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RightNation.US: Did I do the right thing? - RightNation.US

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Did I do the right thing?

Today marks 180 days since my Darling Kathy passed away.
And I find myself wondering, for the umpteenth time, Did I do the right thing?
I knew she was in trouble, knew that her fall on the Sunday night before she passed was at least as bad as the ones before.
But, to the best that my memory allows, the last lucid thing she said to me was "No hospital."
My brain knows I did what she wanted, what I believe I want in a like situation.
My daughter tells me I did the right thing.
The cops said so also, as did the person from County Elder Care Services that contacted me.
But my heart tells me only how much I miss her.
How utterly empty and meaningless my life is alone, without her.
I have come to realize that despite my belief that I was a tough and well worn old coot, my bedrock wasn't what I thought it was. It wasn't some deep, hard and indefatigable rock I contained within my self as I had long believed.
More then I understood, I had tied my boat to the constancy of the Love that I felt surrounding me from my wife.
She had become my rock, to which I had willingly and happily secured my anchor.
Even during the long decline from what she had been, she was still-in so many ways, the bearer of all the joy and life that I was privileged to share with her.
Nearly until the end, she remembered with amazing clarity, the times of her life. The road trips she took when she was a Professional Dog Handler, traveling the Western USA on weekends.
Her life when she worked for her brother as a Commercial fisher in Alaska. Not her favorite memories, but remembered and related with what can only be called story teller skill. I, and others, tried to get her to commit her stories to some kind of written recollection. She tried, but the disability that eventually took her made it to painful to even type.
Her stories of her trips to the Isle of Skye in Scotland, the hikes along the trails and beaches she took, were wonderful, well told tales that made me dream of the time I would accompany her there in the future.
But all that was not to be and, possibly, the worst part was my failure to recognize that there wasn't going to be a recovery this time. That the future was the time we had together, for which I am so very grateful.
I've been told that the best thing I can do is remember her and the good times, of which there were not nearly enough-even though there were many.
But there are certainly times when I understand completely how crushed, devastated and alone my Father felt after my Mom passed away. How easy and simple it would be to do as he did, and just give up, call it a life and see if what I have always believed was 'next', really is next.
Heck, making it this far already surpasses my Dad, who quit after four months. Of course, he had known and been married to my Mom for more the 50 years, so perhaps his anchor was even more firmly planted.
Still, I try to find some way, some trick of mind, some clue about the future, that will make waking up in the morning a worthwhile endeavor.
So far, I find mostly excuses to just let almost everything be until some hoped for 'tomorrow'.
That's enough for today, maybe tomorrow will be better.
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3 Comments On This Entry

As God’s children such questions are undeniably the worst that we find ourselves asking. I faced this with my own father a mere month before the birth of my first child, yet in the end I must leave room for a sovereign God. I would recommend C.S. Lewis’s work “A Grief Observed” as he had a way with helping people follow through on our own sometimes all too shallow reasoning. But as my pastor said; “we really don’t want an answer, we just want the pain to stop.”

Though I do not know you, I have no doubt that your love and sorrow if proof of the right thing done and that the love of your wife is approving from on high. Be at peace and stand tall.
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Yes, you did the right thing.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not given to empty platitudes; I'll call it as I see it even if it's not what anyone wants to hear.

So I'll say it again: Yes, you did the right thing.

Where to go from here? It's difficult. I won't pretend it isn't. We keep going on. Why? Because it's what we do. Best I can do is offer my own perspective on it all: I'm a fairly religious person but I don't pretend to have all the answers. I do, however, have faith that there ARE answers; perhaps answers that escape me at this particular moment but which are there nonetheless.

Chief, If I may be so bold: I think of life-as-we-know-it to be very much like Navy boot camp. Going through boot camp, some things seemed downright incomprehensible. I didn't understand why at the time. But it wasn't my place to understand. I get out to Fleet and/or later, looking back it makes sense.

I believe this life-as-we-know-it to be very much the same. Some things just don't make sense to me at this moment. But I trust that it WILL make sense eventually. I won't second guess The Almighty any more than as an SR in boot camp I'd have second-guessed a Fleet Admiral.

In the meantime, I do what I do as best I can. I am mindful of those who have gone before, and am respectful of their memory. I am mindful of those who are yet-to-come and I'm respectful of their birthright. Not to be too "zen" about it, but in between are "US". We do what we do, the BEST that we can do it, because it's what we do.
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Jim,
My wife passed away on her 34th birthday, she came up to me gave me a kiss and said she was going to take a nap because she was tired. It just so happens that the Anurism she had let go and she never woke back up. It was a devestating time for me and my 10yo daughter, I decended into drinking my pain away and it was bad for both of us. I was lucky that a woman friend of mine helped me sober up and get my life back on track. 5 years later, I made that woman my wife, she has seen me at my worst and she didn't leave, so I made sure that she would be there from now on. Now that she's going thru bad medical problems, I am the rock she leans on.

Will life get better? Yes it will, I will always remember my late wife Lisa. The good times and bad ones, the laughs, and sorrows. But you can make more of those memories, maybe even find someone that wants to be around you, and make you both happy. Life goes on, we just have to live it day by day.
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