Never close the door on a good life.
Story: Jo Ann Simon
Every day in life we are dealt a hand of cards. Some are winners, some are losers, and some give you the keys to the kingdom. I received my keys when my husband was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, after a long bout of Lyme disease. This was a death sentence. I could have run out of that kingdom screaming, but I chose to stay and be positive and hopeful that perhaps this was not true, and we could find a better solution.
We worked hard on trying to find a different answer, but reality dictated that we either accept it or act as if it were not true. We chose the latter with a commitment to each other to make the most of what we had together for as long as we could. Ignoring death gave us hope.
Sharing a life with someone, no matter how long that time is, can be most delightful or dull and dreadful. It depends on what you make of it. When times are good and there are no cares or concerns, it is easy. When a curve ball is thrown your way, it will upset the apple cart, and then the real test of love begins. I see love as the fabric of two people’s commitment to each other to be there, carry the other through tough times, and to grow that fabric so that it wraps around both of you to form a warm, cozy cocoon that will protect you from anything. If that fabric is sprinkled with optimism, and hope for a better outcome, both of you will have a strong bond that will maintain positive attitudes and give you the ability to live each day to the fullest.
Once the reality that end of life is near for your loved one, there is only one thing to do; love, love, and love some more. Share your mutual thoughts, dreams, and feelings to help soothe the pain and fear of dying. Remember the good times, tell all the stories of your short or long life together, and reminisce about how you met and what you have shared. Tell the funny stories and laugh out loud. Tell the sad ones, too, and cry together. Let it out, it will help. Dying is not a time to end life. It is a time to celebrate a life and savor every last drop of it.
If you are lucky enough to have the time to spend until the end, capture every moment, hour, and day and store it under lock and key. It is the most valuable asset to both of you that you can ever have. It doesn’t matter if there is illness or trying times, what matters is that you are together, fighting the battle, and realizing that you will always be together in your hearts and souls.
Death is supposed to be so final, but it really isn’t. It can be a state of mind, a machine being unplugged, or a life leaving this earth on the sweet wings of angels. I prefer the beautiful angels.
About the writer
Jo Ann Simon is a corporate executive and a lifelong nutmegger in the state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. Her day job is running an electronics contract manufacturing company.