We're linked with Wedded Wednesday this week; please click on the link to visit, and find some really great marriage resources!
As a caregiver, sometimes the most important thing you can do is listen...and sometimes you will be listening to things you prefer not to hear.
I should be quick to say that they're not likely to be directed against you...while impending death does loosen the tongue, it's still pretty stupid to piss off your caregiver. (I'm sorry for the slightly rough language, but that's the best way to describe some acrimonious exchanges to which I have been a party.)
The hard stuff you'll have to listen to will generally fall into two categories - I'm scared, and my life has meant nothing.
Today we'll talk about listening to fear.
When your fatally ill. there's a lot to fear, and I'm not just talking about the classical fear of death. That's the least of it (and for me, it's not an issue - I've had Near-Death Experiences, but those are for a future post).
The most immediate fear is 'how much more is this going to hurt'. There are levels of pain that are simply indescribable, and that can't be touched through conventional means. (Morphine no longer works for me, unless I take enough to kill me.)
And pain is rightly to be feared, because it can kill you quick, through shock...an extremely unpleasant way to go.
Other fears are of growing dependency, of losing one's mental and physical faculties, and of impoverishing one's family with the expense of terminal illness.
They're all reasonable fears, and not to be dismissed. I was once told, on admitting I was scared, "Well, if your faith was stronger you wouldn't be afraid." That was, I hardly need say, singularly useless advice.
What's needed from you is just a friendly, listening ear. The fears are real; there really are monsters out there. Your husband or wife needs a safe place to be scared, a place to have a shoulder into which to lean.
Yes, for Christians, there are many places where the Bible says, "Fear not!"
But the whole point of the Agony in the Garden was that Jesus was flat-out etrrified of that which awaited Him. I mean, of all people, Jesus asking to be let off a task?
It's OK to be scared. Live that for your mate - with love.