Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Enter a relationship with a dying person?


With everything that has been happening, my having pneumonia, generally not feeling well, having company. There has been much that has kept me away from the computer.

Many comments of a different nature have been left and I am working towards getting to each one in turn.

A new blogging friend Afia actually left 2 comments which I have combined into one for simplicity.

Afia is seeking advice from me from all on a relationship with a dying man. Bluntly put, I don’t know how to respond. I am not an expert on anything. Anything I say is based only on personal thoughts or experiences. What is good or right for me well may not be for the next person. I find of late as things are progressing my answer may in fact vary from day to day.

I ask myself would it be wise to enter into a relationship with a dying person. My best answer is that depends. It depends on many things.

It depends on the individuals and their feelings for each other. There is that saying,  it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I believe if we have a chance at true love, we should take it. But, is it that simple as it seems nothing in life is simple

I have to think on this a little, anyone have any suggestions or thoughts. Here is the comment:

Hello Bill,
I have read so many stories, and I am so touched by each one and your own. I so need some advice from you and comments from anyone else please.

I am in love with a man who has lymphatic cancer. It was discovered too late. And now, he has made the decision not to take any medication, as the side effects greatly inhibit him in so many ways. Drs cannot say how long for sure – maybe a few years, maybe 5 max.
He is my best friend. We were not together when he was diagnosed. I was married, but i was actually in love with him. But, at the time, he was with someone else. I have since split up with my husband and divorced last year. I was grief stricken when i found out about his cancer 2 years ago, but was not able to be there for him, as my husband was very jealous of him.

Now, we have realised our true feelings for eachother, but he is very reluctant to be with me, as I have children.

i want to be with him. I want to be there for him. I wish to share every moment with him. my children are aged 11 and 13. I don’t know how this will effect them, or if I should just leave things alone and not have a relationship with him. In my heart I know that I have always loved him so deeply. His illness has made me see how important he is to me.

He has gone abroad to travel for a while. And I am so glad he is doing that for himself. When he returns I want to be with him. But just as a friend or to have a meaningful loving relationship with him? Maybe even marriage?

love and peace to you all

Afia xxxx

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10 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Enter a relationship with a dying person?

  1. Tasneem R says:

    Hi Afia , well according me you should go ahead with him only and only if HE REALLY LOVES YOU and accepts your children too. If he is reluctant to you because you have kids than I don’t think you should ever marry him leaving your kids behind .

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  2. planetcity1 says:

    Nope, not gonna comment, cuz I can’t think of anything kind or supportive to say…

  3. Mel says:

    Thank you, Bill. Sometimes comments get past me cuz they’ve snuck down the sidebar and I just don’t know they’re there.

    Afia– You’ve no doubt found yourself in a position that’s difficult. There were difficult beginnings to the relationship and it would seem that it’s not gotten any less difficult.
    I’ll focus only on the situation as it is, today–his hesitancy to involve you in his circumstances and your turmoil on what to do with your heart. Seems to me you already spoke to your heart and it’s back to him and his willingness to involve you in the circumstances as they are today.
    I understand his hesitancy–it’s a tough journey to make. Making the decision to intimately involve someone in that process is a hard decision. People tend to want to protect the person they love/care about.

    You’ll get to make your own decision. And there’s just so much one can do when another person isn’t willing, regardless of the motive for their unwillingness.
    It’s not an easy thing, entering into a relationship (romantic or not) knowing it’s the final stages of that person’s life. Being present/available and supportive may be the only option you’re allowed. But you can do that with your whole heart–all you have to do is decide, yaknow?

    We all delude ourselves, when we enter a relationship, and tell ourselves we have all the time in the world. We don’t. And loving is (in my opionion) something that we can do anytime, anywhere–without restraint and without regret. You can honour the other person’s boundaries and still love. Really, you can.

    I do hope good things for each of you–you and your fella. And I hope for peace in the storms…..

  4. Afia says:

    Thank you for the feedback – it all helps. I have the time to myself right now while he has gone travelling to be very clear about this. In some ways I am. Meaning, that I have so much love to give, and want to give – being in the present and not worrying about the future. Then I think about the time i need to give alot of myself to my girls who are approaching the challenging times of being teens! This evening, I looked up at the stars and thought what is it that I really want for myself. I want someone who genuinely really cares and loves me and will put me and my girls first. I do want it all. To do things together, grow old together….maybe there is a part of me that is scared of being alone. I am alone now anyway. But, how much time and energy am I prepared to give knowing what may inevitably come?

    Do I just put all this to one side for now, and just work on myself. I think that is what I need to do for me. I even thought he would come back once he realised that he can’t waste time over there and be with me!!! Gosh, i seem so ‘dreamy’….then i see the impermanence of life of everything. I appreciate the small things in life. He has shown me that at least. Yes, what you say about honouring the other person’s boundaries and to still love – yes, I see that also. I’m just feeling very raw right now and maybe selfish of my own feelings and I am reaching out for some reassurance and objectivity from all of you.

    Thank you for ‘listening’ to me 🙂

    Peace and love
    x

  5. Afia says:

    Thank you for the feedback – it all helps. I have the time to myself right now while he has gone travelling to be very clear about this. In some ways I am. Meaning, that I have so much love to give, and want to give – being in the present and not worrying about the future. Then I think about the time i need to give alot of myself to my girls who are approaching the challenging times of being teens! This evening, I looked up at the stars and thought what is it that I really want for myself. I want someone who genuinely really cares and loves me and will put me and my girls first. I do want it all. To do things together, grow old together….maybe there is a part of me that is scared of being alone. I am alone now anyway. But, how much time and energy am I prepared to give knowing what may inevitably come?

    Do I just put all this to one side for now, and just work on myself. I think that is what I need to do for me. I even thought he would come back once he realised that he can’t waste time over there and be with me!!! Gosh, i seem so ‘dreamy’….then i see the impermanence of life of everything. I appreciate the small things in life. He has shown me that at least. Yes, what you say about honouring the other person’s boundaries and to still love – yes, I see that also. I’m just feeling very raw right now and maybe selfish of my own feelings and I am reaching out for some reassurance and objectivity from all of you.

    Thank you for ‘listening’ to me 🙂

    x

  6. Mel says:

    Oh Afia–I really do have a whole array of thinking to that which you shared. Forgive me if I ‘jump around’……

    You see, I have a fella in my life that I had no intention to let BE in my life……at least not in this capacity.
    I couldn’t offer him the ‘let’s grow old together’. I wouldn’t let myself embrace the idea of spending whatever life I had left involving someone I cared deeply for….in this ‘mess’.
    I didn’t know how much energy I’d have for a romantic relationship–I didn’t know if I wanted the responsibilities that came with a relationship. I felt a need to make sure he had all the information I could give him, trying to discourage him from continuing the madness of WANTING to sign up for ‘this’. Putting ‘him first’ wasn’t an option. As much as I’d love to be able to tell you I could do that with the circumstances, I’d be lying to you. When this disease progresses, it gets ugly–and it takes every ounce to do the battles in front of you….it just does…..

    Oh, but how kind of me to not credit the man with having a mind of his own, eh?

    He knew the circumstances–he knew the prognosis. He knew what he was considering picking up…..a woman with a limited life span. Period.

    You, too, have a mind of your own, Afia. You really can decide what’s best for you. And really–you don’t have to do something you’re not ready for, something that you’re not sure of…. And from what you shared here–there’s this huge piece of you that knows taking care of YOU is paramount today. Giving your attention and engery to your kids and to your own healing and growing isn’t a bad or selfish thing–it’s a good thing. And at least for this moment it appears that he’s decided that seeing all he can see and having experiences is what’s important to him at this minute. Really, that’s okay–understandable and important in his life and in the progression of his disease. He needs to grab what he can, do what he feels called to do, what he feels a need to do…..

    Really. It’s okay that everything’s as it is, today. No decision today isn’t a bad thing. You can love exactly as is, as the relationship stands today. Each of you can honour where the other is and still be ‘okay’. That’s not a selfish thing, to chase what’s good for you and your kids. That’s a responsible, honourable thing.

    Loving is such an open thing. It doesn’t require ‘permission’ or status or any decision, except to do it, respectfully within the boundaries the other person involved establishes, know what I mean?

    I send strength for you– to listen to your own wisdom. It’s there in you……

    Be safe, stay well.
    Mel

  7. Afia,

    Be with him. Love him. Hold him. Tell you love him every single day that you have each other. If it’s two years, five years, or five days. How often do we find someone who we can love freely, openly, and honestly and will love us back?

    Will it hurt to say goodbye? Yes. I had to watch my friend Leslie say goodbye to her husband Derek as he lay in a hospital in a coma after a car accident. It wasn’t expected. Is anything ever?

    But he is still with her. In spirit. I cannot explain it. But it’s true.

    Love him. Be with him. Enjoy every little bit of time you have together.

  8. Happy New Year! I am working on improving my blogroll- Cancer Blogs – at Being Cancer Network. One of the things I want to do is to expand the 700 blog entries. Please let me know your specific cancer diagnosis – the medical term. Also the year you were diagnosed and anything else you think is relevant for the listing, like a book you have written or if you had a transplant.. Please include the name of your blog in the email so I can put the information in the correct listing.

    This has been a very popular (over 7500 visits) and valuable resource for folks. It allows people to view what others with a similar diagnoses have gone through. And it brings additional attention and traffic to survivor’s blogs. It is helping to build a strong, vibrant community of survivors.

    Please see my January 10 post – New Year’s New Face – for additional changes in the website. WIshing you a happy and healthy new year.

    Dennis Pyritz, RN
    www,beingcancer.net
    beingcancer@att.net

  9. Sharon says:

    There’s so much good advice here that I don’t really know what to say. One thing I’ll say though is that we are all dying daily, we just don’t have the privilege of knowing when. Live your life to the fullest Afia and carry your daughters along; let them know what is happening…they might understand more than you think and when the time comes, they’ll be your support group.

  10. Cat says:

    That is a difficult question. I think if I were in that situation, I wouldn’t let the fact that he has a terminal illness dissuade me from being with him. However, as Mel said, his boundaries must be respected, and if he is adamant about not wanting to enter into a relationship, then you have to respect that.

    If you are able to support him as a friend, without trying to push him for more and without it causing you too much pain that he doesn’t want more, then you should do so. Otherwise, it may be best to go your separate ways. And I totally agree with Mel that respecting his boundaries or even going your separate ways doesn’t mean you have to stop loving him.

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