How Can She Say She’s Doing “Fine”?

Because she is. Because. Just because.

But she does wonder – do people think she’s cold? She’s cruel? She’s unfeeling?

Truth is this: my husband, the man I loved, the man I married, left over two years ago. He became what his cancer made him – angry that he could no longer do the things he always did. Diminished, because he no longer did the things he always did. Frustrated, because he could not defy his disease. He could no longer ignore it. He fought – oh how he fought. And I anguished – oh how i anguished. Watching someone you love become less – become helpless – become a victim – I anguished. I could not change anything. He could not change anything. He hoped, he wished for a miracle cure. Someone would wave their wand and the world would go back to what it was. There was no wand to be waved. There was no miracle cure.

It was over five years since the diagnosis. It was over two years of living with a diminishing life – a fading of that life – the process of becoming less and wanting more. It was months of frustration, months of yearning for things to be different, months of praying to “fix it, or end it”. There is nothing I can think of – absolutely nothing – worse than watching someone you love fade away. Reluctantly, resisting, fighting, screaming – wanting to be no less than he had been – wanting to be more than he became.

So she can say she is doing fine. He is now in a place of peace. Of harmony. A place where the memories of family dysfunctions during growing up years, where inhuman behaviors, barbaric actions during his years in Vietnam, where battles to succeed, to find a life that worked, are all faded to a blissful grace and peace. Where, at last. he can relax and be what he is, without trying to be more than he was, without struggling, without recriminations – peace, no stress, no strife.

There were 20 years of good memories. Twenty years of love. Many do not have that many years. Many end up in a place not of their choosing, without support, without friends, without children whose love is unbounding, without the memories of those twenty good years. She can say she is doing fine. Because she is. Because he gave her the gift of the friends surrounding her, the beauty of the surroundings in which she lives, the quiet, the peace, the knowledge that she loved well and was loved well.

Because life goes on and because she knows he would want life to go on.

She is doing fine.

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About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 2 dogs, 1 cat, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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31 Responses to How Can She Say She’s Doing “Fine”?

  1. Joanne says:

    He was a gift to your life, wasn’t he Carol. What beautiful thoughts you have put into words today. I watched my mother suffer in the same way, and felt relief when finally her pain and struggle had ended. I understand, and never once questioned why you were doing fine, I already knew. xxx

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  2. andydbrown says:

    Our deepest condolences, Carol. Beautiful and deep thoughts expressed here as were the words Geoff wrote in his blog post. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to see someone you love slowly fade away. Our prayers are with you. May the God of all comfort bring you much comfort. Blessings.

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  3. My sister who lost her husband in October, says the same thing. “I am okay, what other choice is there?” Life goes on for her.

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  4. Kathy says:

    I think I understand–and might feel the same way. How challenging for both of you to live with that dying. And now you’re both encompassing freedom.

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  5. jay53j says:

    You have nothing to explain or apologise for Carol. My mother only suffered for 5 days after her stroke, but I felt relief when she had gone. It was a horrible time, and we cannot, must not, wish for our loved ones to struggle on when all joy in life has gone. Good for you for managing to reach your own place of acceptance.

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  6. suzicate says:

    loved well and was loved well-and that is a beautiful and fulfilling life!

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  7. Heather says:

    Carol, you had a long time to say goodbye. I’m glad you’ve both found peace and harmony, and I am very glad you’re able to live without recriminations. I hope you find the sweetness in your memories and comfort and love in your friends.

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  8. There is no need to justify why you are doing fine. Having a loved one deteriorate over a long time provides opportunity enough to slowly let go. Husband will always be loved and you will always have memories. There is no reason to feel guilty that you are ready to move on. You have been preparing for this for 5 years. If anything, you are showing your strength and resilience. You go, girl!

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  9. Dawn says:

    You have been mourning for a long time. No reason at all to question how you are feeling now. I’m just glad you’re doing fine and that you have found peace at last. Love lasts forever.

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  10. Karma says:

    I can’t imagine what you’ve been through over the past few years. I’m glad to hear you are fine and at peace.

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  11. Lynne Ayers says:

    Such a long time to struggle. I’ve often thought I would like to go quickly because I don’t know if I would have the strength to go gracefully. And the kind of strength you have shown is a lot to ask of a partner. He is at peace, and now you can be too. I am so glad you can look forward.

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  12. lisa says:

    Seriously, are there people who think you’re cold for saying you’re fine? Or, think you’re in denial or lying? Because those thoughts never entered my mind. I see an incredibly strong woman who stood by her man until the bitter end. One who sacrificed of herself and felt every minute of pain along with him. One who gave everything she had in her to make his days tolerable with moments of intermingled happiness. While I’m sure you miss him and the man he used to be, you are a realist and understand life is still worth living….and he wouldn’t want you to have it any other way.

    BTW: F.I.N.E. means Fearful, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. Are you really FINE? šŸ™‚

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    • Carol says:

      No Lisa, I am not THAT F.I.N.E. I am much better than that F.I.N.E. Maybe I should just switch back to what I used to say a couple of years ago: I’m doing great! Truly I don’t know if there are people that say I’m cold – but people that don’t know me well might read me that way.

      Sent from my iPad

      >

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  13. pattisj says:

    My brother-in-law lost his wife to Lou Gehrig’s disease. His experience was similar to yours, the bulk of the grieving took place as bits and pieces of her life slipped away. He was ready to get back to the business of living. He still misses her, but he has remarried and his sons have reached adulthood, out on their own.

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  14. I wish you many peaceful days. I’m so glad you have friends for the days when you need them. You’re in my thoughts.

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  15. Dear Carol,
    You could not have expressed this more beautifully.
    Sending you love and warm wishes.
    Naomi

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  16. For awhile I was wondering “how does she do it?”. I am deathly afraid of my husband going home before I do. I simply could not imagine being alone with no soul mate in my life any longer. My biggest fear. But I have slowly and carefully read all of your posts of 2014, and you simply amaze me continuously. Your words are comforting, encouraging, brave and gracious. You give me hope and calm my fears. And you still talk to husband, as I suppose I would do. Thank you for your insight and wisdom. I feel blessed to have found you a couple of years ago.

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    • Carol says:

      Thank you, Tamara for your kind words. Remember, we had a long time to prepare for this. If it had been sudden, I think it would be completely different.

      Sent from my iPad

      >

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