Sunday, August 21, 2011


Right on the cusp of my husband's decision not to pursue a double lung transplant came another decision needed to be made.  The next decision was to allow his status to be changed to hospice.  Hospice is the idea that you suffer from a terminal illness to which there is no cure to pursue.  It helps to provide comfort and care in the way you desire during this time of your life.  In order to be placed on hospice your doctor must agree that you would only have three to six months to live.  We became aware that his medical staff has been believing this for quite some time and it was only a matter of us realizing this... 

My husband chose to go onto hospice, which for us was a strange transition; knowing we were now moving towards the end of his life.  The care and support has been fantastic, as under hospice, a nurse comes to see him once a week and discusses his health, medications, and needs.  He no longer has to go to visit a doctor. 

A booklet about hospice was given to me to learn about the stages of death and how, as a caregiver, I can prepare myself.  There were many descriptive areas within the book, although one of the sentences I read gave me pause to think. 

"As a caregiver, you must realize that it is now too late to change your loved one." 

I found this slightly humorous and true.  This would not be the time to really get my point across to my husband about leaving the toilet seat up. 
Things like, "Can't you see things from my point of view?"  or " "Why do you always ___________?" (you fill in the sentence), simply do not matter. 
This is his time to process and maneuver through this tremendous life experience.  His primary focus is not scoring points with me, rather; it is a dance of surviving and letting go -all at the same time. 

When I mentioned this later to the nurse, she smiled and said, "I always wondered why that sentence was necessary in the hospice book.  It didn't seem like it fit into the rest of the information."

To me, it speaks volumes.  You see, some of the push and pull is part of a healthy marriage.  If a marriage is to be 50/50, an equal partnership, then part of that is hoping your spouse will meet you half of the way.  Never wanting to change who your partner is, but always offering layers of who you are for your spouse to adopt.  This goes both ways. 

Now, it must be understood on my part, that the 50/50 time of our marriage is now over.  The offerings of who I am within our relationship is like a ship drifting out to the edge of the horizon until it disappears.  It is time to focus on who he is.  It is the acceptance of ---
The person he once was, is the person he is.  The person he is, he will always be.   

photo via


  1. Hi Chris
    I have been thinking of you, your husband and your family as your husband transitions to hospice care. Your words are heartfelt and very thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Jeanne xxx

  2. So wonderful to hear from you and to have your support. When I am able, I always visit your beautiful blog, Collage of Life. Such lovely thoughts there and I am glad to have you as my friend. Best wishes to you and yours! xoxo