Some of my most precious memories are of having the ablilty of saying goodbye to a loved one before they died. This past week, although difficult, was another instance. My husband is terminally ill with cancer and had a seven-year battle with the disease. He is exhausted from the fight and is ready both physically and spiritually to go Home. He announced to all of our family this past Christmas that this would be his last physical Christmas with all of us. We have watched his steady decline and fight for years, but we all knew this time would come. Are you ever really ready to say goodbye?
This week my husband's brother and his wife came to town...his brother and sisters live all over the U.S. Although my husband's energy level only allowed a few short hours with them, they told stories of long ago, and shared the love they had for each other. I listened and watched as the hours unfolded. This was their time. At the end when it was time for another dose of morphine, my brother and sister-in-law hugged him tight and said goodbye. Each of them knowing this would probably be the last time they saw him alive.
Over the next couple of weeks each of his sisters will be in town to see him. This time is so precious. All time is precious. Each moment is a memory made and it might be our last. Make the most of each second you have. I have been writing a nonfiction of our journey titled, "To Have and Let Go." It is incomplete for the time being. I'm not sure how it will end. But all too soon I will. It's about living with a dying soul mate. The trials, the joys, the tears, and the ability to say goodbye.
So how do you say goodbye? It's a moment by moment event. It's a smile. It's a caress. It's laughter, and it's tears. Each one may be the last time you experience it and each one is a cherished event.