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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 117 - When It's Time To Quit

We're linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday -please visit beth for great marriage wisdom!

They say that animals know when it's time to let go, and die.

People are like that too, sometimes...and there may come a day when you realize that your terminally ill husband or wife is letting go.

It may be that they're ready, or it may be that the fight has simply gotten too hard, and hope to slim.

It can be a terrible knowledge to face...and what can you do?

First, recognize that it may be a temporary thing. Courage and strength fluctuate, and while we'd all like to be steadfast, we aren't even in the normal challenges of daily life.

The aftereffects of surgery, chemo, radiation...they can make death feel like a balm. We all have our limits, and aggresive treatments can push us straight into them.

If that's the case, it's important not to jump to conclusions; don't reinforce the feeling, either by words or actions. If it is a temporary lapse, weighing in with "yes, I understand...you can let go" can make fighting back to a position of hope all the harder.

It can make one feel more alone in the fight...and trust me, please, it is a lonely fight.

Second, if the decision to give up is the real thing, be supportive, and make clear the message that the time you have left with your husband or wife is important to you.

Even the real statement of giving up contains an implicit appeal...please tell me that I mattered, that our life together meant something, and still means something. Please.

It's a hard burden for the caregiver, because you've got to shoulder the emotional weight of another person. It's not an attempt at manipulation.

It simply means that your husband or wife can no longer go on alone.

It may be time to let go, to step away from the treatments and the medication, and to accept the grace of death and the hope of the life to come.

You may not agree. You may want to say, "Keep fighting!"

But that decision's not yours to make.

But it is your road to walk; because...

Please, don't let me walk it alone.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links (they're 99 cents each). And if you'd like a free PDF, please email me at tempusfugit02 (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll gladly send them


  1. Well, I'm not going to be the one to sing "let it go." I want to keep reading your words. Hearing about your dogs. Knowing you're here in the blogosphere of life, cheering us on. But, I know that you know and I trust that knowing. Hugs to you and a big smooch to Barb.

    1. Hugs and smooch delivered, Susan!

      I definitely won't be letting go. It's not in my nature. I can accept the changes in my life more easily...pain grants perspective...but to just down tools?

      No chance!

  2. Andrew, I'm so inspired by your fighting spirit... I echo Susan's sentiments exactly. We're cheering you on virtually, too! But also trusting that the Lord's perfect plan will prevail.
    I so appreciate you taking the time and effort to share at our link party each week - your posts add so much to the "conversation" over there ;-)
    Prayers for you both...

    1. Pat, thank you so much! I always enjoy reading the link party post (this week was terrific) but I'm usually pretty much out of energy to think of a comment.

      But I am there. And I do appreciate you!

      And so, too, do we appreciate the prayers.

  3. So ... how's that book coming, pal?

    Plenty of valuable rich wisdom and raw perspective continuing to flow ...

    1. It's coming along, Linda. There are possibilities beyond what I'd envisioned, and so more revision is needed...but it will get there!

      Thank you so much for being here, my friend!

  4. As a caregiver that's got to be one of the hardest two edged swords to wield friend. When my dearest Uncle left earth in December of 2015, he told his bride he was tired and wanted to go home. She loved him so dearly that I'm sure it was very hard for her to tell him it was okay, but it was most certainly time. His daughter came and the three of them spent the afternoon holding hands and talking until he just couldn't breath any more. We all still miss his sweet, smiling face dearly, but we also know it was time for him to be with Jesus too.

    1. Oh, Christy, thank you so much for sharing this...I can only imagine how hard it must have been, and can see how much you miss him still.

      Thank you so much for being here. We value you!

  5. Just letting you know that I'm here and praying for you both.

    1. Kim, thank you...prayers are very much needed, for both of us, as I write this. It's rough.

  6. 4:15 a.m. today as I crawled back into bed after a bathroom visit, I prayed for you. Fight the fight my friend.

  7. I think, given your current situation, Andrew, we all know that there will come a day when you will no longer greet us with your amazing words of wisdom. But we still pray that that day has not yet come. And as far as you going this alone, please know that you are not! You may feel a certain loneliness and isolation, but there's much that is unseen. God is ever-present with you and so are we in spirit, prayers and hope. Keep on hanging on for another day, my friend! And we and the Lord will hang on with you!

    1. Beth, your words and loving thoughts are perfect for a day that has been...to put it mildly...rather a trial.

      I really think that God will hold my head above the waves until the =Viet nam stories are finished, and'out there'. I'm so lucky - I was led to what I was meant to do!!!

      Thank you so much for being here, Beth. I am physically alone (but for the dogs)...but never lonely. I feel the warmth of a thousand suns.