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Posted 2019-01-21T19:27:50Z

Holy ground

After one last hospital stay, Brian has come home. He managed to sneak in a radiation treatment on his shoulder, then was bundled into an ambulance to be driven here. Consults with Oncology and Palliative Care agreed that no aggressive anti-cancer treatment is likely to have an effect that would outweigh the side-effects; the cancer is too aggressive and has advanced too far. Therefore, the best treatment is one that’s aimed directly at symptom and pain management, so he will now be in the expert and caring hands of home hospice.

The breadth of the care is amazing, in fact. There are nurses on call 24/7, a social worker and spiritual care if desired, a home health aide, massage therapy, and even pet therapy if he requests it (I swear to you, she promised me a pony!).

What is truly amazing, though, is seeing Ian, Alex and Samantha caring for him. I watch them as they work together to lift and position him; lotion and massage him; cook for and feed him (seriously, Ian was frying morels last night); and stage slumber parties in the living room so that they can take the “night shift” together. It is hard work. It is sometimes terrible, heartbreaking work. And it is perfectly clear that I am witnessing something sacred and beautiful.

His bed is by the living room window, and we park the MKZ out front so he can see it. Michigan is putting on its best winter show for him: bright blue skies and fresh white snow. And we are doing everything we can to make these last weeks as comfortable and brightened by love and laughter as possible.

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Comments (33)

  • William Danaher
    William Danaher

    Clare, I am so sorry and heartbroken for you and Brian. Rest assured of my prayers. Let me know if I can do anything for you.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Dianne Norrod Miller
    Dianne Norrod Miller

    Praying for blessings of love,laughter, comfort for the path set before you. My heart is with you, Clare, Brian, your family and friends.❤️🙏

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Nora
    Nora

    I'm crying as I read this because it's all so damn unfair. Every word you wrote I see as clearly as if I were there with you and Brian. Yes you are in a holy place. Ministering to the beloved who are going before us into eternity is both heartbreaking and the last opportunity we have to give love unselfishly. And those who do hospice work are simply amazing people. With all my love and prayers, Nora

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Nancy Zkumin
    Nancy Zkumin

    How something so horrible become a meaningful beautiful stage in your family lives. I tear at the thought of Brian’s discombobulated and for all of you emotionally and physically. But I smile at the deep spiritual love transmitting between you, especially the kids. I’ll continue to pray for you.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Vicki Hesse
    Vicki Hesse

    So much love. So many tears. Prayers unceasing. Peace, Vicki

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Richard Borer
    Richard Borer

    Brian is blessed in these final weeks and days by so many caring hands and hearts and eyes. Surrounded by family. Beloved wife. Loving kids. In his home. It is a golden lining on the cloud of this otherwise brutal, unyielding, storm he is forced to journey through. God bless him and you and your extended family.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Barbara Tuohey
    Barbara Tuohey

    God give you strength and comfort; wishing you Love as you tread this path. You are in my prayers.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Allen Merchant
    Allen Merchant

    No words that I could say could possibly express the depths of my sorrow. It’s in God’s hands now. He has some purpose that I cannot understand. So very, very sorry.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Emily Schnabl
    Emily Schnabl

    Like others, words fail, but know that we are surrounding you with our love.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Mary Beth Wyllie
    Mary Beth Wyllie

    I’m posting so you know I am here with you. And that pony better be amazing.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Andy Hickman
    Andy Hickman

    This is both uplifting and terribly sad at the same time. Our prayers are with Brian, you, your kids and his family. May God bless the hands and hearts of Ian, Alex and Samantha as they provide strength and comfort to Brian. It seems so inadequate, but let us know what we can do, even if it is just to come over and help with "laughter therapy". With love, DnA

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Amy Francis
    Amy Francis

    I have no words. Just sending all the love I can.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Wendell Gibbs
    Wendell Gibbs

    The only words that surface are: God loves you and so do I. Peace.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Monica Garcia
    Monica Garcia

    Praying for Brian and all those caring for him.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Sandy Toms
    Sandy Toms

    I marvel at your ability to see beyond the obvious. Bless you both ! Love, sandy

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Amy McCreath
    Amy McCreath

    Praying for all of you - for strength, peace enough for today, and an awareness of how deeply you are loved.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Jean Manning
    Jean Manning

    Your message is tear jerking but at the same time uplifting. your resilience and ability is amazing and, knowing that you are not alone having the peace of mind Brian is in the best possible caring hands. Being able to see the MKZ is something to view as there is not much greenery around. Donkey? Not playing Yankie Doodle Dandy in this weather! In quiet contemplation sending love and prayers to you all as always, Jean

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Carolynn Johnson
    Carolynn Johnson

    No words can express the feelings I am experiencing over this latest post. Beauty and sorrow. Bless Brian, you Clare, Ian, Alex and Samantha. Sending love and hugs to you all.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Kelly Seelbinder
    Kelly Seelbinder

    Thank you for update. We are so very sorry to hear your news. Please tell Brian we love him. (Sam, Ian and Alex too). This is so difficult to understand. Praying God will carry you all. Lots of Love, David, Kelly, Harley & Tucker

    10 months ago · Reply
  • donald cardwell
    donald cardwell

    Clare, we wish we could make things even a little bit different. Just know that y'all are well loved in this house, Don & Rhonda.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Edie Wakevainen
    Edie Wakevainen

    Wordless support. And all my love. xo

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Kevin Green
    Kevin Green

    Clare: The strength, courage and love that you and Brian have displayed and shared with us, and continue to do so, have been extraordinary and inspiring. I don't know how you manage, but even in the darkest times, you find and share some goodness and wisdom. You and Brian have been and are blessings to all of us and I am so glad you are receiving these blessings back from your hospice team. My prayers continue, now for peace and relief during this final stage, however long it may last. May our Lord reward both of you for everything. Love, Kevin

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Susan A Williams
    Susan A Williams

    Such bravery. Such faith. God is with you there, every minute. Thank you for sharing this painful journey with us.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Elaine Honecker
    Elaine Honecker

    My daily prayers continue for you all. What a blessing for you all to have Brian at home, surrounded by you, Clare, and his loving family, and to be under the extraordinary care of Hospice. May you all be filled with a sense of peace as you travel with Brian on this final stage of his journey to be with our Lord. He is waiting with open arms to welcome his beloved child home. Love and blessings to everyone. Elaine Honecker

    10 months ago · Reply
  • CAROL J GUARDO
    CAROL J GUARDO

    Clare, I'm saddened by the news. But Brian is surrounded by love and caring and I pray will pass peacefully into a new life when his time comes. Whenever you need an ear or a shoulder to lean on, I am here for you. Much love and hugs. Carol

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Daniel Morse
    Daniel Morse

    Ma'am, I know this journey well. The compliment is that you and the family are there for him. I could say so much but others have and will better than I can these days. I wish Brain and you the best on this journey. The rituals of our culture and many other cultures at this time (lack of time) are all about quality and compassion. The great love you and your family have shown, your sanctuary family also, humbles me. If you and the family have a need? My guy and I are here. Do not hesitate to reach out. We will honor you all on the moon.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Dianne Norrod Miller
    Dianne Norrod Miller

    At last night's Life Group meeting with the St. Elizabeth group we all prayed for you both. Prayers continue. Hugs through the air to you both and all who are supporting you as you travel through...

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Wanda J. Hall
    Wanda J. Hall

    Brian, I am keeping you and your family in my heart, now and always.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Jeanmarie snyder
    Jeanmarie snyder

    Sending to you both during this time. May you smile together and have peace. Much love.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Heather Dean
    Heather Dean

    Wow. I don't mean to say this as consulation, but I am glad that hospice is involved. I know he will recieve the best care. I am also very sad of course that this is the outcome. Much peace to you and your family during this adjustment.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Maureen Shaiman
    Maureen Shaiman

    Oh, my darlings. I am so, so sorry. I love you. God give you all strength. I'm here for you in any way I can be, and can be there for you in a few hours. Love to Brian. Tell him I said he did a great job.

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Jean Manning
    Jean Manning

    Thinking of you today with prayers

    10 months ago · Reply
  • Dianne Norrod Miller
    Dianne Norrod Miller

    Thinking of you and Brian. Praying that you both are feeling The Loving Arms around you! Our Life Group from St. Elizabeth's prayed for you both tonight.

    10 months ago · Reply