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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Your Dying Spouse : The Loneliness

For a while, I called this blog Your Dying Spouse, with subtitles. But dying can take awhile, and I got bored.

Still, you may have a spouse or a mate or a neighbour who's for the high jump.

That individual is lonely beyond your wildest nightmares. (Now, this isn't my situation; I'm truly blessed, but I can see over the wall.)

It's loneliness born of a forced withdrawal from life. The river flows and you're on the beach with a plastic pail and shovel...and, yes, the childish image is intended, because well-meaning folk can confuse compassion and condescension, and make the experience infantilising. ("How are we doing today?"...ugh!)

DVDs and books can help, but they always seem to have a point, a lesson, and a satisfying ending.

As Gilda Radner put it..."Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end."

When life is like that, a person needs more... someone else nearby, who can share the reality, and help validate the rest of Ms. Radner's comment...

"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.”

This can't be done alone. The perspective is too narrow, too personal.

If you want to help, what can you do?

You can do wonders by just showing interest, by being there, treating that person like a full adult.

Don't know what to say? You don't have to say much, beyond a sincere Howzit Going?, and What Have You Been Up To?

My God. Just to be asked by someone willing to listen, and care!

Maybe life has tightened to simple necessities and a bit of make-work...as mine has... but even those have to be somehow imbued with meaning, with value. If making one's own dinner comes at a cost, it's nice if someone recognizes it.

And stay awhile. Put in a couple of hours to watch Lord of the Rings, and turn a focused message into something that satisfies Delicious Ambiguity. Maybe more than a couple of hours, but escaping with a friend from The Sentence, even for a short time, is a pearl beyond price.

Maybe you will want to justify it by What Goes Around Comes Around. Fair enough.

But know this, that the good that goes around is appreciated far more than you'll ever realize.

Please ask me how it's going,
please ask, "What have you there?",
'cause when you do you're showing
that you really care.
Come by and watch a movie;
it won't take long to do,
and it would sure be groovy,
spending time with you,
for although I'm dying,
I still have much to give,
and I'm really, really trying,
dear God, I am, to live,
so please, dear heart, pick up the phone,
because I can't do this alone.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is BOTH.

It takes two to fix-trot
(or did you expect 'tango'),
which I would have said were it not
that its only rhyme is mango,
which is a taste that I enjoy
as additive or by itself,
and I'm glad Coke did employ
to place it on the groc'ry shelf,
or was it Pepsi? Could've been,
they sort of seem the same to me,
and I am not really keen
on studying to Nth degree
which is now ahead in stores
in the eternal cola wars.

Ok, five minutes. And yes, one of the cola giants does have mango flavouring. It's pretty good.

Music from the Foo Fighters, with Walk, from the movie Thor.

I'm never gonna die. Strong words, and untrue in the temporal, but my heart will go on, and that's a song for another time.

Sylvia's always up for LOTR, but she prefers Adam Sandler.


  1. Good morning! Hope today is a good day for you, writing before I read your post.

    1. Rhonda, thank you so much! It's been a physically rough few days, but with God, I am happy.

  2. Just dropping in to say Hi Andrew, still love your spunk and your poems!

  3. the importance of just sitting and being, or coming and helping with whatever, it's a good thing that. FMF13

    1. Annette, the gift of presence should never be underestimated!

  4. Andrew, your writing is as good as your poetry. I love the reminder to just be with someone. After nursing a daughter through near-death chronic illness, and sit often with another friend who's shut in and not sure where her chronic illness will take her, I remember that slowing down and just being are gifts. So many have just sat and been with me in my current heartaches and confusion. That's what it's all about after all. Thanks. Kath, your FMF neighbour at #3 this week.

    1. Kath, you really have something vital there, with slowing down. For me, the world just rushes by so quickly, and I can't keep up.

      To have someone willing to take it at my pace is such a wonderful thing.