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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 194 - Assumptions

As a caregiver, you'll naturally try to put your heart and ind in the shoes of the loved one you're helping.

And you should; you should try to build both sympathy and empathy to the greatest degree possible, because God knows there will be days when it's all too much and you'll feel anything but sympathetic. (And don't beat yourself up for this; it's a normal part of the process.)

There are places, though, where you should tread with caution. A terminal diagnosis changes a person, and the things you could have safely assumed about your spouse may no longer hold true.

For example, almost everyone I meet thinks I should be depressed, and that if I'm not I'm in denial. They don't see, and perhaps they can't see, that there's nothing to be depressed about; there is nothing I have lost.

OK, I'll give you a minute to push away from the screen, shake your head, and say, "OK, he's flipped. Just gone."

You've lost your future! - How could I lose something I never had? I may have assumed I would have that future, but that was really a wish. All I ever had was the moment. I just understand that better now.

You've lost physical and mental abilities! - Well, sure. They've changed, and I don't have either the strength or the sharpness I once possessed. But these are transient things, and the loss of strength in my shoulders is counterweighted by the gain in resolve and discipline...and the loss of the ability to carry on a conversation (I misplace words now, and I'm slow) is offset by the realization that I need not impress anyone with knowledge or cleverness. One things falls, another rises. Not the same, but not all that different.

You've lost your faith that God is watching out for you!  Oh, PLEASE. Bad things don't happen because the Almighty withdraws His Favour, or because He's arbitrary about the people with whom He plays Whack-A-Mole.

We're here for a reason, and that is to exercise our free will to choose to become fit citizens of Heaven, to share it with Him. Free will's a rule, and it implies that really nasty stuff can happen because other people exercise their free will the wrong way...or even that nature operates with something analogous, so hello earthquakes and tsunamis and cancer

For God to change the rules and shield me - or anyone - would be to negate the whole purpose of the exercise...which is to choose Life, to choose Eternal Life in the face of our worst nightmares.

How can I complain about that?

So, please...even if you think it's unfair, don't assume that I do.

I've made my peace. Good to go.

Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.


He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.

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.


  1. Those gains are there, you've found them, you live them out, Andrew. No need to impress with 'knowledge or cleverness' ... how profound. Would that we all gain that wisdom much earlier on in life, yes?

    1. Linda, thank you so much! I do wish I had learned a lot of this earlier, but I'm just really glad to be here now.

  2. What an awesome post andrew! This can even apply to others who are going through a hard time where something drastic or life altering happened. Thank you for challenging me with this.

  3. "The happiest people are the ones who enjoy life." They choose to enjoy it even when it seems like that is a contradiction to their circumstances or status. Some poor people are very happy people. Economics has very little to do with happiness.
    Ok, so those were my thoughts this morning while I was caregiving for my mom while she was getting some tests run at the cardiologists today. Did I want to be there? No. Did my mother need me there? Yes. In fact, she was fearful. Part of my job was to calm her fears by my presence. Happiness is independent of circumstances....in many respects. Contentment too.

  4. I understand the position of a caregiver all too well right now since I am doing this for my 95 year old dad whose health is failing. But he would take the same side as you and say he's not losing anything in this life because soon he will be gaining everything in his eternal life. That truth alone keeps me going as hard as it is to see a loved one begin to decline Thank you for the truthfulness of your words.

  5. "Bad things don't happen because the Almighty withdraws His Favour..." Truth right there, Andrew. So appreciate your perspective and your faith. It's a powerful testimony!

  6. I love this, Andrew, because in reality, we all face a terminal diagnosis. We don't know when our final day is. And all we have is today, for certain. I love your attitude ... it trickles onto everyone else. You're incredible and so is Barbara.