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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 78 - Till Death

We're linked to Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday.

Some marriages, though they endure, aren't so great, and contrary to movies and books, the stresses of a terminal illness can drive a couple further apart rather than bringing them closer together.

Under circumstances like these, resentment of the terminally ill husband or wife is almost guaranteed to surface...the healthy partner is carrying resentment anyway, and begins to dislike the 'offending' spouse for being sick.

Sounds pretty bad when you read it, eh? Unfair?

It's natural, and trying to deny that these feelings arise is like trying to keep smioke from passing through a screen door.

The saving grace that we all have is the freedom to choose our behaviour, no matter how we feel. We're not forced to say anything, or to react with body language that says, "I'm annoyed!"

It's far easier said than done, though, but it's a lot harder if you don't acknowledge the negative feelings, because then you're fighting any enemy you can't see, and whose existence you deny.

And yes, those feeling are the enemy, because when you married the man or woman with whom things "just didn't work out as we'd hoped", you took a vow. You made a promise.

And therein lies the road through this difficult experience. You may not feel good about negative thoughts, but you can feel good about keeping a promise.

Part of that promise is to be there.

Dying is a very lonely business. Your circle shrinks from work to church to friends to just family and marriage, and there will come a time when your company is the most important thing in your spouse's life.

Tat's what "till death do us part" is for.

If you can keep that part of the vow when your natural inclination is to wish you were somewhere else, you'll be doing a far greater kindness than you can realize.

To your mate, and to yourself.

Your comments are very valuable to me; my situation has deteriorated a bit, and answering them quickly is hard, but I still aim to answer all comments...please bear with me through this?


  1. That word "resilience" keeps coming up. You know I'm praying for you.

    1. Shelli, thank you; your prayers mean a lot to me.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle. Prayers are what keeps me going.

  3. I pray for both of you every day. When one partner has terminal illness the other begins grieving in advance, and both grieve for the way things used to be.

    1. Jan, you're absolutely right. It's not alike a Hallmark movie; it's a really awful process.

      Thank you so much for the prayers; I truly appreciate them.

  4. There is something precious found in enduring together through the hard times.

  5. So much truth...HARD truth, Andrew! Because, life - for "real" - isn't a fairy tale; and doesn't always have that "happy ending"...and if we DO intend to keep that promise, that "'til death..." promise, then the HARD will be there. And it's easier sometimes to just walk away from it rather than acknowledging that it IS hard; that you only want to stay for the "good"...

    Bless your words, Andrew, for they always bring to mind what we - I - SHOULD BE...

    Prayers continue!

    1. You bring up a good point, Barbara...I knew a chap whose wife has breast cancer, and since he just "couldn't take it", he left her.

      I was appalled when I heard that (from him); and now, in a similar position to that of his wife, I'm even more horrified.

      And thank you so much for the prayers!

  6. Shmaltzy movies and sappy songs have done us no favors when it comes to navigating the valleys. You, on the other hand, friend, have given us a clear picture of what life looks like.

    Your legacy lives on, Andrew ...

    1. Exactly right, Linda. Ilike a quotation from George Hull..."Sentiment is fine. Sentimentality is not."

      Who was George Hull? He was a bomber pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War Two, who met his death, shortly before his marriage, in the night skies of Nazi Germany. The quote is from a letter to his bride-to-be.

      I would hope for that kind of legacy, Linda.

      Thank you, as always, for being here.

  7. There is so much love to be found in enduring and existing; in the every day and in the worst days. Praying for the blessings of this, and for peace for you both.

    I imagine it's difficult not to put up walls of protection to guard against the physical and emotional hurt. And this might wall off the love.👼👼❤

    1. Thank you so much for the prayers, Kim! Itis difficult not to put upprotective walls; it's something that has to be begun anew each day, sometimes each hour. But it's the right thing to do.

      Interestingly, the angels came through as angels when I got the gmail notification...and as question marks here! Weird.

      Thank you so much for being here, Kim.

  8. Andrew, those question marks (above) are supposed to be angels. :-(

  9. Andrew, those question marks (above) are supposed to be angels. :-(