Hospice Bound

I know, it’s been a long time. Let’s just say life has a way at throwing everything possible at you when you least expect it. Writing has been last on the list of things to do lately. To be honest, my list of things to do doesn’t often get done. My father-in-law has been home on hospice for about a month. It has been a task taking care of him and trying to make sure his last days are spent doing what he wants to do. Yesterday we were told to start preparing ourselves for the impending death that is coming and as much as I thought I was prepared, I’m not sure you ever can be. I thought I was tired of my life being on hold, but truth be told, I’d keep it on hold forever if it meant he could have another day on this earth.

This being my fourth go round with hospice, it is more than exhaustive. It is mind numbing. It is all encompassing and heart wrenching. Watching someone you love slowly die in front of you is the absolute worse. Standing by while they come to grips with their own mortality is earth shattering. It just simply breaks my heart. I can see the fear and the pain, the unrest and the unwillingness to let go. I can also see the tiredness and I can see how it is wearing on him. I can see that giving up is right around the corner. It is so frightening, but I know once he goes he will finally be with his beloved wife whom he has missed everyday since she has passed. I just simply can’t put myself in his head and know what he is going through and some days it is challenging to care for him because I know he can’t articulate all these feelings and thoughts he has going through his head.

I can’t find a way to express all of mine most of the time either. I find myself lost. I feel for him. I feel stuck because my life is on hold, but then feel terribly guilty for any animosity I feel about it because he needs me. He chose me. He asks for me when I’m not around and I should take that as a privilege and not a responsibility. I should relish every moment I get with him. I’ve just been through it so many times before and I know what I’m in for. I know the outcome. I know that no matter what I do, nothing is going to keep him here and delaying his departure is really only delaying his pain and suffering. When  he’s ready to let go, I hope he can and I hope I can let him.

I miss writing. I miss advocating. I miss getting into heated religious and political debates. It’s just not in the cards for me right now.  It won’t be long and I’ll have all the time in the world to do what I want and be wishing that he was here hollering at me to do this or that. Wishing that he was wanting to go outside or take him for a ride. Wishing he was instructing me on how to cook something that he wants to eat. Those days are almost over and I’m already starting to miss them. I’m already starting to miss him.

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