When Your Hearing Aid Breaks and You Are Grieving

The past month has been filled with holiday and birthday celebrations, time off from work, snow, and special memories with family. We were excited to have my parents come for Christmas. After hugging each other for dear life Christmas morning, we said our goodbyes to mom and dad who left to visit other family members. Then we prepared to celebrate my youngest child’s birthday two days later.

The morning of my son’s birthday, my dad passed away unexpectedly.

In the midst of countless phone calls to and from loved ones, emails, and Facebook posts to share of the sad news, my family planted smiles on our faces to celebrate a Lego theme birthday party for our son. The next day, we began to plan dad’s memorial service. More phone calls were made to arrange a service venue, the order of service, and ask for photos for the memorial slideshow. I was so thankful for my hearing aids, the volume control on my phone, and the patience of everyone having to repeat themselves in conversations.

Then one day the left hearing aid stopped working.

It began as a gradual lessening of volume from the device. I realized people were having to repeat themselves more than usual. After I returned to work, the soft voices of my students at school seemed much softer. While juggling work, planning a memorial service, family life, and grieving, I added “broken hearing aid” to that list.

deaf_hard of hearing meme

Photo used with permission from @DeafNotStupid via Facebook

This week will be filled with much activity. Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, and our school is honoring his memory by closing for the day. I will be heading to a hearing aid supplier’s office to see if the hearing device requires a simple in-office fix or a much more expensive manufacturer’s repair. Sadly, both hearing aids are one year past their warranty.

The hope is I can attend dad’s memorial service this coming weekend with both ears able to hear as well as possible. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to listen to all of the stories shared about dad’s life without having to repeatedly ask, “What did she just say?”

Update on Hearing Aid 1.21.19

The hearing aid ended up being an easy in-office fix. Thank the Lord! I’ll be able to hear at dad’s memorial service.

A Tribute to Dad

I want to end this post by taking the time to share with you just what an amazing man my dad was. Jim Bartlett worked in law enforcement for 40 years, served in the Army National Guard, was married almost 50 years, raised three daughters, lived to see eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren born, loved to ride the John Deere tractor around his 80-acre farm, and watched as many Major League baseball games as possible. He also was a devoted fan of John Wayne westerns.

I was a devoted Daddy’s Girl for the last 45 years of his life. He will be greatly missed.


My dad


10 thoughts on “When Your Hearing Aid Breaks and You Are Grieving

  1. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. Sounds like he was an amazing man to those who knew and love him. It’s unfortunate that your hearing aids decided to stop working during this important time. I know what this is like because I am also hard of hearing and teach in a hearing school. It’s difficult navigating effective communication between your students and the staff. Children are very understanding and the staff as well ( if they know). Be patient with yourself and keep a bunch of batteries at work (like I do). Big hug!💗

  2. Shanna, you are such an incredible woman. Harvey and I admire you so much. Please know we live you and are praying for you.

  3. Hi Shanna,
    Sorry to hear about your dad. Your love for him is obvious. Thank you for sharing him with us. (Happy birthday to your son. I send love and light for him.) Take care of you. Do whatever feels right and comforts you. I hope you wake up laughing at one of those really bad dad jokes and just smile in the memory. Love to you and you family and peace be your journey.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss; when I was dealing with my Mom’s death, it was harder to hear than usual because of the grief. I can only imagine how hard it would be with one aid malfunctioning. I hope it’s a quick fix tomorrow.

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