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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Your Dying Spouse 580 - When A Caregiver Feels Helpless

There's an interesting compare-and-contrast going on here, right now.

A very dear friend of ours in in hospital, and has been since early December; her ailment has been very hard to track down, much the less treat, but there is hope that she will be going home in a couple of weeks.

Barb has been spending almost all her free time with our friend (and her husband), providing moral support, physical help when the nursing staff's otherwise engaged, and making sure that nothing medically important is missed. (And yes, I have encouraged this; I'm OK on my own through the day, and these folks really need her.)

And while it's exhausting, Barb inicated that it's actually easier than spening time with me, because her friend is not in a lot of pain; some discomfort and frustration, yes, but nothing like that which she has to witness in my company.

There, she's useful; she can provide practical help (like rearranging the room for feasible lavatory acces while the nursing staff is too busy). Here, Barb feels helpless, and there's really no worse experience under these circumstances.

I'm not sure what the moral is here, except maybe that having to watch omeone in constant severe pain really sucks.

But maybe there's something else, that I need to be cognizant of how hard it is for Barb to see me hurting. Not that I should hide the pain, which would be quite impossible, but that I need to understand the effect on her heart, and hold her in both prayer and sympathy.

Here's a sonnet that may be appropriate:

My wife will spend Valentine’s Day
at work and with a friend
in hospital, who sees no way
that her life will ever mend.
She’ll arrive home at ten 
exhausted and in pain, 
eat and sleep and rise and then 
do it all again. 
We are not made for celebration 
nor for mere romance 
our lives are meant for consecration 
by Jesus, Lord Of The Dance. 
For love of us, in Passion grim, 
He asks that we might live for Him.

Music from The Hollies, with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.

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.

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  1. (((Andrew)))
    Andrew, I can understand what Barbara is feeling. My brother suffered for days before he moved on to Heaven, and it was torture to witness his pain. Yes, watching helplessly is terrible. (Being brought up Baptist in the 1960's, I can't bring myself to use that particular s-word, so I will say it "stinks." Maybe my little old lady prudishness will give you a grin and a chuckle tonight.)

    Annie in Texas

    1. ((((((Annie1))))))

      Thank you so much for sharing what must have been difficult to remember, and write.

      We're truly grateful that you're here...and you might just help clean up some of Andrew's language! :)

    2. Well, my brother (brought up the same as I was) emphatically used that word when he declared to me "Cancer sucks!" I figured he was entitled to say it. (He did not, however, say it in front of our mother, only in front of me.)
      Here's another gentle air hug for tonight (((Andrew))) and one for (((Barbara)))

      Annie in Texas

    3. ((((((Annie!))))))

      Thank you so much for the adition...and, in not saying that in front of your mom, he sounds like he was very well brought up.

      Someone I look forward to meeting.

      Air hugs are so appreciated by us both!

  2. Unfortunately, "I'm sorry" is sometimes all you can say, and we all know those words just don't cut it. My husband is in chronic pain (not at all to your extent), but 20 years of those words gets old, I feel for Barbara, as well as you. Together you are stronger than you realize because you work through the pain of each other together. That must make all the difference. God has you both in His hands and heart. Bless you today, Valentines Day. Romance and flowers? That is love's glance, not the full stare.

    1. Mary, our hearts go out to you. And the way you put it, working through one another's pain, that's brilliant, and so very true.

      Bless you, friend. You're in our prayers.