It started a week or two ago but it is happening more often lately. These waves come crashing over me. I will have been busy doing something and when I finally stop, up out of my chest comes this wave that just crashes over me. It is a wave of grief, of sorrow, not quite despair but not having consciously walked into it yet I can not say for sure. You see when I feel that wave coming I pull back so that it has yet to crash over me, but it is coming to that. Soon the wave will be too big for me to pull back from.

Why the wave you ask? Well beyond the obvious answer that my favourite mother-in-law, HRH, is drifting out of this life more and more quickly and how that is affecting her husband, my wife, even Claire who has been through nursing those closest to her to death’s door. But it is picking up in intensity, in part because of the increased palliative conversations. First I called the Kingston Funeral home on Monday with my father-in-law. Afterwards, at 11 am, I offered him a small scotch because of how shaken he looked. Tuesday was the house call from our GP with extensive discussions afterwards. Yesterday, Wednesday was the visit from the palliative nurse co-ordinator who was going into the details again of the funeral home, the palliative care medication kit we will be getting so that we can administer ourselves if necessary drugs for pain, anxiety, etc. Today, Thursday is the meeting with our home services palliative co-ordinator from the LHIN. Tomorrow, Friday we will have the palliative nurse co-ordinator here again to meet with my wife, Claire and I. In short, I am being confronted with HRH’s increasingly immanent demise, and how much I am going to miss her!

I can flee from these waves into alcohol and distraction of whatever is available, and I do take recourse to these comforts, but I know that I need to experience this wave and let it run its course. Strong feelings need expression and integration if we are to be well enough to function and survive in this life. I pray that God’s blessing is on you my reader this day. Pray for us. Pray for me.

 

Originally written on January 10, 2019