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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 69 - Free Kisses!

We're linked with Massy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday - please visit them for some great marriage resources.

It's very easy to isolate a dying spouse through the best of intentions

Terminal illness hurts. Your skin hurts, your muscles hurt, movement hurts.

And you don't want to cause more pain, so you withdraw, just a little.

And then a little more. Soon hugs are A-frames, and kisses are quick and fleeting. Like having to kiss a not-so-favourite uncle at a reunion, when you were a kid.

You don't want this...but as a caregiver, you shrink from causing more pain, and in that action cause more than you can possibly know.

Dying is a lonely business. Yes, I know, we should feel the presence of Jesus, and if we don't we're not trying hard enough...I've gotten that message, and it's rubbish. It addresses only half of the question.

Faith is one thing...and as that one thing, it's a great comfort.

But I'm not a purely spiritual creature yet, and it would be nice to have an arm around me.

Having to ask, every time...."Please put your arm around me!"...it sounds kind of bad. Asking for charity.

I don't need charity. I need love.

Even if it hurts.

(Many thanks to Survivor the Rottweiler for agreeing to help provide the graphic. Though the picture doesn't show it, he weighs in a something over 150 lbs. He is the most lovably good-natured goof I have ever met.)


  1. and whether we're healthy or not so much, we very often have to tell our spouses exactly what we need, ya' know?

    'cause no one has a crystal ball ...

    even after almost 40 years of marriage, we're still learning this dance.

    1. Linda, that's an excellent point. The responsibility lies with both, really -

      "This is what I really need..." and "What do you need? Would you like a hug?"

      What happens, at least in my case, is that I'll wince (or worse) when Barbara hugs me; there's no way to do that without pain. She's naturally reluctant, now, to give a spontaneous hug, and I tend not to want to cause her the anxiety of causing me pain by requesting one.

      In a sense, we both have to grit our teeth and deal with it. When she feels like giving me a spontaneous hug, she asks first, and when I need one, I ask, or touch her shoulder.

      Not perfect, but better.

  2. Andrew, no matter what's going on with our bodies, we need that physical connection. A hug, a kiss . . . connection. Thanks for that reminder. Sometimes it's hard to look beyond the pain to the person, and yet, it's crucial in order to alleviate isolation. Sick or not.

    And, yes, communicating that need is imperative to keep relationships strong. Thank you as always, for sharing your wisdom here.

    1. jeanne, thank you so much for adding to this...it really is all about connection, because under these circumstances one can feel very, very alone. It isn't a lack of faith, but can be a lack of the homely physical comforts for which God designed us in this life.

      Thank you for being here - I always look forward to your visits, and your comments.

  3. God made us physical beings in need of physical touch--especially in loving relationships like marriage, Andrew. And though I totally get why this would be a hard balance to strike at the painful stage you are in. I also can so very clearly see the need for affection and touch (including kisses) all at the same time. I hope that you are able to discuss these very vulnerable areas of your marriage, if this is where you find yourself, my friend. You are not whining, you have a legitimate desire that may not be fully understood by your spouse. It's so very hard to walk in your shoes, but we are grateful that you give us a glimpse into what it feels like. "Cyber-hug" to you, my friend!

    1. Exactly, Beth - this IS what God made us to be, and as He gave us a need for Him...He also gave us a need for one another

      The hard thing is - and I will look at this in a later post - that distance can become a habit that's hard to break. Physical touch that was once natural can become awkward, and there may simply not be time to restore the balance.

      Thank you, as always, for being here, and especially for the cyber-hug! I really needed it; today was dreadful,both for me and for a neighbor whose dog was seriously injured - I helped as I could, and the dog will survive, but it was very, very stressful.

  4. Sending lots of "Cyber-hugs" to you and Barbara. What an adorable picture of you and Survivor. I miss those sloppy wet kisses. Wishing you much joy.

    1. Thank you so much, Michele! Survivor sends a cyber-slobber!

  5. Love the picture. My golden retriever is the most free with her kisses as anyone I know. :) I need to be more accepting of them. Lessons here on both sides of the issue. Thanks, Andrew.

  6. Physical touch, that warmth from the one you love, wet kisses (mostly from our four-legged friends) and the sound of a heart beating next to you, it's worth any pain.