Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Relationship with the dying


This is a post I actually started a couple of years ago. It is one of the many draft posts I have had filed away.

I have thought of it different times, poked away at it for a bit and then each time saved it for another day. It is difficult to describe to put into words how difficult it can be for a person (well me anyway) to describe the feelings that come when you know your are causing loved ones worry. Now understand, Vi, my daughters and family all do their very best to hide this from me, but I know it is there.

I am not sure how many but I am sure it must be dozens and dozens of times I have written of how I know it to be so very much harder on the families.

Some how in my opinion anyway, when we learn someone has some sort of terminal illness all of our attention becomes focused on them. This is the person that is dying and all feelings are directed in that direction. So often the family pushes their own feelings aside. So many others direct all concern to the patient and the family is largely left out. I suppose the thought is their turn for support will come after he is gone. I suppose I can understand that to a point but never underestimate all the family is going through.

I believe their feels of grief, fear, worry are all just as intense as that of the person that is facing their passing. Plus, the family is force to helplessly sit by helplessly watching, desperately wanting to be able to do something to help, anything to help but can’t.

I think of the many times either I have been taken to the hospital or Vi took me there. I am rushed into emergency and she is forced to wait outside not knowing what is happening. How terrible that has to be and to be forced to do it time after time, so hard. Me on the other hand am usually fairly quickly pumped full of drugs and am blissfully unaware, having not a care in the world.

Vi has spoken of times when I am going through a bad patch. She has left the house to go shopping and has been afraid to come back into the house on her return. Afraid of the condition in which she may find me. Possibly laying on the floor having had another heart attack.

I always try my best to easy such fears but reality is reality and can’t be changed, no matter what I say or do.

This has been I suppose brought more to my mind by comments left by our blogging friend Afia. She has written of her wish to enter into a relationship with a man with terminal cancer. She obviously has a wonderful kind and loving heart. I am not able to give advice on matters of the heart, it is an individual thing but I wish her well and pray things work out in what ever is the best way for her and her man.

Afia writes of how the man is remaining some what distant. Now this obviously could be for a great number of reasons. i can’t really comment directly on that. I can share what is in my heart, my feelings as they would pertain to me.

Life with a terminally ill patient is unlike any “normal” life or “normal” relationship. I imagine it to beyond anything imaginable. One of those you have to be there type situations to understand it.

This final leg of our life journey can be a difficult and very stressful one far beyond the “norm”. But then what is the “norm”, that is for each of us to decide.

I can easily see that a terminal patient may be fully aware of what lies ahead for them. Knows the trials that await and may well feel that entering into a relationship would be akin to afflicting themselves on another, want to spare the other the worry pain and grief that lies ahead.

That is but one side of the coin, the other is. It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

It is a tough situation with no one right answer.

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3 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Relationship with the dying

  1. Doraz says:

    “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”

    Bill…I believe that sentence says it all.

  2. Jaymie says:

    I’ve had to watch a few loved ones die from cancer but it was such a priviledge to have them in my life – with and without the cancer. Life is tough and love is amazing.

  3. Mel says:

    Life is tough and love is amazing.

    Really–I can’t top that one. Jaymie’s right. She’s a wise one, that one.

    It is hard on the family–and as much as we can try to push them towards ‘life as normal’, and as hard as they try to assume that facade–I’m very clear it’s a facade. The moments when it’s actually ‘forgotten’ and they’re able to just be present IN the moment without that thought are wonderful and light. The reality crashes back in and it’s short lived, but those moments are welcomed relief from what’s become ‘the norm’.

    We each do our best, and really–life is tough and love IS amazing…..

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