Progress or Procrastination?

Dear Fred:
Here is what has me wondering if I am making progress or just procrastinating during the past couple of weeks.  In my longing to ease some of the pain I have kept horribly busy.  It's like I am trying to out run the overwhelming grief when I think of Nick's suffering.  If by thinking about it, he would be made whole again or even if it would reduce the pain & suffering he went through I would gladly think about it non-stop.  I would gladly cry forever.  The loneliness of his not being here I think I can almost bear.  The memories of the suffering he went through the last four months of his life and the last night he was with me, plunge me in to despair  that I have never known before.  I cannot begin to describe how intense it is.  I cannot change what happened.  I cannot help him.  I could not stop death from taking him to where he did not want to go.  
Logically I know that I could not prevent his death.  And, logically I know I was beside him every step of the way.  Emotionally it is different.  His pain,his suffering and incredible weakness (when once he was such a strong capable person) and the last breath & then release I felt his body give at the end of his life totally engulf me.  At these times I wish to die.  I am afraid to pursue these memories or allow them to cross my mind too often as their power & grief is so great I do not know how or when it will end.
 And so, I run.  I am busy every moment I can be.  People say they are glad I am doing better.  They just don't know what is really going on inside when I slow down.  I am hoping that if I "act as if" for long enough that it will no longer be an act. And, that in time I will become strong enough to finally face these memories that haunt me.
Thank you, Fred, for letting me share these darker thoughts with you.  I avoid thee memories, not because I don't love Nick.  I love him with my heart and a very deep part of my soul.  I avoid these memories or "haunts" and do as many fun & active things as possible because I am terrified of where these "haunts"will take me if I let them.  If I am to survive this I must keep them locked up for a while and try to stay active, busy and positive until I can face them.
Nick, I miss you.  Wherever you are, I hope you know or can sense that I love you.
Darlene    08/02/2011



Awwww...Darlene, for whatever comfort it is, just have faith he is at peace wherever he is. Hang in there, and stay true to yourself. I know the feeling of being afraid to let go of the emotions. Sometimes I feel if I let the memories flood in I will fall into a black hole of despair and not be able to crawl out...I think about Frank when I get into a panic state, I think about how he would want me. I Know he would not want me hurting so bad, I try and stay strong out of respect for him...sounds strange..but that\'s how he would have wanted think of Nick, he would not want you hurting ..try and stay strong, it\'s a way of honoring his memory.......Hugs, Diane

Darlene, I think we have alot in common. Bill was sick for 3 months before he died and his last 2 weeks are unbearable for me to think about. I was with him the morning he died but not at his actual time of death. I go back and read the text I sent to the kids that morning and he actually seemed to be doing better. Our son had flown in from Atlanta the night before because the nurses seemed to think his time was near but the doctor was more optimistic. I spent the night with him the night before, came home and had coffee with my son, then he went to the hospital. Our daughter and son were with him but my daughter had to leave early afternoon. Shortly after she left he was having trouble breathing. My son texted me about it and I called him. He said dad was really bad and to hurry back. When I got there they were still working on him but he passed 23 minutes after I got the call. My son insists he did not want her or I there. Up until that time, they were watching TV and having normal conversations. I think God answered Bill\'s prayers because I kept wanting to go back up but my son was worried about me and I didn\'t want to burden him with more worries. Sometimes I think if I would have been there I might have been able to help him but know in my heart God was in charge and answering Bill\'s prayers of sparing our daughter & I that memory. Hugs to you and hang in there.

Darlene, I completely identify with you. My husband\'s metastasized bladder cancer caused excruciating.........unending..............agony. The last few months of his life were a dark nightmare for us. Doctors could not help with his pain. That shocked me! When I cried and begged them to do something, they just put their heads down and said \"his is one of those cases where there is nothing we can do to alleviate the suffering.- we all hope that he goes fast.\" Yes, they actually said that - 8 weeks before Bill died!! My husband died 14 months ago.
Those final 5 months totally haunt me. Staying busy helps but some days I do take time to re-live the horror. Why? Just so I will remember the truth. Just so I will honor his pain. Just to validate his life - including the grisly final months. I am now cynical about a lot of things. Especially the medical profession. Doctors couldn\'t get out of Bill\'s room quick enough. They just didn\'t want to look. (We did have one kind male nurse who cried with me often).

Anyway, like you - I have chosen to be busy and it helps for the most part.
I miss the happy-go-lucky person that I was. I am a bit quieter, less confident, and, well.... mystified about this life.
I am actively seeking God because the alternative is unthinkable. After Bill died, I was unable to believe in God at all. Period. It was a dark and lonely period and I concluded that there is zero quality of life where there is no hope. I have chosen hope and will continue to pursue God and the faith walk. That is the only way I can breathe. And, it is slowly beginning to bring me comfort. There are some excellent Christian books that address the problem of pain. CS Lewis, RC Sproul, Jerry Sitser. These books are HELPING.
Also, I am focused on helping others (selfishly I suppose - because it makes me feel better).
I can report that you will feel a little better at 14 months.
Try to remember all the good times even though they are shadowed by the end days.
We adored our husbands. Still do. Nothing can take that away. We are still filled with love. And I guess it is time for us to give some love away before we leave this earth. Let\'s honor our husbands by living kind, giving, decent lives as they did. I am motivated to do the things that Bill wasn\'t able to get to. He wasn\'t done. He wanted to stay. So.........I am living... and sharing that living vicariously with Bill. Does that even make sense?
We no longer fear death, do we? It will bring us to our husbands - in some mysterious way.

you\'ll know when it\'s time to stop being busy...I have kept myself pretty busy over the past 8 months and am starting to slow down...and when school starts soon, I\'ll be busy again...whatever it takes to bring you to the other side of grief is okay...only you will know...hang in there! Jill