Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn's dark side...

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Autumn seems to be a time for grieving. Strong, warm Summer sunlight fades as a shadowy darkness takes over.

I spent most of the night crying. Tears soaked my pillowcase. Hubby lay beside me, breathing deeply. I placed my arm on his bony hip, cuddling him close to me, as I cried a river of tears.

I was remembering our first days together. Our first months. Our first years. As the old cliche goes "we were so much in love" (and still are to this day). It was pure bliss - heaven on Earth. I was bursting with happiness on a daily basis. I felt vastly rich. Truly loved and cherished. We played, we laughed, we travelled. Life was beautiful!

I wondered (as a kaleidoscope of the last 13 years danced through my head) will he die tonight? He had been sleeping on and off most of the day. As gentle love scenes played across my memory, flowers, moon-lit nights, birthdays, beaches, dazzling sunsets, caring and sharing - will tonight be the night?

I've asked that same question time and again over the seven and a half years he's been on oxygen. Will I find his body cold beside me in the morning; his spirit flown? Will I come home to find him on the floor? Gone - while I was out somewhere I didn't need to be?

The night before my mother died, the same swirling of thoughts and memories flashed through my mind - just like this night. I remember being a small child. Mom teaching me how to tie my shoe, wash my hands, say thank-you to someone. Mom tucking me into bed with a goodnight kiss. Mom standing at the door, waving good-by as I eagerly rushed out on my way to some adventure or other. Scenes from my teens, my graduation, my wedding, the birth of my children played in my head the night before she died. I did not know she was dying.

Very early the next morning, I got The Call. I knew in the depth of my soul that she had been sending me messages as her spirit chose to leave this Earth. They were not dreams, for I was wide awake. They were energy thought-forms. My sisters also received messages that night.

Was this to be the same happening? The very same scenario?

The next morning, Hubby awoke, looking better than he had in a long time. Relief washed over me like a wave. It's not his time yet. So why was I grieving? I don't know. Perhaps I had a slushy mound of grief stored up that needed release. All summer, I'd been riding a wave of joy, as I usually do. Sunshine and flowers; my hands in the Earth. I ignored sad. I pushed aside grief. I've been grieving for 7 and a half years - ever since his diagnosis. We need to treasure our time together. Not grieve the future.

I know, I know, but when I watch his daily struggles; constant unrelenting fatigue, frequent rest stops while slowly making his way across the room, eroded memory, emaciated body, oxygen tubing snaking across the floor; and the worst of the worst, even while resting in a chair, is.. just.. trying.. to.. breathe... it's hard not to look in the face of Grief.

12 comments:

mxtodis123 said...

I can identify with everything you said here. I, too, have lain awake nights not knowing if hubbie would make it through the night. About 3 years ago he was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hep C. The medicine didn't work. So, now we have just come to a sad waiting game. Then about six months ago, hubbie was diagnosed with COPD. I treasure our moments and the love we have shared. But one of the hardest things to do is to watch your loved one whither away before your eyes. My prayers and thoughts are with you and yours.

Beth Niquette said...

I can so relate to your struggles...the feelings you have are normal. As hard as they are.

When my brother died, I knew it. In the early morning hours I awoke. Then later on he stood there and smiled at me while I put on stage makeup. There were two performances that morning. In between services I called my mother. Dow had died.

In some ways it was a good thing, because of his cancer he'd suffered so. But that terrible emptiness in the place he once occupied here on earth was left behind.

I wept with you as I read what you wrote. You are in my heart and prayers--because though I've been through something similar--I have yet to face the death of my own beloved.

((hugs))

Natural Moments said...

We can only build up so much sadness till it needs to spill over and empty its self out. The tears are our friends, releasing the pressure of the past that we have stored aside to be processed at a later date. May peace and love be with you each and every day. May the sun shine for you in the winter months. May smiles find you beyond reason.

Grammy said...

WENDY, I AM SO SORRY. SNIFF SNIFF. I HAVE HAD THOUGHTS LIKE THAT TOO. I TRY NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT ANT MORE. BUT SOME HOW IT POPS UP. LIKE AT KNIGHT WHEN I HEAR SILENCE. I WORRY TILL A BREATH COMES. HE TALKS ALLOT IN HIS SLEEP NOW. AS IF HIS LIFE IS IN HIS SLEEP. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN BY GRIEVING TOO.
IT IS LIKE HE ID ALREADY GONE SOME TIMES. AN EMPTY SHELL. THAT WATCHES TV. HE IS TALKING MORE NOW. BUT ALLOT OF IT IS NOT THE TRUTH. I WISH I COULD SAY MORE TO COMFORT YOU.
MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOUR GRIEF. WHAT HAS HELPED ME THE MOST IS THAT I WILL NO LONGER MAKE DECISIONS TO KEEP HIM HER. HE HAS TO CHOOSE WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM MEDICALLY NOW. THAT WAY I NO LONGER HAVE THE GUILT. THAT HE DID IT FOR ME. LIKE WITH HIS BYPASS. HE REGRETTED. IT WAS A LIFE OR DEATH CHOICE. I AM SORRY I WILL NOT KEEP TALKING ABOUT MY SELF.
I AM SENDING YOU LOVE AND LIGHT. MAY YOU FIND PEACE AND COMFORT.

In My Sepia Studio said...

...All any of us has is the moment in which we are...just being...Just be...time passes quickly enough and soon you will be in the next moment. Cherish every single minute that you do have together!!

Maggie May said...

I can relate to all these things.
My husband has been fighting cancer for 7 yrs.

My Dad had the same kind of illness as your husband.
Every significant occasion, I think will this be the last time.......

You are in my thought & prayers.

Nuts in May

Miss Sandra said...

Wendy dear,
As I read this post, so much came back to me. I saw my husband once again, lying there during his final moments. I know so well what you are feeling..and my heart breaks for you.
Somewhere between his diagnosis and his passing, I grew up...or perhaps I should say..I grew old.
Since his passing...I've grown strong. I wish for you comfort and love. I wish for him comfort, love, and peace. He's got your love to make his transition peaceful.
Hugs to you.
Sandra

Nina P. said...

No one knows when we will be called home. Till then we must live the best life we can. Our Spirit, lives even amongst the pain, the fogginess, and forgetfulness. It's there inside, it knows what words cannot speak, it knows what the eyes cannot portray, he knows the depth of your love. Grief and Sadness are a part of life and cannot be avoided. It is part of rebalancing our life. Each labored breath is a breath of life, of hope of love. I cannot know the horrific pain and sorrow you are going through. Cry for his pain and for your loss, but then celebrate his life now, hold him, hug him, be with him. Share your memories of days gone by, watch old favorite movies, eat a favorite food together, watch a sunset, or even a sun rise. Just be together, and feel the Love and Compassion you have for each other, feel two hearts beating as one, and know that you have loved and been loved, sharing the best of times, and the worst of times. Shed your tears, for tomorrow the sun will shine and you will always be together now and forever. May the wings of Angels hold you tonight, may the music of the stars sing you to sleep, and may the Love of the One carry you through this time of transitions and fears. Healing thoughts and prayers go up for you and yours today and always. Love and Light, Nina P

Teacher's Pet said...

Wendy..I cried as I read this.
I don't have words right now...
Forgive me for that.
But, I do have a caring heart...and you and your husband are now a part of it.
Love,
Jackie

Wendy said...

Thank you to all you wonderful, supportive people. I never imagined in all my life how supportive and empathetic a group of bloggers or a group of anybody would be. I am in awe and I feel peaceful.

Thank you for sharing your stories. And your feelings. I will visit each and every one on your blog.
Namaste and plenty of hugs as we find ourselves on this difficult, yet loving and giving journey.

Renee said...

To look at the face of grief while living in grief's body.

Wendy, you told us of a loving relationsip that people could only wish they had.

Your love is strong.

My Mom has copd and it is so hard when she is panicing to breath.

Your love for your husband is a testament to the man he must be.

Love Renee xoxo

hummer said...

I see reading the comments that many have experienced these feelings. I relate also, my dad and uncle died of COPD. It is a long hard road. My husband died a year ago this Christmas Eve. He had cancer, I think the thing that hurt them most was for the last 6 months, I could not hold him or hug him (I am a hugger). He knew this and left love messages with his friends to share with me later. That is on my hero's blog.
Thank you so much for stopping by and I appreciate your blog and love the beauty of your pictures.
FRances