN, about an hour and a half away.  Gail told us to go ahead and go, she had her meds and she couldn't be around us or the boys because she was contagious.  She was supposed to be coming over to our house once we left to cat sit.)  She continued to not feel well and ended up calling 911 (on the afternoon of July 8th) because she had passed out a few times (she called me on my cell at the farm we were at to tell me this...and that she it had taken her an hour to call 911 because she had crawled from her bathroom to the door of her condo unit so she could open it and yell up to the teenager upstairs to open the door to the condo building so that the paramedics wouldn't bust it down....and since she kept passing out it took an hour.  My cell phone coverage was awful and when the paramedics arrived they didn't know where they would take her.  I waited 45 minutes and then started calling around....it took me over an hour to find her.  She called me once from the ER to tell me she was doing okay and that they wanted to make sure she didn't have blood clots in her lungs like she had two years ago, but that they thought not.  She told me she'd probably be admitted and be there for several days, and then a nurse came in and she had to go.  We decided to feed, bathe, and put the kids to bed.  I kept waiting to hear from the ER while we were doing that, they didn't call, so I called them at 8:45 once the kids were asleep.  They told me she was having a procedure done and to call back in 20 minutes.) . In the ER, apparently her oxygen level was good, (the xray was good, the CAT scan came back fine and they decided to do a 3rd less common test where the patient inhales radioactive dye and it helps them to see oxygen flow. As they were doing this test, Gail passed away.  (When Steph called back twenty minutes later like they said)  a doctor spoke to her and literally out of the blue told Stephanie that as she was getting that oxygen test done, Gail died. No lead in, no hint in her voice that this was coming. How horrible!

Stephanie and Pete woke up Kevin and told him and packed up their car, woke up Gabe and drove home, arriving back at 2:30am that morning. Kevin, understandably, was upset about his Auntie Gail and also upset that their much planned vacation had changed.

Steph is overwhelmed obviously, by the sheer depth of losses that have occured in her life over the past few years and the fact that she did not want to have 3 urns lined up on a shelf in her house. The funeral director is going to mix the ashes of Zach, her mom and her sister (and put them all together in a big cloissone urn with maple leaves on it.

Gail had a 2 bedroom condo with an enormous amount of stuff in it- no boxes were unpacked from when she moved in 27 months ago and she also has been collecting all sorts of papers,coupons, etc, so there is a small path to walk through the entire apartment. Steph and Pete have to face cleaning out the condo and getting it on the market. They will work with the same realtor who helped them buy the apt for Gail. "


And then Gabe's second birthday was July 10th.

They found a massive blood clot in a major artery in her lungs.  Our doctor said that due to the size and location there was nothing they could have done to save her if they had noticed it even a few hours earlier.

I swear to God if my sister weren't already dead, I'd have to kill her (no matter how much I love her). Cleaning out the 27 months worth of every piece of paper/mail and cardboard food box she ever got her hands on plus every grocery shopping bag nearly killed me and my best friends (took two nights with 3 people working). It was a total pit over there with an 9 inch wide path winding through it--she never let me come over after she moved in.   Pete and I have spent hours on the phone tracking down bills and life insurance policies (finding out she never cashed my mom's life insurance policies or finished paying her lawyer).  We are sorting through billions of papers and bills and records trying to find what we need.  The only that has been easy is that right after my mom died my sister wrote a will, made me executor, and put me on all her bank accounts.

Those of you who know me, know that July (despite Gabey's bday) is a hard month for me.  Zach would have been 5 next Friday.

At this point my mind is so overloaded by all of this that I am firmly in the "this is too surreal, so I'm going to do all the stuff that has to be done, but my emotions are going to be locked away because this didn't happen" place.  Hurrah for the brain and it's self protective mechanisms.  Oh, and hurrah for Wellbutrin with a touch of Zoloft--I didn't have those when Zach and Mom died.   Everytime I make some silly limit for myself, life makes me push through that limit and explode that myth.  Can't go into a funeral home again, hah.  Can't touch another dead body, hah.  Can't explain the death of a close family member to my children again, hah.  Can't deal with the terrible twos and grief again, hah.  Can't spend another hour on the phone chasing down paper trails, explaining this over and over, hah.  My grief counselor and parenting counselor hardly know what to say.  I haven't gotten many sympathy cards, because there aren't any that say "Dear God, again???"  There is no one left in my family now.  And I'm only 36.

We did manage to pull off a good birthday for Gabey.  I'll try to post a pic.  And he and Kevin have a joint big party next week.  We've been trying to minimize the impact on the kids as much as possible.  But at least 10 times a day Gabey asks for "Auntie" and I don't know what to say other than "Yes, we miss her."  I haven't told him yet because I just don't even know what to say.  Kevin is doing mostly okay.  *sigh*  We're going to try to go on a short vacation next month to help the kids.

Me.  I'm here.  Putting one foot in front of the other, doing what needs to be done, swearing at the urn in the dining room a lot, and hitting a wall (metaphorically speaking) every once in a while.  I don't really have any other choice, now do I?  Bless our friends A&T (sorry, no brains for lj tags) for babysitting and helping with the physical mess.  Tons more to go--we haven't even gotten into her boxes yet.

I just don't know what to believe or think anymore.


Jul. 23rd, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
You are the most courageous woman I know. Your strength is inspiring. I think sometimes the biggest act of faith is simply putting one foot in front of the other in the face of what seems insurmountable. You are a gift to your children and this world. May you be gentle with yourself when you allow your brain to process that this really did happen. Wrapping you and your family in Love and Light. *hugz*


Your little gremlin

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