I remember that day as if it was yesterday.
My husband had been to see his primary physician and had come home with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. That day began the 23-year journey which ended for him on May 17th, 2021. There are many negative aspects of Parkinson’s – loss of mobility, shaking tremors, sometimes cognitive decline, sleeping too much or too little, swallowing issues, and the list goes on. But there is one huge positive aspect, and that is that it is usually a slow-moving disease.
Yes, it sometimes seemed as if he would be ill forever, but we had time. Time to talk over old times. Time to prepare for his funeral/memorial service. Time to get his financial affairs in order. And even time to give in to anticipatory grief.
As his primary caregiver, I literally watched him fade away little by little. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but it was also a privilege and honor to care for him. It helped me release him emotionally before his last breath. As you see from the date of his death, it is obvious that the time he was most ill was during the pandemic, which could have been the most lonely time for both of us.
However, our friends and family, and pastors were in constant contact via text, phone, Zoom, and even socially distant visits. I couldn’t have kept my sanity without their encouragement and support. There is a hole in my heart even now since he is no longer with me, but I’m so thankful that I had time to say all the things I wanted to say before he passed into Heaven. Time seemed to drag on many occasions, but it served as a period of grief to help ease my grief now. We were both blessed.
Thank you so much to Cheryl for this submission. Thank you for touching on an often ignored aspect of pre-emptive loss; anticipatory grief.
If you would like to share your own experiences of grief, please feel free to comment below or email in at firstname.lastname@example.org 🤍
Katie & Evee 🤍