Wednesday, May 25, 2011

25th May

How can one cope with the greatest heartache that life can offer? The pain of losing the love of my life is at times almost unbearable. And the challenge of palliative care in the home is really not for the faint hearted. That trauma needs it’s own recognition and resolution. Jane has gone to a better place, I know that and rejoice in that but my life now feels empty. Every day, every event, every decision has been shared with her. She made my life complete in so many ways. How can I choose a movie without giving preference to her choice? How can I buy myself clothes without her agreement? How can I prepare a meal without her choosing the menu? How can I decorate without her creativity? Who’s going to give me a free haircut now? What about her stuff? The wardrobe full of clothes I’ve been guided through day by day whilst she couldn’t get upstairs, bottles of shampoo, her left-over pocket money, hundreds of paintings and drawings painstakingly created, a small library of art psychotherapy books, her perfume…

They took her body away leaving me holding a small pile of precious metal.

And something more. A lifetime of love has changed me; I am a different person because of Jane. She truly had the strongest sense of right and wrong and principles that challenged my natural inclinations to blur absolute truth. Her strong conviction always overruled my intellectual rationalisation. She was good for me, and the love of God filled her very being. She never had a harsh word about anyone.

And she gave me a family. Our children have stood together in an incredible way. They’ve returned to the family home of their childhood and shared this challenge with remarkable unity. They are doing everything possible to carry every burden together. Our youngest daughter sorted out death certificates at the registrar on her way to our home. The four of them, together with husbands then cleaned our house from top to bottom. Then spontaneously they decided to embark upon a major room makeover. Our front room has been Jane’s 96 year old mother’s bedsit for many years as we cared for her. It’s obviously not appropriate for myself and my adult son to look after her now so she’s gone to Jane’s sister’s house. Today they’ve gutted the room completely and I expect decoration and transformation within days. A project like this is ideal for working through bereavement together. And I kept busy with my two older grand-daughters working on the Barcelona jigsaw. Oh yes, they are on tissue duty for the adult weepies! Sometimes sharing them with each other. But our always overfull house now feels very empty with just two blokes for company.

A friend of Jane’s appeared with home-made food sufficient to provide a family lunch and we laughed and cried together stirring up some wonderful memories. A good friend of mine came for a hug offering to spend a few days camping sometime. My motorhome will need a rear view camera now I’m alone. And Scrabble won’t work either. Maybe I could write that book we all have hidden inside…

Romans 8 38-39 ‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (NIV)

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