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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 21 - Tomorrow Will Come

Today we're linked to Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday.

Probably the hardest thing about being a caregiver is knowing that your job is going to end...and you'll be going on in life, for years or decades.

And that person with whom you pledged to build a life and a future will be a memory, and will recede further into the past every year, until time makes the details of your life shimmer and fade into the distance.

The hardest thing is reaching this knowledge while your mate is still alive, and possibly still energetic and full of life. You see the present in its vitality, and you simultaneously see it truncated, and overlain...and buried...by new experiences.

Hard to do, especially when you may be torn, as well. Torn between the desire to preserve the present within your life as something of a memorial...

...and, deep down in the places of your heart you don't yet want to visit, the desire for this to be over, and to move on.

This is not wrong.

It may feel cold, and disloyal, and it may go against the Hallmark Movie version of life and death, but looking toward tomorrow - even one that feels crippled, like a team going on without a vital player - looking toward tomorrow is HOPE.

Still hard to live with, though. How do you do it?

  • First, don't talk about it with the soon-to-be-dead-dude-or-dame. For me, being in a house that will before long not hear the sound of my voice is hard. Having it emphasized really, really sucks.
  • Second, don't find a sympathetic single-person-of-0the-opposite-sex to share this with. Heightened emotions can lead to words or actions you'll regret,, and perhaps more important...you may destroy the possibility of future happiness with that very person, or, because of guilt, with someone else.
  • Third, do find a grief support group before you need it, and talk to the facilitator about what you're going through now, That now is what hurts.
  • Fourth, don't make proclamations or concrete plans of any time (beyond those that are legally or financially necessary). Don't announce to your circle of friends that you'll never remarry, or that you intend to keep everything 'just as it was'. I certainly don't want my wife turning her house or life into a shrine; were you in my shoes, I'll bet you'ld agree...am I right?
The most important thing to realize here is that you can, and probably will have feelings about this process, and about the future, that run contrary to the preconceptions you may have developed through the years.\

\Please, don't be cruel to yourself. Please be understanding, and compassionate.

You're important.

And your future happiness is important.



  1. Good advice as always, Andrew. Praying for you and Barbara. Praying also that your series helps others in similar situations.

  2. Good advice - not easy to give. And not easy to receive. Praying for you today.

    1. Thanks, Joanne. As I write this things are a bit fraught. The prayers are appreciated, and needed.

      It's not easy advice to give. There really is a monster hiding in the shadows, and when I turn on the light...he's scary.

      But at least, in the light, I can see him coming.

  3. mmm ... have you thought about putting this whole series into book form, Andrew? Talk about a legacy ... you really have put your heart on the table and many would benefit from the wisdom borne from your pain.

    Blessings, friend ... may today have pockets of serendipitous moments sprinkled in there for you to savor.

    1. Totally agree, Linda! I think he SHOULD have this made into a book...I would sooooo buy it! I haven't saved all of these posts; but wish I had!

    2. Actually, the original concept was a book, but I realized that first, getting it written and organized might take more energy than I have, and second, there are people who could benefit from it now, and not later.

      The book will expand on these posts a bit, and I may use the device of 'parables' - a short story written to emphasize and define the 'relationship' issues raised in each chapter.

      It's a big undertaking, and will likely go through CreateSpace, because aside from living this, I have no established platform that would make me an attractive client for an agent, much less a find for a publisher. I'd dearly love to be proven wrong on that!

      The next post will have a paragraph addressing the coming book version...I'll commit publicly.

  4. What a blessing you are to share the wisdom of these circumstances. Praying for you and your wife.
    (from Inspire Me Monday)

    1. Mary, thank you so much. The prayers are appreciated, needed...and felt, all around me.

  5. Andrew, I nominated you for the Leibster Award. :-) http://steppingondandelions.com/2015/06/22/the-liebster-award-discover-new-blogs/

  6. Thank you for sharing this information...it IS hard to make plans for the future, especially while your loved one is still around. I totally agree with ALL that you shared within this post...and I agree with Linda above...it would make a great resource for others going through this same situation, or other similar...

    Thanks for sharing with us...prayers continue for comfort and strength and whatever else you and Barbara need at this time!

    1. It's an awfully hard thing to face. Writing this now, and trying to literally stay conscious through pain, bring home in a way that nothing else can do he fragility of life....and the knowledge that I do NOT want to face this.

      Nonetheless, I have to, and I have to do it with clarity. Because someone's got to do it, and why not me?

      As I mentioned in my reply to Linda, thi was originally conceived as a book, and it will be one, expanded and fleshed out with more than one can really do in a blog. It's going to be rough going through the writing and edits,, and then onto CreateSpace to publish it, but it's kind of unlikely that either an agent or publisher would take the risk, I think. Again, as I said to Linda - I would love to be proven wrong on that last point!

      Thank you so much for the prayers, Barbara. I really appreciate them; physically, tonight really, really sucks.

      But I'm alive, and will remain, and that is good enough for now.

  7. Beautiful advice! Thank you as always for your perspective! I am learning so much about the process of dying as well as the emotions and thoughts toward those who are left behind. Blessings!

  8. Andrew, your courage is breathtaking, your honesty is an amazing thing. I will pray for you and your wife, and for the many people whose lives will be touched by your story. I know that I am greatly encouraged by your testimony of faith in the most difficult circumstances.

    Bless you.

    (Here from Testimony Tuesday)