04 July, 2013

Mourning on hold

One week has passed and a new one is started here at Hospice Lovisenberg. We get unwanted insight into the state of "critical but stable".

Finally a well deserved nap.
Anja still breathes deeply. It takes some time between each breath when she sleeps. Although it feels very long when she skips one or two, there is no sign that the end is coming.

We detect small changes. We get detailed explanations. We are looking for shortness of breath. We only find new pain thresholds, they get lowered, as the dining table is on its way to becoming a salt board - cut a little here, a little planing there.

Anja is not often conscious. She can barely speak clearly. It is usually necessary with two heads to understand right and wrong and put it together into something that matches the surroundings and remedies. Or humor.

Hospice Lovisenberg has become a home for us. Our "Hotel Cæsar" [Norway's longest running TV soap ever]. A family drama. It has become so familiar, that Anja sometimes think we are at home in the apartment. Not bad for a 37-year-old. Though insignificant details in the big picture.

The rest of us have begun to "settle in" here. That is, we are no longer so grief-stricken, touched, sentimental. We take longer breaks out of Anja's room. Yesterday, our 13-year-old had to go shopping for a while. Three floors of sales at H & M. Anja wanted us to walk. We drove.

Hannah got a cup of
non-coffee at Starbucks.
When we came back, grandmother and aunt were gone a long while. They came back and reported that they had been out for a walk, including the Karl Johans gate. I had two check, the car keys were in my pocket.

In the evening I had to read new comments from Facebook and the blog for Anja. It was not easy to see her reactions, only when she told of an individual, and when she asked for someone specific. Otherwise, she is somehow slightly done with us who have been hanging here for a week. There is more life and laughter for new faces. It is actually good.

Our grief is on hold. We have vented it a bit from before. Now there are others who should be allowed to see her. We can facilitate, comfort and explain, ensure that there are worse things for both Anja and us than to let her go now. The disease takes its toll, it scares but does not deserve our undivided attention.

There are some good things with this taking so long. Today more visitors come from Anja's native grounds, the tip of southern Sunnmøre, with no connection to the mainland, and with a clear view to Stad. And outside the rain falls in light air.

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