Friday, July 30, 2010

Thoughtful, loving alternative

Well, I've been thinking about some comments to my prior post (Snippets Again), specifically about choice when dealing with death and grief. And I thank my gentle readers for their comments.

Here's the deal: yes, it is a choice to wallow in pain and grief, to a degree.

But, the reality is that if I am fully present with H, as I try to be, then I am sad...both for him and for me. Simple.

Sure there are gifts -- important ones that I have blogged about here -- from this experience, but after 14 years of this, I am worn out from the loss and burden. I have great hope for me and my life, but not for H.

Last night, H was telling me that he was terrified that someone was going to show up at our door, arrest him for having AIDS, and take him to a concentration camp to be executed, but not until they delighted in his withdrawal from his pain meds. He was sweating, red faced, almost crying...abject, visceral fear.

I calmed him down, but this type of thing is a frequent event at our house these days.

How can I not be sad and not be affected every single f*!@ing day when the love of my life is delusional and terrified, can't walk hardly at all...even with a cane, and can no longer make a sandwich?

I would love to hear how to not feel sad and "chin up" or "man up" under these circumstances.

It is one thing to judge and lecture, it is entirely another to present a coherent, thoughtful, loving alternative.


Greg said...

Yikes! I've just read the anonymous comment that provoked this and cringed. I can only hope it was someone new to your blog who hadn't picked up on the dementia aspect of H's illness.

That said, I'm glad you've had something to fight back at. There have been too many powerful and desperately sad posts of yours that have gone by without any response. I'm guilty of closing the window many many times without leaving a message because the scale of your grief and agony is just overwhelming. At least you have an opportunity here (which you've taken) to reassert your decisions and feelings.

Respect as always


Y | O | Y said...

Wouldn't life be grand if we could just snap out of it? I wish!

Your journey has been long. I think that while there have been large swings up and down along the way, it has generally been a slow slide. When things in life change slowly, then we get down the path, we look around and wonder how we ever got there.

Not only with H's medical symptoms, but with your depression and grief. If every day you feel just a teensy bit worse, eventually you find yourself in a whopping hole.

I think I'm only starting to realize the depth of my own situation after 6 months of counseling.

The two steps I would suggest, and I've said them before, is to seek additional experienced help in (or outside) the home with H; and to find an effective counselor for yourself.

Big decisions. Difficult decisions. Having been through them and the anxiety that they generated, I don't suggest them lightly. But I can say that I'm happy I made them and, after the initial adjustment, we are all the better for it.

Hang in there!