How life could exist, apart from him, was inconceivable!
Yet, he was fading away before her very eyes.
If she could just get him to eat a bite or two,
Maybe a glimmer of the strong, vibrant man he once was, could be seen.
Yet all her efforts produced only piles of favorites, untouched on the plate.
Eating was no longer a desire, but an event of exhaustion.
The disease was relentlessly luring him away from her.
She begged him not to go…. not to give up!
Her tears, a river of grief, became a friend that would not leave.
“He’ll be better tomorrow, he just needs to rest,”
She would tell herself, to make the burden of today, bearable.
Yet cruelly, tomorrow’s hope was not dressed as she imagined.
She saw the distant look in his eyes, now begging to close,
The strength it took to summon one more breath to be labeled alive,
The cool, moist skin never to be warm and loving again.
And in that moment her love for him was stronger than
Her desire for life’s aria to be sung as SHE had written.
He was struggling and leaving and sighing and slipping through her fingers.
She whispered words she felt would never be true,
“It’s ok to go, sweetheart . I’ll be just fine”
A sigh… a sob… then she spoke again,
“I love you too much to ask you to stay.”
…The spoken key, gently unlocked the door, swinging it wide open,
And he drifted peacefully to another world where pain and suffering are not known.
Goodbye… my… love…
……..Ahh!.. the courage, the love, to be found in letting go!
Having provided Hospice care for 12 years of my nursing career, I write this in honor of women and men everywhere who must find the courage to say goodbye to their dying loved ones.