Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Real Strength

My neighbors husband passed away last week. He had fought cancer for 6 1/2 years. Actually, I should say THEY fought the cancer. She's a nurse, she researched clinical trials and got him accepted into a few. They tried EVERYTHING - but unfortunately lost in the end.
At the memorial, she got up to speak - because he had asked her too. She talked of his final six weeks. She took a leave from her job and rarely left the house during this period. As long as he was strong enough, they worked together to make plans for her and their son. He is nine years old. He did not want her to face the aftermath of his death alone. So together, they sorted through all his clothing. His co workers came over and he emptied his office with them. They went through their photo albums and selected pictures for the memory board. He chose the menu to be served at the memorial. I found this to be an amazing act of love - and strength. Maybe when you've fought so long, you can come to terms with it. It is unimaginable to me.
When he would tire, she would sit near him and read the newspaper to him. He wanted to know what was going on in the world. They enjoyed their favorite music together. And the family celebrated Christmas on November 29th - because they all knew that he wouldn't last until the end of December.
He passed away at home. As she waited for the coroner, she felt she should play music. But she didn't want something quiet and mournful. He had been bigger than life - very animated with a warm smile and a hearty laugh. He wasn't particularly fond of Christmas caroles so that wasn't an option. She told us she put on Shanya Twain - and started to dance. She knew her husband would want to rock and roll out of this world and into the next.
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This entry has 5 comments:

Wow. That is some serious strength of character.Comment from
hillareeday - 12/20/03 12:43 PM

This made me cry, so much beauty and dignity you captured for them. A beautiful tribute to your friend.Comment from alphawoman1 - 12/19/03 2:58 PM

It's odd to me when I read stories of these heroic-seeming deaths. I watched both my sister and my dad die, within 4 years of each other, and didn't experience anything heroic or inspiring...only incredibly sad and gut-wrenching. Maybe it's me. But I guess I hope I can make a decent job of it when it's my turn to go... Lisa:-]Comment from mlraminiak - 12/19/03 12:48 AM

1 of 2Oh, boy. This was one of those *eat me up and spit me out* posts that make me cry. And dang it, I'm at work. ::big sigh, swallow:: Are there actually people like this Out There?Comment from andreakingme - 12/18/03 3:10 PM

2 of 2I'm like you in that I can't imagine how I could endure this kind of situation. Then again, if they've lived with it for so long -- he with pain and forced dependency -- she with dashed hopes and frustration, and pain at what he was going through -- I imagine that the end can be a bittersweet godsend.I have to go blow my nose now.Comment from andreakingme - 12/18/03 3:09 PM

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