musings of a hopefilled soul

Letting Go

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.

Lynn Radke May 23, 2012

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Comments on: "Letting Go" (4)

  1. Okay that… just broke my heart… It was so beautiful, and yet so heartwrenching. I don’t know how I could ever survive losing the man I love. There is some definite strength to be said for those who can go on.

    • These, the dying and those who must let them go, are among the most corageous people who exist. It was indeed my privilege to journey with them. Thanks for the vist and the comment.

  2. Life is all about learning to love, learning to let go, leaning on the inner strength God gives us to go on, and then finding the courage to love again. Your poem illuminated the beauty in that cycle. Thank you for sharing your insights and for your work with Hospice. It is such a wonderful organization!

    • Thank you for commenting. Many have asked me if it was depressing caring for the dying and their families. I can tell you with all honesty it was the best kind of nursing I was ever privileged to do. I received so much more than I ever gave.

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