Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Heartbreak of Saying Goodbye

To lose the anchor in your life in unimaginable.  To lose that anchor when you are both still young and haven't had the joys that are supposed to come to you in your "dotage" is so unfair. 

I have a friend who is experiencing just this horrible fate.  I don't know what to say or how to offer comfort. 

I have never met this friend.  I read a local blog and found her there, responding to stories of farm life. 

local blog:  Just Me

friend's blog:  Stargazer

She lives in the Northwest, exercises and is alarming lithe and slim, has two adult daughters, drinks coffee religiously, is a more than a decade younger than me,and speaks and writes fluent French.  We seemed to have nothing in common.  Except she's been a teacher in a public high school all her adult life.  Her husband was much like mine -- refusing to dress even for formal occasions, a man handy with tools and fixing things around the house.  She struggled at times with her family -- except for her it was the in-laws, while for me it was the parental units.  She is plain spoken, feisty, and full of spunk. 

We took to reading each other's blogs and talking on Facebook.  When her husband became chronically ill, we kept up a running commentary about how we were faring with the illnesses that surrounded us.  We can't see each other but we have forged a bond that has meant much to me, especially in the last 12 months. 

Except now her husband is dying.  From lung cancer.  He's only in his early 50's.  And soon he will be gone. 

She's facing my worst nightmare and I have no idea how to comfort her or offer solace.  How does one face something this horrible and still have to go on working and maintaining and keeping a stiff upper lip?

She's written beautifully on CaringBridge about their current situation. How the family is coming between his bouts of lucidity.  How scary it is when he's drifting away.  How she's holding him and surrounding him with love.

What will she hold tomorrow night or the next one when he's finally gone?

My heart is breaking for my friend and her family.  Lord, please don't let this be my fate for many, many years.  Please. And please, bring peace and acceptance to my far-away friend.  Let her heart be strong and her spirit unbroken.  


Donna said...

I have come to love Margaret too. She is so wise, so real. My father died from lung cancer, and I feared for her from the time she learned her husband had that dread diagnosis.
Although my husband seems to be in reasonably good health now, I too fear the day he DOESN'T feel fine. Maybe I'll go first, who knows. But meanwhile, when he's still in bed sleeping in the morning, I bend close to his face and make sure he is breathing. I thank God for every day we have together.

Margaret said...

What a lovely tribute from both of you. I am sitting by his bed right now as he sleeps. He wanted this to be quick and it's not. Makes it more agonizing and difficult in so many ways. I don't know what I'll do without him.:(