Memories are forever, except when they aren't.
One of the truly nasty things about a terminal illness is that the experiences you're sharing with your dying spouse now will, and I repeat will overwhelm and subsume the happy memories you had of a normal life together.
Medication and bedpans will replace marriage vows and birthdays.
Vomit will cover the memories of vacations. Pardon the bluntness - this is reality.
And you will find that as death approaches, it will be something of a relief, and the shared joys will be as pictures in someone else's family album.
There is a remedy.
Reinforce the good memories.
Talk about them. Watch the videos, spin up the photo albums, and write things down
Write down the remembered conversations you cherished.
And, again bluntly, write down how you felt about your physical love. It'll feel weird. It'll feel maybe improper.
Just like Solomon's feelings for his Shulamite bride were improper, eh?
I guarantee you this...when you set yourself to that task, when you tell someone who loves you and who is going to die that you are working to preserve the memories of your life together, you will do more good than a passel of preachers.
We all want to be remembered well. We all want to live on in the memories of those we love, as a reminder of happy times.
We don't want to be remembered in the way we died. This isn't a stupid Hallmark movie, where death comes with dignity and violins.
Death is horrible.
Please, guys...if you take one thing from this series, this last best effort I am making, let it be this...
OVERWRITE DEATH, BY PRESERVING THE MEMORY OF LIFE.
I hope you'll excuse the urgency, and the passion.
You see, we didn't do this. And the good memories...
...are pictures in what feels like someone else's album.
And it can't be fixed.
We're linked with InspireMeMonday and Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday.
I treasure your comments - circumstances have made my replies slower than I would like; I hope you'll bear with me.