Fair warning: this is the written equivalent of a loud, long wail.
My mood is blacker than it has ever been when I wasn’t depressed and I can’t figure out how to get out of it, or even if trying to escape it is reasonable to expect of myself.
There’s no question at all that my husband has been doing much worse in general since his surgery a little over a month ago. There are many times when I’ve wished that he hadn’t had that damn surgery because he hasn’t been normal ever since.
Yes, he’s had a very rough recovery, for sure. But it’s much more than that. Before the surgery, we still had some happy times together. Now, he’s still in a lot of pain and no one seems to know why. That’s making him understandably pretty miserable.
He’s always had trouble sleeping, but that too has gotten much worse since the surgery. He never once has had a night since the surgery in which he stayed in bed the whole night, which is very unusual for him. Now, he always gets up at some point during the middle of the night and goes out to try to get more sleep on the sofa, where it puts less pressure on his abdomen.
I really can’t help but feel like he’s beginning a decline towards the end. He’s just constantly tired and miserable and there’s nothing I can do for him.
We had a conversation the night before last in which he told me that he’s made peace with the fact that he’s going to die. He compared himself to a couple of our friends who have already passed away, as if to say that they were also good people who died too young and he knows he’ll have the same fate. It is what it is. And maybe it helps him to think of it that way and I’m glad he’s at peace with it, but it doesn’t help me a damn bit as I’m composing obituaries in my head and trying to imagine going on without him.
There have been plenty of bleak times since his diagnosis when my thoughts have gotten away from the and I imagined the worst. But this time feels really different in many ways. He just plain doesn’t seem like himself anymore, like he’s wearing a J-shaped costume that only occasionally resembles his former self.
Of course, in other ways, he’s still him, which I see in occasional glimpses. After we had that talk the other night in which he said he’s made peace with the fact that he’s going to die, he queued up a funny and random YouTube video that was a mashup of Iron Maiden and ABBA, two artists he really likes. The video was funny because it was so random and he was trying to cheer me up.
When I commented on how sweet it was that he was trying to cheer me up, he said that he found the video while trying to cheer himself up.
We also talked about how he hopes he’ll die, and he wants it to be in his sleep and as painless as possible. That’s all very admirable, of course; I think we all wish the same for ourselves. But that scenario leaves out the fact that I’m still going to be there when it happens and have to learn how to pick myself up again and carry on without him.
I don’t know how I can explain it other than to say that this feels so different that it’s very hard not to believe that it’s the beginning of the end. The kids sense it, too: all of them have told me that he hasn’t been the same since the surgery.
They’re each dealing with it in their own unique ways. My youngest is cooking dinner most nights. My middle son is largely in denial, saying that it’s bad but it’s not time to worry yet (which I guess will be when my husband goes on hospice?) And my daughter is silently falling apart.
And suddenly I am so pissed off—at what, I don’t even know. The universe? I know logically that some people just die young but dammit he really shouldn’t be one of them. It seems especially cruel for it to happen just when things were finally changing for the better for us. He should have had many more years to enjoy being more financially comfortable.
We should have gotten to go to Japan. We should have had time to enjoy the kids being out of the house, being so-called empty nesters. There are so many things we wanted to do that most likely will never be able to happen.
Because of fucking Covid, I don’t know if we’ll ever even get a normal date night again.
He’s my best friend in every way. My everything. And I feel him starting to slip through my fingers already and I just want to claw him back. Don’t go. Not yet. I’m really not ready to lose him—not that I would ever be, but this just feels like a shockingly cruel punch in the stomach. I really thought we’d have a lot more time and right now, it really feels like that time is rapidly diminishing.