Linda and Howard’s story
“Sometimes the grief just hits me and knocks the wind out of me,” Linda admits. “This morning I woke up and I could barely breathe. Some days are okay but then other days it’s still really hard.”
Linda’s husband, Howard, was in the hospital last year due to complications from his chronic illness. Because of the pandemic, visiting time was limited and the hospital felt cold and lonely. When Howard decided to stop treatments and go home, the family knew they would need some help. Linda’s daughter, Julie had asked her friend, a nurse, who could help when the time came. To be safe, she called Transitions LifeCare for information but later realized the need for their services. “I knew you would come because you said you would, even though it was after hours,” Julie remembered. “And you did.”
Howard’s decline came in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. “We were all double masked all the time,” Julie said. “We were so careful, but the Transitions team wasn’t afraid to come inside and be with so many of us.” Julie and her siblings took shifts caring for their father around the clock.
Howard died four days after going home to his family. “It happened so fast,” Linda said. “At first, we weren’t ready to let him go, but then we realized it would be a gift to him to let him go and no longer suffer.” The nurse on their care team assured them that Howard could stay at home long enough for the children and grandchildren to say their goodbyes. “That was a really special time for us,” Linda remembers. “Really special. I’m so thankful for that opportunity and to have that memory.” They weren’t able to have a service, because of the distancing requirements in place at the time, but Linda feels at peace about this because they had their own, private service to say goodbye in her home.
Linda and Howard were married for 54 years. They have six children and many grandchildren, some of whom keep her home full of activity and energy. “We couldn’t have taken care of him at home if it wasn’t for Transitions,” Julie said. Linda agreed. She remembers that sad time with gratitude for how it brought her family closer together. “He wanted to be home with all of us,” she said. “And he was.”