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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Your Dying Spouse 92 - Change For Worse

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This is tough to write, because it deals with an inevitable divergence between terminally ill spouse and the caregiving mate.

When you're circling the drain...eventually, you stop growing, and revert to the paradigms that formed part of your past, and which you can apply to this painful and foreshortened future.

It's tough for the caregiver, because he or she is caught between the obvious need for personal growth...and the beloved mate who's gone firm in a position that may seem obsolete.

Or at the very least drifting into 'outdated'.

The most telling example I can offer is my own. As pain and other travails have increased, this has become more of an ugly, physical fight that calls on a maximum effort to do anything besides sitting on the floor and watching DVDs.

It's tempting, believe me! A DVD and a cigar...

To do anything else...including the writing of this post...I have to go back into the days of hard training and harder fighting, to will every step and every movement.

But Barbara didn't know me then. She knows of that persona, but it's not the same...and the ability to force myself past barriers that I would prefer to respect brings with it a hardness toward myself and toward everyone in my vicinity that she finds appalling.

The person I need to survive today is there within me, waiting in my archives behind a glass panel marked "Open Only In Case Of War".

War is full on, but the problem is, that person's a dinosaur,and not a terribly nice one.

The growth I had achieved since those days has leached away...I do know it, and have some - not full - understanding of what was lost.

But Barbara remembers it well. She's living through a small death, with this. The man she'd grown with through marriage and shared joys and trials, who'd learned to share emotion and tenderness, has become a survivor.

Not always a change for the better. Survivors tend to be ruthless.

With themselves, and with those around her. And I am.


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  1. But she's still there. That is a grace in itself. She is learning as well. Some ordeals take great courage. You are dredging up the stamina to endure, and endure. That is raw courage. May there be a silver lining somewhere in all of this suffering. Friendship? Lessons learned? Works published? Still praying.

  2. I can't even begin to relate with you on any of this, but I am praying. For God's will in your situation, and for Barbara. Don't lose yourself in the battle, Andrew. Peace.

  3. And I'm so glad you are surviving, Andrew. By the way, I'm reading your "Faith in the Night" book and would like to dialogue about my thoughts with you in an email or two. I know that may seem too difficult for you at this point, so I understand if you cannot reply. But would love to engage over it. Hugs and prayers being sent your way, my friend! Grab a cigar, DVD and hang in there!