There is something your spouse/patient would like to tell you, but perhaps he or she can't find the words.
But I can, and if needed, I'll speak in his or her behalf.
With a terminal diagnosis, one becomes frozen in time. One is pulled from the River of Life that extends from youth to old age, and is deposited on the shore.
The past becomes irrelevant to the current fight to stay alive, and the future becomes irrelevant because...well, the patient isn't going to see it.
Your spouse will not grow old with you. That, dear Caregiver, is a fact.
And the 'remember when' of scrapbooks becomes painful. Memory raws its meaning from the prospect of a future. And with that prospect lost, Remember When is simply a painful reminder of a future in which this present of terminal illness is simply a place the patient won't see.
The scrapbooks of the future, those that memorialize today, and forever closed.
But your life, dear Caregiver, will go on. YOU will go on.
It's a hard dichotomy to have to live, especially since part of your duty to your dying husband or wife is to ease the twin burdens of fear and regret.
There's no one right way to do this, but here are some suggestions:
- Don't talk about your plans in a future your mate won't see. It hurts.
- Don't talk about adapting to growing older. Your husband or wife would ive a lot to be 'growing older', and that, too, hurts.
- Don't talk about what's on your bucket list. For the dying, the bucket list is fantasy...one the diagnosis has been given, all efforts go to mitigating pain and prolonging life. There's very little room for that balloon ride over the Serengeti to watch the migration of the animals of the plains.
- Be there in your spouse's Now, een if that means watching a DVD you've seen a doen times. That may be all he or she has...and you are almost certainly all he or she has.
The musical theme comes from Imagine Dragons...
Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
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.