Don’t tell me that you understand.
Don’t tell me that you know.
Don’t tell me that I will survive,
How I will surely grow.
Don’t come at me with answers
That can only come from me.
Don’t tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free.
Accept me in my ups and downs.
I need someone to share.
Just hold my hand and let me cry
And say, “My friend, I care.”
I was reading an article on grief recently when I had one of those 'light bulb' moments. I am trying to LIVE, while my husband is trying to DIE. We are on different paths here. And we won't get it together. We won't walk this final path hand in hand. He WILL die. And I WILL live. He will leave me. And I will stay right here. His suffering will end. And mine will go on.
Just as the dying goes through the steps to arrive at the acceptance phase, I believe that family members go through the same steps. And we may not go through them at the same time. I can well remember when Richard was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I can remember his denial. I didn't feel any denial at all. I knew that is what he had. I knew it before we ever went to see the neurologist. I accepted it and moved on. He denied it and moved on.
The next step is usually anger. I don't remember that Richard has ever been angry. He is just not that type of man. He doesn't get angry. And I am still angry. I am angry that he is dying. I am angry that he can't stand up without my help. I am angry that his feet are stuck on the floor and won't move. I am angry that he coughs all through every meal. I am angry that it takes him so long to answer me when I ask a question. I am angry that his thought processes seem to be stuck. I am angry that he needs help with everything. I am angry that he can smile at me and tell me what a wonderful wife I am. I am angry that he sees that I am angry. I am angry that he knows that I am angry and that I can't seem to control that. I am angry that when I am angry I take it out on all those who are around me. I don't like any of this one damn bit. It isn't fair. He is a good man. He doesn't deserve this. It makes me angry.
I don't think either of us have bothered to do any type of bargaining. I would, if I thought it would do any good. But making deals with God is just not my thing. And I can assure you that it is not something Richard would do. He would be much more likely to bargain if it were me dying. He won't bargain on his own behalf. He just accepts that it is what it is! I hate that expression.
We could very well both be in this next stage together. Depression. I know that I am depressed. Not the "I need to get to the psychiatrist and get on a pill" type of depression. But my life is depressing. This isn't what I envisioned. I always knew that being married to an older man was going to mean that he would be older and at the end of his life ahead of me. But until I began to live it, I didn't really know what it would feel like. And it feels like shit! I hate it. I don't want to live it. But I have no choice. It is what we are living. Richard has always been a very positive person. He is the 'cup is half-full' guy, while I am the 'cup is half empty' girl. We balance each other out. Our cup is full this way. But I know he is sad. He doesn't want to die. He tells me that. But then he says, "Well if that is God's plan, then I am ready. When it is my time to go, it is my time".
I doubt that we will hit the acceptance stage together. I doubt that I will ever get there. I am not going to accept it. I don't want to. And I am not going to. So there. But since this isn't about me, then I will watch. And I will see if Richard gets to acceptance. I don't want him to. I don't want him to accept this. I want him to keep right on fighting. Right up to the very end.....