Print Story I'm not sure if I'm ready to talk about things yet
By lm (Thu Jul 18, 2019 at 07:51:44 PM EST) (all tags)
It wasn't unexpected but it was sudden.

My wife was already disabled when I met her. Being 19 and saying wedding vows, I had no idea what marriage meant, let alone what being the primary caregiver to a disabled woman for the next 28 years of my life would be like.

A lot of years were hard ones, especially the last 15 or so.

But hard years together or not, words can't adequately express the depth of the grief I feel.

A few months ago, a friend of mine had a close family friend pass away. My friend expressed confusion at why it hurt so badly because his friend's death was a relief. I can't remember what malady had struck his friend. But it was the kind where morphine was being prescribed to handle the pain. And at the end it wasn't enough. Death was a blessing in his case. So, why, my friend asked, did it hurt so bad?

What I told him is that the people we know become part of us. When they die, part of us dies too. And that always hurts.

But by the same token, our very lives have also been shaped by them and as long as we live, parts of them will live too. And inasmuch as they have shaped us, everyone we encounter will also encounter a part of them.

Those words I spoke those months ago come back to comfort me. They give me a hint of insight into part of what the Orthodox hymns we sing at funerals and memorials mean. This is part, but not all, of what "memory eternal" means in the Orthodox tradition.

The other tradition I'm reminded of is very different. The tradition of existential nihilism is generally considered to have been founded by Friedrich Nietzsche. In his book The Gay Science he has a passage about what happens to those who come to full understanding of his teachings.

Such people will find themselves on a raft in a sea of infinite possibility. At first they will be overwhelmed by the infinitude. The possibilities are endless.

But then the pilot of raft realizes that she is all alone and everything is meaningless.

Without Jenn to care for, all new vistas open up. So many things are open to me that were not open before.

And yet, now I'm alone on this raft while I float the various possibilities.

< Tekel | Deutschland Hotels Uber Alles >
I'm not sure if I'm ready to talk about things yet | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)
I am on disability myself by Orion Blastar (4.00 / 2) #1 Fri Jul 19, 2019 at 01:59:05 AM EST
and my wife takes care of me, as I take care of my elderly mother.

When you found a bond with a person and take care of them it hurts really bad when they die. My father had brain tumors and lung cancer and had an operation to extend his life, but after he died I cried a lot. It is hard to explain to people who never experienced it.

"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
People can't understand by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 5) #2 Fri Jul 19, 2019 at 08:42:14 AM EST
Until they've experienced it they just can't make sense of that combination of absolute relief and crushing grief.  

[ Parent ]
It was a bit different for me than for you by lm (2.00 / 0) #4 Sat Jul 20, 2019 at 06:54:30 PM EST
The whole chronic but not obviously fatal condition vs. well, you know.

But, yeah.

I didn't expect the grief to be this crushing.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
By the way by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Jul 19, 2019 at 10:44:19 PM EST
I forgot. Condolences on your loss.

"I drank what?" - Socrates after drinking the Conium
:( by gzt (2.00 / 0) #5 Sat Jul 20, 2019 at 11:12:52 PM EST

Sorry for your loss by hulver (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Jul 21, 2019 at 04:04:50 AM EST

Cheese is not a hat. - clock
I'm sorry and we are here to listen /nt by yankeehack (4.00 / 2) #7 Sun Jul 21, 2019 at 07:59:08 AM EST

"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
*hug* by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Jul 23, 2019 at 01:12:23 PM EST

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
I'm sorry by mmangino (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jul 23, 2019 at 01:55:35 PM EST
 I'm glad you're finding comfort. I feel like you've really got it with that analogy. I'm also glad you're thinking about new things and new doors that are open. I hope you embrace both sides.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to talk about things yet | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden)