On death and dying

Despite all the worry and despite all the pain my mind returns to my little brother – taken too soon. He and my husband were pretty good buddies. They shared a lot, including open heart surgery within months of one another. He called a lot after Randy’s operation. And after his own a few months later he and Randy would share “war stories” of the after effects through many phone calls. It was an experience that seemed to strengthen the bond they already shared. In the past few weeks I was pained at the idea of my life partner leaving me forever. I dreamed of Chris and wondered if he would be there to greet his buddy once again.

Over the past years I have had to deal with one crisis after another as my husband’s health failed. He will never again be “healthy” as most of us think of it. There has simply been too much damage done to his heart and kidneys due to diabetes. And once again he is in crisis. Once again I am preparing myself for the inevitable. Having said that, I also know he could live another 5, 10, or even 20 years, despite the present situation.  There are, of course, a lot of variables.

My husband is the consummate clown. He loves to make me laugh – he loves making anybody laugh. It hurts to see him worn out and weary.  It hurts to think of life without him by my side.

Yet death comes to each of us – there is no escaping that fact.  So I will hold the precious memories of our life together close to my heart while anticipating the memories we will continue to make as long as life goes on. Death is part of life. And life, as hard as it seems sometimes, is a precious, precious thing.

Better, not bitter

I want to get a handle on all the stress, but it’s not easy. Life sure has been challenging the past few months. Part of me is very angry that a doctor released my husband from the hospital despite ongoing serious issues. Health care seems to exist only for the rich and famous these days – but I’m not bitter.  Actually, I am bitter. I am bitter about all the injustices that go on in this world and I am fighting to let that all go. It isn’t easy. Stress is a noxious poison that infiltrates life and sucks out all the joy.  I am searching desperately to find a silver lining in the cloud that has enveloped my spirit.

Stress is contagious – all the more reason to shake it off, if I can. I do not want to poison the people I love with my anxiety and worry. I want to be a better person – a person who lifts others up – not bring them down.

I am trying to respect my husband’s wishes not to be bundled off to hospital once again. On the other hand I feel ill equipped to deal with all the issues he is having. I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say they are significant, and a huge worry for all of us. So I called the health care line and spoke with a nurse – she advised taking him to emergency, but he does not want to go there.  And so here I sit, biting my nails and wondering how to convince him that would be for the best. He simply doesn’t want to be poked or prodded any more – he had two weeks of that. And I suspect that some of the issues are due to the cocktail of prescription drugs he is consuming by doctor’s orders.

Human beings are more than the physical self. We are also spiritual, emotional, and psychological – these needs also must be met. How to balance all these needs is something I am wrestling with at the moment.  I will give it a little more time, and I will pray for guidance. And hopefully, in the long run, I will be better and not bitter…and so will my husband!

Counting my blessings

I am not feeling well – it’s either a cold or flu or both, but whatever it is it is sapping my energy and making me want to hibernate under the covers until it’s gone. Still, there are things to be grateful for, like the hot meal my eldest had ready for me when I got home from work. It’s my husband making an extra trip to the store for medication for me. It’s my youngest making me “special” tea to help me feel a little better. It’s text messages from my son every morning to wish me a good day and to say “I love you”. It’s my cat running to meet me at the door when I get home from work every night. It’s a comfortable home in a beautiful setting. It’s feeling safe and loved, even with a snotty nose and a horrible headache, or maybe because of that. I am sick, but I am being coddled and comforted. And I am counting my blessings.