Twelve Years Ago Today

One of my favorite pictures taken at the Horseshoe Casino in April, 2006. It was the first time Rick had seen Willie Nelson in over thirty years, and what a reunion that was!

I woke up this morning with my heart in a vice. How, after twelve years, can the pain still be so severe? Exactly twelve years ago today, I brought Rick home from the hospital after signing the hospice papers to end his life. They put him into a drug-induced coma – or so we thought.

With our living room converted into a makeshift hospital room, the only difference from the many prior weeks was that after all the healthcare folks and friends left, I was alone totally responsible for his care. No problem. I’d been doing that for a long time.

But that night was different. He was restless. I understood he’d left a plethora of things undone and I also understood that he knew he was home. He kept trying to get off the bed to go tend to whatever was nagging at him. Thank goodness he was so weak, he couldn’t really accomplish getting up, but I spent that entire night trying to soothe him.

I’m sure the hospice people gave me instructions, but all I remember was I was to put a certain number of morphine pills under his tongue every four hours. And despite doing that, still he wasn’t completely under.

West Texas sunrise

Finally, as the sun started to rise, weary, I called the hospice number and asked for some help. Little did I know I could have called them hours earlier.

They came an hour or so later and gave him stronger drugs that put him completely under. But even all these years later, I can recall every agonizing minute spent that night. Never had I felt so helpless. Besides dealing with the reality that he was leaving, I had to manage the guilt of letting him suffer so long before asking for help.

Well, truth be told, I still deal with a lot of guilt. If only I had known then what I know now about oils and gemstones, I could have made his crossing easier.

Beneficial oils and gemstones Jan Sikes 4-25-21

But one thing I know for sure – you can never go back in life. You have this moment. And for me, it is imperative that I do the best I can with my current knowledge to live the best life possible in the now.

If you are still lucky enough to have your loved one with you, lean over and hug them, kiss them and tell them how much you love them. Don’t put it off.

I will be reliving those days that followed as this week unfolds, but most of it became a blur. Friends and family gathered. Someone forced food down me. I slept only snippets at a time. I’m not going to relive every part of the memory with you, but I will share a couple of significant events that all ended around 4 am on May 1st.

Never forgotten. Ever missed.

This is a story of inspiration, endurance and most of all undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them.

46 thoughts on “Twelve Years Ago Today

  1. Jan, true love never dies but lives forever in our hearts. The important thing is that you have chosen to live your life to its fullest and use your gift of writing to share your stories that have helped so many. Rick is proud of you. And so am I.

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    1. It’s true, Debby, that we have lived similar journies in different ways. And, we are not alone. I would love to think of myself as a warrior woman, but I know my weaknesses and failings. Yet I always manage to do what needs doing. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, sweet friend.

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  2. Oh, Jan, my heart hurts for you. I can’t imagine your pain, but I do know you were blessed with a love that exists beyond here. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise. Knowing that the love still exists beyond the veil is a comfort and does ease the pain of the loss. Most of the time, I’m good. Once in a while, it gets me. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. Hi,
    I truly understand your pain. Losing a loved one that you care very deeply about is painful and I believe the bond between husband and wife is even more painful. It is like cutting the umbilical cord of a relationship. So as you go through this week, go through it knowing that you did everything that you could do. You loved him until he crossed over. You were by him and take comfort in the love you have given.
    I’m thinking of you.
    Shalom aleichem

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry, Jan. I know Rick was your soul mate. Just the thought of what you went through is heartbreaking. No matter how much time passes, the wound of losing a loved one never truly heals. Take comfort in knowing you will see your beloved husband again one day.<3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mae. You are right in that the wound never completely heals. It gets better and most of the time is only a barely noticeable ache. And I will see him again. That much I know. He promised. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the first time I’ve heard about your personal experience, Jan. All we can do is our best and learn from each experience. I was with my mom when she passed. I empathize with what this must have been like for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pete, for stopping by and leaving a comment. I do have to say that witnessing a death is much like a birth except for the emptiness it leaves. I appreciate your comment and may your mom rest in peace!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Jan, for sharing your heartfelt memories from twelve years ago. What resonates from your book, “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” is that you must grasp every moment of joy, no matter the circumstances, and cherish the moment in your memory. Your book rang true on what unconditional love entails during the most difficult journey in our lives when we lose someone.

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  7. What a stressful night you had twelve years ago when you brought Rick home. Sorry that you went through the whole night feeling helpless. It was a terrible feeling to find out you could have called anytime but didn’t. You wanted to go back to rewound the clock so you would have called the hospice and got help to make Rick feel better. It has been a long twelve years to carry the guilt with you. The pain of losing Rick will not go away, as yet, and on top of it, you have this guilt feeling.

    I believe that your love for each other is not any less with time past by. The separation is only physical, not spiritual or emotional. He is with you all the time and telling you he loves you just as the same as it’s always been. We do have the hope that we’ll reunite with our loved ones, someday, and hold hands singing, dancing, and laughing again. Thank you for sharing your pain with us.

    I’m sure Rick read your books and smiles at you all the time! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Miriam. I know we are only separated by a thin veil and I do feel him with me. I know he is proud of all my accomplishments.

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  8. My Sweeet Jan. My thought and prayers are with you. Treasure your memories and know you shouldn’t have any guilt, you have him truly care and love, you were his true love and he was yours. One day you will be together again.. eternally. Young, healthy, and singing. I will expect y’all to sing to me when I’m up there with you both. Love you and treasure your love which is still so strong. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww, what a sweet comment, Tonya. I look forward to singing with him again in another place and time, and if you’re there, I’ll make sure he serenades you. 🙂 Thank you for your sweet uplifting words. I treasure you and your friendship!

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  9. I don’t think the pain of seeing your dearest one suffer ever gets less Jan. We only try to get busy to forget the moments, which stand before us from time to time. Sharing does help a little. A big healing hug.

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  10. So sorry, Jan, that you had to endure that stressful night and such a devastating loss. We all do the very best we can with our hearts and heads and almost always wish we could have done more. I hope someday that guilt resolves and you remember only how deeply you loved your husband. I’m sure he already knows it. Congrats on the book and for the gift of sharing your heart with your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Diana. Grief is such a funny thing. I can go for months without feeling that gut-wrenching feeling of loss, then all of a sudden it comes rushing back. Of course, the anniversary of his death always brings it. I published the book in 2017 and it is the last of the four in the series of our biographical story. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by today.

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  11. You moved my heart and touched it so deeply, Jan. We know that we cannot go back and apply the knowledge we know today. And although we know that clearly, the feeling of guilt is still there – time has no meaning when it comes to that feeling. But yes, you did the best you could in a more than an overwhelming situation. You could only do what you knew. Thank God, we are wiser today than yesterday, However, it doesn’t mean we were careless before.
    What a beautiful soul you are and how filled with love your soul must be that you did this for another soul.
    Much love to you, dear Jan 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comment, Erika. I know that we can only move forward with what knowledge we gain, and if I believe anything I say, it was all perfect and as it was supposed to be. The goal is to always be wiser today than yesterday. And no, I wasn’t careless, just ignorant of ways I could have made it easier. I appreciate your heartfelt words, dear soul. Hugs!

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      1. You definitely know this all. It only needs time to sink. As we know this is such a personal and individual process that goes along with so many other developments. However, you are an amazing person with a heart of gold. I simply send you the biggest hug, dear Jan💖

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  12. I don’t think the pain of losing a loved one ever goes completely away. While I haven’t lost a spouse, I still recall when my father died unexpectedly. I had just turned twenty-one. All day long, an inner voice kept telling me to call Dad and tell him I loved him. I argued with myself, reasoning I would see him when I got home, I was busy at work, etc. He died before I could talk to him. While I knew he loved me, I will always wish I’d told him one last time.

    Thinking of you this week, Jan.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Your last moments are very touching, Jan, as was your book Till Death Do Us Part. I suspect he is always with you, cheering you on, blessing your day. Thank you for sharing this important anniversary with readers. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

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