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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 165 - What You Say Matters

Caregiving is hard, and it can drive you to the limits of your patience. And sometimes the triggers seem so trivial

My wife, for instance, has admitted that she has a hard time not resenting that I can't stand and chat. Standing hurts; I either have to move, or crouch on the floor. (Chairs ain't comfortable, not hardly.)

For her, one of the things that most people take for granted - a conversation, say, in the kitchen - simply isn't possible.

But saint that she is, she's held her tongue. (I did 'interview' her for this post, and she agreed to address this topic.)

But remaining silent was hard for her, because...well, she wants things to be different, and they can't be, and since God sometimes doesn't seem to be listening, the only place to vent, effectively...is on me.

She won't do it because she knows that will colour what I take with me across the Divide. And she wants that to be something good.

There is the saying...language alert here...that it takes seven "Attaboy!"s to make up for one "Dumbshit!"

And it's true. We tend to recall the negative much more readily.

When time's limitless, it's an inconvenience, yeah, an annoyance (especially if you've been the dumbshit), but things eventually stabilize. You just sometimes have to live with feeling bad.

But when time's limited, negativity in a relationship really hurts. It takes away, measurably, from what joy remains.

And it does go both ways. As I write this Barb is watching a variety/comedy show that I find distinctly unfunny. I could say something, and ask to put on something else...but why? She likes it.

And why does my loathing it matter? I'm old enough to take care of myself, and to tune out what I don't like.

Sometimes, you've just got to let it go.

So you can let the ret of life be.

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.

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  1. I needed to hear this today. Letting go of stuff is not easy for me...at all. But it is a form of living life fuller. It makes me think of the term 'indifferent' (a monastic term) that is helpful to cultivate in our spiritual selves, where we can separate our wants and self-stuff and then make it our practice to become indifferent to them. It's a goal to attain to, at least that's the hope. Bless you!

  2. Why does it have to take me something not pleasant to get what you are saying? I need to treasure the time that I have my husband instead of loathing over something small. It really seems your wife is just like any other human with needs but she loves you and that is far more important. Lift up a prayer for you right now

  3. There's such a sense of urgency here that winnows out the good from the bad. I wish we could all take your perspective to make the best of the time we have. "But when time's limited, negativity in a relationship really hurts. It takes away, measurably, from what joy remains." Thanks, Andrew.

  4. I pray for both you and Barbara every day.

  5. So true, Andrew. I often ask myself, "is it helpful?" "is it kind?" I usually keep my mouth shut :) I haven't been commenting much the last couple of weeks, but I've been reading and praying.

  6. So true, Andrew, and I, like the above commenter, needed to hear this also. Guess I'll be watching that movie at 8 pm that 1) I've probably already seen, but he doesn't remember seeing it; or 2) it's not really something I want to watch tonight...but, "let it go" for sure! No wonder I love Frozen so much! Oh, that's Olaf, "In SUMMER"!

    Thanks for opening our eyes to things, Andrew; you always come across with what we need!!

    Prayers and HUGS to both you and Barb!

  7. So happy to be given a privilege to post a comment here. You have a wonderful site. Thank you for the effort to publish this.