I did two things today I hadn’t done before. I let my firm know how serious Michael’s condition is and I spoke to a funeral director. Hospice said they had wanted to talk to me about that (funeral arrangements) but they knew that until today I simply wouldn’t discuss it. And they were right. It was funny that they brought it up after I had already done it on my own.

Michael’s fever came down but he’s not responding much.

It’s odd, to me, that right before (and I’m talking hours) before Michael started to deteriorate I started to think that if life were good or fair or just to him that the journey should end. I am not at peace at all about this but something in me shifted. I had spent a lot of time Wednesday and Thursday starting to prepare and telling myself I’ve already lost the person who was there for me….as my trips to the dentist and doctor, alone, suggested. I was preparing myself for the shift to “alone” as well which, to be honest, I hadn’t really been doing. I had just been railing against it the past 8 months.

Michael and I have always had unspoken communication, just a level of understanding that has always gone beyond words and most times well beyond reason. I never said anything to him or indicated in any way that I was ready to let go because I’m really not. I just started to shift, in my head, toward that. Baby steps.

And just as I did Michael took baby steps away from me. I don’t know which came first or whose intuition first kicked in. But I’ve thought about it a lot over the past 5 days (this all started on Friday)….the closer I came to finally acknowledging that I have been without him for so long now and that Michael might be hanging out and hanging on just for me and that’s not really fair…he started to turn away.

He would not leave me for a million years if he could help it and I know his fight a lot of times has been for me and Gina. He even tried to go back on chemotherapy, even though he really didn’t want to, because I asked him. He couldn’t really swallow the pills. He hated them. And he relented and gave in. When I saw his willingness to do it for me I only gave him one dose and then when he struggled so, to choke them down, I said no more. It’s okay.

It’s as if we’ve tried to balance it for each other and for ourselves. True to our relationship and how it’s gone all these years. So I don’t know who turned first or if it was just some thing on each of our parts that was doing our familiar dance. But it was not until something inside of me whispered “let him go” that he started to let go of me.

I don’t know. But as I took his temperature every 15 minutes for the past 36 hours part of me was willing it down and part of me was trying to be okay with it going up. The struggle in me is still there and yet I try to keep it away when I’m with him. But he knows. He always knows.

We have the TV on for Michael 24 hours a day. He always liked to fall asleep on the couch to the TV and since he’s been sick, it’s always on for him. I know he likes it and I feel comforted, when I have to go upstairs, that there is a light and a distraction should he wake up. A constant light on for him has been a priority of mine. When I had the caregiver from hell I had to tell her never ever turn off the TV. I was adamant about it.

I somehow picked a funeral director out of the blue…but like my dentist I picked the right one. Hospice told me that the funeral director that I picked brings the person back to the funeral home with him and when he gets the person there he lights a candle for them and keeps it lit the whole time they are there so they will never be in the dark. I have no idea why that touched me when they told me, but it did.

Because Michael deserves a light always on. The way he lit up my world when he walked into it. He deserves the light on.

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