Understanding is a big word. A word that I struggle with. I don't know that I understand. Anything! Sometimes!
While my cousin was here last week, and Richard was doing so poorly, we didn't understand. Well, really it was my cousin who didn't understand. He thought I should call an ambulance and take Richard to the hospital. I told him that we were not going to do that anymore. That we are going to keep him home and take care of him right here. Then he thought I should at least call the Hospice nurse. I didn't feel like I needed to do that. What was she going to do? And I was comfortable with where we were. And then my brother came. And he said "this just isn't good" and I started to second guess myself. I felt like I wasn't understanding what it was I was supposed to be doing.
Do you know what I did? I got out the books that both Richard and I filled out before his stroke in 2011. The title of the booklet is Honoring Your Wishes. It is a personal planner with pages to fill in the historical information, a page for favorites, a page for spirituality, and a page for final requests and wishes. Here is where I found my understanding. Here is where Richard told me exactly what he wanted. I found peace with this understanding. He wants to be free of pain. Even if that means that by taking the pain medications it might shorten his life. He knew that back then. And he told me what he wanted. And it is right there in black and white for all to see. I know what he wants. And I will honor his wishes. Even if it isn't what the rest of the world understands. It's not their death. It is Richard's. And I understand exactly what he wants.