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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 378 - A Caregiver's Listening Heart {#write31days}

The person whose life you promised to share, till death do you part, needs your listening heart.

He or she needs you to hear the fear.

You're needed, to help hold back the dread.

The future this loved and departing person is losing...you're losing it, too, but you have to hear the anguish of their loss through their words, not filtered through your pain.

It's terribly hard, because it is about you, too. You're losing your life, the one you hoped for, and shared. To say that you're going through a kind of death is not far wrong.

But this soul that you want to comfort and protect is going to cross that bridge ahead of you.

Words about how wonderful it will be to see Jesus don't help. He's a comfort, but He's waiting on the other side of something very scary.

Words about how, at least, the pain will be over don't help. Pain at least tells you you're alive and have a chance to keep living. That one-way exit from life...that's downright terrifying. Scarier than almost any pain.

The words this person needs to hear are the ones that hold them safe and firm, now, and keep the night at bay.

"I hear you, I am listening, and I care."

Now, over to Mandisa, singing He Is With You.

My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

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).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

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. Thanks for sharing this perspective, Andrew. It is so important to hear. There is huge power in just listening and being there for someone.

    1. Lesley, I figure that listening is like staying at the Foot of the Cross, eh?

      Thanks so much for being here.

  2. So important to hear these words. Grief is a hard thing but part of life.

    1. Tara, that is so true. I just heard on television that holding in grief is like taking a breath and not letting it out. Apt, don't you think?

  3. Maybe a caregiver should just stay in the moment, cause that is all they have right now. When we talk future, we are talking what we haven't experienced, no matter how much we think we know of it. The comfort is for now, not then. Thanks Andrew for these thoughts. I am guilty of talking future. May you be loved now, held now, heard now,

    1. Mary, I think you're right; there's a Zen of Caregiving that makes life bearable by just being in that moment, looking neither forward nor back.

      I'm so grateful that you;re here, and I do feel loved, held, and heard.

  4. Oh so hard not to filter, Andrew, but you are so right. It's not something the caregiver can manage for the terminal spouse. My heart breaks for what you and Barbara must face every single day. But I'm also grateful that you are still with us so far. You know that I'm praying for you and your sweet wife, my friend! Thanks for sharing so vulnerably about your day to day struggle.

    1. Beth, thank you so much for this...we do appreciate and need your prayers. Roles are reversed today; Barb has an intestinal issue and I am the caregiver.

      Hope I do as well today as she does every day.

      Thank you so much for being here, my friend.

  5. My aunt is 87. She lost her oldest sister last year and it was really hard on her. She doesn't have children. I've always said that when my dad walked out on my mom, it took 3 women to make up for the void he left. My aunt is one of those 3 women. She fell apart after her sister died. She's declining and doesn't want to talk about things that need talking about - health issues, whether she can stay at home alone (I live a state away and she doesn't want to move to us) - and it's hard when someone you love won't talk about what's really happening right now - so that you both can take care of today better - and in taking care of today better prepare for tomorrow. It's tough to know when to take a gentler route and when to be more real and direct. I, personally, dislike cliched responses, that are more etiquette-driven than soul driven. Thank you for the honest, direct insight in this journey. Praying for both you and your wife - that you both vintage the blessing in the right now - and give the hard of tomorrow to God to take care of.

    1. Maryleigh, I'm so sorry for your aunt. I can't imagine how rough that must be for her, and for you, in having to face the issues that have to be dealt with. There's no one right way to do it, but sometimes it's scary - there seem to be so many wrong ways, ways that can cause hurt and alienation!

      We truly appreciate your prayers, and we'll keep you and your aunt in ours.

  6. Nailed with TRUTH. Truth always wins, doesn't it?

  7. I pray I am doing this with Jerry. I try to make sure he knows that. To be in the moment with him and let him know he can always count on me. In the end, I hope it will have been enough.

    I can only imagine the struggle that this creates for you and Barbara, both together and separately. I'll add that to our daily prayer list for you guys.