Tuesday, June 19, 2007

MIxed Feelings

I have mixed feelings this morning. On the one hand I am sad because my friend J who had ALS passed away early this morning. However, on the other hand I am happy that J no longer has to suffer.

I am so glad that a week and a half ago my son K drove me to J's home so I could visit him. J could no longer move, or talk. He lay in bed closed his eyes listening to my stories about our trip to Iowa. Every so often he would try to smile. Then last week when I called him I was told that he was under sedation and that his lungs were filling up with fluid. So I knew the end was near.

I knew J was suffering. He and I loved to talk to each other and now he couldn't even do that. One day this past spring P drove me over to his home and he and I sat outside enjoying the afternoon sun. Later his wife told me that it was funny watching the two of us talking. I guess it might have been. There we sat wheelchair to wheelchair, nose to nose, J would talk for a while until he grew too tired to talk and then I would talk until I grew too exhausted to talk. By that time J would be rested up and so we would begin the cycle again.

I will miss J, while I have lots of friends; I find it difficult to talk to non-handicapped people. It may be that I feel they have a hard time relating to what living with a handicap means, so we shy away from talking about everyday frustrations. So while I talk about a lot of subjects with my non-handicapped friends, the talking is mostly about non-handicapped things. Things like fishing, golfing, yard and house work. But never about the how we find ways of dealing with or laughing at living with a handicap.

So while I will really miss J, I am really glad to have had J as a friend. He helped me see something's in my life in a better perspective.


Blogger Me said...

I am sorry. I wish much...

I often wonder if it is harder or simpler to have fully lived on both sides of the health spectrum. Does it give perspective or does it create bitterness.

Do you know what image I always get when I think of you and my Dad in Kansas? Some pictures that someone took of you and Dad holding up some pheasant you shot and if I remember you passed yours off to Mary...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 12:21:00 PM PDT  
Blogger UP said...

I am not certain if it gives perspective. However, in my case it didn't create bitterness.

I remember one of the doctors in Iowa City telling me that I should do anything I felt I could. I think that is when I adopted my "Controlled Retreat" idea. I never give up doing something until I have no choice other then giving it up. Of course this sometimes upset my doctors. Like the time they wanted me to retire almost a year before I finally retired.

I am a firm believer in trying to find some joy in every circumstance in life. One can spend time looking for the negative or spend time looking for the positive.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 6:48:00 AM PDT  
Blogger smilnsigh said...

-sigh- I can see how you would have both these feelings, concerning the passing of your friend. I am sorry for your loss. But also, happy that he is at peace.


Friday, June 22, 2007 at 6:24:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Britt-Arnhild said...

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. I am glad you have such good memories from your friendship.

Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 9:49:00 AM PDT  

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