Obviously, there are some details that simply won't be shared, because they're physically and emotionally humiliating. Although...I have touched on incontinence, because it's hard for both patient and caregiver, and I thought I might throw some useful light on it.
The problem is that the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual are all very closely connected, and pretense ("God is with me, and I fear nothing") serves no useful purpose.
God is with me, but this is still scarier than anything I could imagine, and remember that Jesus was really scared too, in the Garden of Gethsemane. You don't sweat blood for the fun of it.
But there's another danger, giving a laundry-list of ills that becomes either boring, or looks like a plea for sympathy.
Don't get me wrong. I welcome sympathy. I'm a hardass, but a human hardass.
The balance, I guess, if found in the details, the details that will help both patients and caregivers, both current and potential, understand what exactly is involved in this kind of dying.
It's frightening and painful, and it can leave everyone involved completely undone, but there is still joy.
It's hopeless, but that very feeling of futility can, if faced, give birth to the most profound hope, and to victory over despair.
It's exhausting, but I am carried further and faster by Love than I could ever move on my own, even in perfect health.
So I guess I just have to tell pretty much everything, so that the darkest bits help to make the Light more visible, and brighter to our eyes.
And in this life, only against the stench of misery's ordure can we discern the true fragrance of Christ.
Music from The Seekers with Georgy Girl, simply because I really like the song.
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.