Dale Shorts (1943-2014)

My heart is broken over the passing of my beloved husband, Dale, this past Tuesday. He was such a gentle soul, and devoted many hours to soothing my savage soul. Of course, I was the one who "rage(d) against the dying of the light" over the last year and a half, ever since he was diagnosed with a rare form of Parkinson's Disease, most likely PSP according to the doctors.

It's utterly surreal and my head is swimming in replaying the tragic events of this week. On Monday, we were faced with putting our 15-year-old dog to sleep. Dale asked if he should go with me or "... would I be more of a burden for you?" (I had to load a wheelchair and help him into and out of it). I assured him he was no burden and that, indeed, I would be grateful for his support. He and I watched our baby drift peacefully off to sleep in my arms, then we went home to an empty house. Later that evening, Dale consoled me by suggesting that Angel Girl was now in heaven helping to pick out our mansion.

Never in my wildest dreams did it occur to me that Dale himself might join Angel the very next morning. As far as I was concerned, we still had some quality of life to enjoy together -- but God had different plans. I pray He holds me and my family up during the coming months. And I ask for your prayers as well.

38 Replies

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  • Dear Carla

    I am so sorry to hear about the passing away of your dear husband Dale. Your posts on this site were always inspirational and heartfelt. May your faith keep you and your family strong over the coming days. Take care and God Bless.

    T.

  • Oh Carla, I'm so sorry to hear about your double loss this week and no words will help you at this sad time but I will pray you will feel God's special love and peace and that in time, you will be able to enjoy life again without your beloved Dale until you meet him again in that mansion.

    Much love and prayers

    Nanna B

  • Thanks so much, Tony and Nanna. I'm still in shock. Dale had begun sleeping later during the past few weeks. On Tuesday morning, it was particularly late, but I thought he may have needed it. I could hear him snoring from the kitchen and went in around 9:50 am to see if he wanted to start the wake-up process. He didn't respond, but the snoring continued, so I pulled up the covers around his shoulders and left him to sleep a bit longer.

    At 10:05, he was silent, but that wasn't unusual. That usually signaled that he had awakened and would start to pull himself up in bed, awaiting my help. I decided to finish the chore I was doing, hence I didn't go into the bedroom until 10:10 at which time it was evident what had transpired. Somewhere in the few minutes since I first checked, he went home to the Lord.

    We had been admitted to Hospice the previous Wednesday and were planning for a hospital bed in a few days. I know he was spared much of the end-phase agony of this disease, as was I. One day I'll be grateful for that; right now, I just want him back.

    Love,

    Carla

  • Of course you do! You don't expect someone with PSP (or any Parkinson related disease) to die suddenly. So the shock had to be particularly difficult to deal with. Plus the loss of a much-loved long time pet is a BIG loss, too. God bless you for having to deal with so much so quickly. I'm sure He will walk with you all of the way and if your strength gives out, He will carry you.

    Love, Caroline

  • Oh, sweet Caroline, the Lord's gonna' have to carry me because I can hardly get out of bed without Dale here.

    My middle son (35-year-old Timothy) couldn't be here because he's undergoing chemotherapy in Texas and is far too weak to travel. I told his wife Cassie not to come, too, because her place is beside him now.

    I still hope to meet you one day, dear, since you're right down the road.

    Love,

    Carla

  • Carla, Yes the grief is not easy. My first wife of 31 years died in four months. My current wife of 24 years has been suffering with PSP for four or more years. It doesn't matter if the loss is quick or slow the pain is the same. Nice that you could send him off with the covers pulled over his shoulders and in a very comfortable condition. God Bless. Jimbo

  • Oh, Jimbo, the comment about the covers pulled over his shoulders made me chuckle. Thanks for that. There hasn't been much to chuckle about this week. And thanks for all your wonderful sharing on this site. Surely, it has saved many of us from re-inventing the wheel a few times over.

    XO

    Carla

  • Dear Carla

    I am so very sorry for your losses and send heartfelt love, prayers and condolences to you and the family. Many don't understand that if you are caring for someone with a long term illness that a passing can be sudden and unexpected, everyone on the "outside" seems to think we are prepared and ready. All of us on here truly understand that that is never the case, we never expect it that day, that week, that month, we are never "ready" and nothing ever softens the blow.

    Having followed your blogs and posts, I am sure we all feel an emotional attachment to you and Dale and we all grieve with you and for you, as we do for all whom we lose on this forum.

    All we can do is offer our love and support and my personal belief that Dale is running around playing with Angel Girl somewhere beautiful and waiting for the day when you are all reunited. Although that doesn't help with how much you miss them both right now, perhaps one day, along with his peaceful passing, it will bring you some comfort. In the meantime, try to take care of yourself.

    Love Sharon x

  • Dear Carla,

    You have given so much. What I have read has been such an honour to read. Anything I can do in return I do so gladly with an open hand and heart.

    May you continue to have the strength, patience, love and resilience to look forward to all that the journey of life brings.

    Lots of prayers and hugs.

    Regards,

    Alana - Western Australia

  • Thank you so much, Sharon and Alana. Your prayers, love, hugs and sympathy mean more than you know. The people on this site all understand the insidious nature of this disease.

    I know I've been away awhile, selling a house, loading us up and carting all of us across the country - to a new town where I no longer wish to be - without Dale. When the dust settles (pardon the pun), I'll write about some of those cross-country adventures, probably for your amusement, with maybe a little instruction thrown in.

    Much love,

    Carla

  • DEAR CARLA I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR OF THE TWO LOSSES YOU HAVE AHD - I HAD NNO IDEA THAT A PERSON WITH PSP COULD JUST PASS AWAY SO QUICKLY -- I HOPE THAT HAPPENS TO ME., THUS SPARING MY DARLING HUSBAND FRED FROM HAVING TO CARE FOR ME WHEN I AM REALLY BAD

    MY LOVE AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU ...

  • Thank you, Shasha. I'm sending love and prayers right back your way.

    Carla

  • Carla,

    I am so sorry for your loss. And so regret not communicating earlier. I missed you and your wonderful writings, they have helped me through this. Inspired, funny, insightful. You have been on my mind since you posted of your move, hoping for the best for you and your husband. I guess God's plan was a peaceful passing for Dale. He will watch over you and be with you always. You are an amazing person.

    Christine

  • Thank you, Christine. I've been having lots of conversations with God over the last 18 months, and it's good that His shoulders are big because they weren't always civil from my end. Right now, I'm a bundle of raw soreness, can't think straight, and still wonder if this is all a nightmare from which I'll wake.

    I'll be in touch a bit more, but it will take some time to wrap up all the "stuff" of this world.

    Love,

    Carla

  • HI CARLA

    I AGREE IWTH HSARON ABOVE

    THERE IS NO EASY WAY IWTH PSP BUT AT LEAST DAVE IS FREE OF HTIS PSP

    ,OOLJILL

    AND A BIG HUG AND XXXXX

  • Jill, I'm sending prayers and hugs right back your way.

    XO

    Carla

  • Hi Carla. I'm sorry to hear your sad news. I hope you find strength in knowing you did your best in caring for your husband. I'm sure he appreciated all you did. Take care. Lindsey (caring for my mum with PSP). UK x

  • Thank you, Lindsey. Yes, he appreciated it. He would thank me for going to the grocery store, for doing the laundry, etc. And he told me multiple times a day that he loved me. I could not have asked for a better husband.

    XO

    Carla

  • Oh I do feel so sad for you but how lovely they are together. It must be terrible having this double grief and even though Dale's suffering is over you must be feeling so alone. I do hope it gives you inner comfort to know Dale was able to give you support at the last minute and he didn't have such drawn out ending as we all dread.I send hugs and peace for the future. Dianne x

  • Thank you, Dianne. Yes, I'm feeling very alone, but know God must be holding me up by a thread, and I'm counting on Him continuing for quite some time. Your support means so much.

    XO

    Carla

  • Carla, I am relatively new to this site but my heart still breaks for you. I know everything I need to know about you from how you made sure your husband was present when you put your precious puppy to sleep. You can always remember (and feel good about) this. You are a beautiful human being and I know you were cherished and loved by your beloved Dale and Angel Girl. I think Dale chose this time as a final gift to you so you would not have to go through the grieving process twice. Be kind and allow yourself the space to grieve. Lean on loved ones who offer their support and know that maybe not today( or tomorrow or the next day), but one day you will wake up one morning and think of him without the agony of absence but with gratitude for the life you share together. My prayers are with you. GC

  • GC -- I shall read your remarkable words daily for months to come. They reaffirm the need to focus on our love and life together when my pain is gut-wrenching. Thank you, dear sister.

    XO

    Carla

  • You are so welcome...sister:)

  • So sorry for your losses :-( To lose a life partner and a beloved pet so soon after one another must be so hard. I hope you have friends and family around you at this difficult time and I hope your faith is also a comfort to you.

    May they both rest peacefully

    Take care

    Kathy

  • Thank you, Kathy. I'm writing this from my son's house. I am indeed thankful for the family and friends loving, caring and carrying me through this sorrow -- including you folks on this site.

    XO

    Carla

  • Carla, So sorry for your loss I too know how awful it is, I lost my husband to PSP in December 2013. I cared for him for 8 years but when the end came it was very quick just two days and he was at home. One week later his cat who was 18 years old died as well it would seem she wanted to join him. I miss him and our cat everyday and it is taking me a long time to feel better but I hope your faith can keep you going and remember the better times you had together.

  • Oh, daparose, my heart goes out to you also, dear sister. Your wounds are so fresh that I feel bad relating my pain to you. Know that I will pray for you and continue to pray for all who hurt on this site.

    Love,

    Carla

  • My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at the sad time. xx

  • Thank you, poppyseed. Your kindness is greatly appreciated.

    XO

    Carla

  • Dear Carla

    My thoughts are with you. I so much enjoyed your beautiful writing, I'm sure all of us here could feel the love you and Dale had for each other. Let your sons take care of you during this difficult time.

    Love Maddy

  • Thank you, Maddy. I am doing just that with my sons, except for Tim battling cancer right now. And thank you for your kind thoughts, sweetie.

    Love,

    Carla

  • Carla, sorry to hear about Tim. I hope all goes well with his treatment. Good luck to him.

    Maddy

  • Carla, Dales's ordeal is over and he has found peace, thank God!! Now your caregiving days are NOT over. It's time to care for yourself. After all, that's what Dale would want. Losing a pet and a husband are difficult events in our lives but be of good cheer, you will meet again. Jimbo

  • Thanks for the support, Jimbo. You're right. I'm actually going to focus on finally getting a hip replacement which I need badly. I hope to get back to my four-mile walks when the tweaking is done. Just wish Dale could walk with me, but I've no doubt he's running in heaven now.

    XO

    Carla

  • Dear Carla

    What can I say except how sorry I feel for you and all those bereaved at this time. My father in law passed away just literally a few hours before your husband Dale. He too suffered from this terrible disease. I am grateful however that he did not get this illness until much later in life dying at the age of 91. We now have to care for my mother in law who is 87 who, with family help, achieved her goal of looking after him at home until the end. This however has affected her health - she has lost 2 or 3 stone in weight - we must now build her up. Speaking from someone who has experienced bereavement several times in my life from loosing a 10 yr old child, brother and parents all within four years, and I can tell you that there is life after bereavement. Be kind to yourself. Give yourself time, accept all the help on offer and you will laugh again. God Bless you. Pauline

  • Thank you, Pauline. My condolences on the loss of your father-in-law. You've certainly had more than your share of loss, and whether you wanted it or not, are now an expert in bereavement. Right now, it's one day at a time, as it should be, I guess. But I look forward to the sun shining again down the road.

    God bless you, too.

    XO

    Carla

  • Dear Carla -

    We had all been looking forward to your posts again, and so sorry that you lost Dale and Angel Girl at the same time. Goldcap's suggestion it was Dale's final gift to you is wonderful - Dale was lucky to have you and your love to the end.

    It has taken a year for me to close the door on Tony's passing and open the new one to the rest of my life. Take care of yourself now and gather the strength for the needs of Tim and other family. You deserve the best.

    Mo

  • Thank you, Mo. You've always exhibited grace even in mourning. Hope I can do half so well, my friend.

    XO

    Carla