Taking time for a funeral

July 15, 2008

Our old friend Mike died last Monday. Angus, his former partner of many years, came down to help out and spent the week with us. Having guests always throws business as usual out the door, but it was a pleasure spending time with him. A requiem mass was held at the Gnostic church where Mike was a priest. Although a 2 and a half hour service is too long for my tastes, we all survived and were touched after all the liturgy was over when the bishop sat down and gave his homily confessing what a great friend, colleague and priest Mike had been. We were all relieved that Mike was finally released form his pain and cancer.

One of Mike’s hobbies was making necklaces, a hobby Daniel and I picked up for a while, back when we both had more free time. We loved looking at all the people at the mass who were wearing Mike’s necklaces.

A small reception was held at his apartment after the service. I took photos of his place which I hope to post here this week. It is an amazing place and Howard, the executor of Mike’s estate, has decided to let it just stay there for the rest of the month. We all wished it could just turn into a museum but know that that is not going to happen. Most of the stuff will be dispersed to his close friends, family and his church.

After I got home, I decided to pay attention to my animals who needed exercise. So I threw the ball for the dogs, and then brought my parrots inside for their workout. I get them on my finger and then we run around the house so that can “fly” with their clipped wings and still get a work out. In the process of doing that, I jammed my big toe into the door jam on the floor and ripped my toe nail, causing unbelievable pain. Hoping it might go away, I sat moaning in the kitchen, when Daniel and Angus came out hearing my strange sounds. Having no pain meds, they went back to Mike’s knowing that he had a cabinet full of it. They returned with a tablet of Oxycontin (sp?) which did the trick within 15 minutes. As the night went on, I felt more and more nauseous, and went to bed. In the morning I threw up and was sick for most of the day. I was told that this medication is hot on the black market. Ugh! Why would anyone want to feel like that?

I realized, during my own little ordeal, how debilitating pain can be. Even though pain can come from one little part of the body (e.g., the toe or a tooth), your entire body and psyche are in pain. Mike had Delauded (sp?) administered to him by a little machine around his neck, and was living on Oxydingdong. Ugh, he must have been in unfathomable pain.

I’m thankful today to be over the pain, and the horrible side effects of the pain medication. Next time, I’ll reach for an ibuprophen and call it a day.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brad Wood July 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

That was wonderful of Angus to assist. Again I raise a toast to Mike and his exemplary conduct, and again treasure my last contact with him thanks to you and yours.

Ouch ouch ouch though for you! I agree that opiates are nasty things, only to be used as a last resort for severe pain. Of course they are highly addictive. My experience with them is very limited, but I noticed that they made me care about nothing. Nothing at all. And I hated that, couldn’t wait for the effects to wear off. Yuck!

I used to say I could spot a junkie at 100 yards—meaning though a person who had become habituated and had slipped into a looking-for-a-codependent role—not someone needing the drugs to control pain.

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