Today, exactly one year ago, I became a widow. My husband of 36 years decided to leave this world for a much better place. He got peace – and I got peace.
We’d been through 4 years of heartbreaking illness, listening to doctors tell us there was nothing to be done, no cure, not even really any medication that would keep the symptoms at bay. Just flat out – no hope. He didn’t take it well.
At first, while he was still cognizant enough to know he was going to die from this, he was all kinds of sad. It would catch him when he watched a movie – when he listened to music – when he tried to eat –
Then the dementia caught up with him and he forgot that he was going to die. He only knew that he wanted to be in his home, not in a ward with other people who were also on their way to death’s door.
At first, once or twice a month, he would ask about coming home. I only had to remind him that I couldn’t take care of him and he would look sad, but he wouldn’t ask again for a while. And the last time he asked was a year before he died – he wanted to come home for Christmas.
Because of his history of being placed in an orphanage at the age of 2 and then being reunited with his so-called mother (I’ll never believe she was his real mother) at the age of 9 only to be ill-treated and unloved, I hated not being able to keep him with us, his family. It took a long time and a lot of dire situations before I recognized he couldn’t stay here.
The worst was when I found him on the steps in the middle of the night. I found that he crawled up the steps because he couldn’t walk them. And I found out that he could no longer raise himself up to walk to the bathroom and get into bed. That was the final straw for me. Nobody should have to crawl to go to bed.
Those days are gone. He’s been gone from me a year. The moment he died he became the man I’d always known – the healthy man who walked 3 miles every day, ate right, didn’t smoke, got not enough sleep when he worked so many hours — the man I knew for all those years. The sick man who looked about 90 was gone. I didn’t see him any longer – I saw my husband. A healthy, happy person.
I know he’s happy now. Wherever he may be, he’s in a better place. And I miss him.