I struggle for sleep. I get plenty tired....both physically and mentally. But that final drift into sleep escapes me, until I absolutely crash.
Of course I grieve. It is lonely, it is sad and the heart aches. I think I have come to accept that, have for some time really.
But when I try to sleep the mind will not let me. During the past 4 years as the husband, best friend and caregiver....I just did the best I could. Move to the next thing, anticipate the next obstacle, make the path as comfortable and struggle free as possible.. Also during that time I lost both parents and my oldest brother. My mind did not, COULD NOT process it all. There just was not time, there just was not the mental energy.
So in the quiet moments my mind processes....and it hurts. Not so much the loneliness or sadness, that goes on during the day. It is anguish. It is thinking about all the things that went on. All the hurt I could not, would not allow, myself to feel. Seeing Linda struggle. It hurt me deeply. But I had to keep moving forward and be strong for my daughters. Keep it all under control. Remain the calmest person in the room. Inside I was screaming for it all to stop. But it is anguish now and I suffer through lack of sleep.
The pain and and anguish of seeing her lose her abilities and strength and mental capacity. Having to administer morphine every two hours. Her unable to eat or take water the last week or 10 days, or whatever it was. Oh how that hurt, and still does. Leading up to those final two weeks having to use a wheel chair for anything out of bed. Having to physically move her from the chair to the toilet and back again. The change in personality, the hallucinations and the anger towards me for not protecting her from those visions...that were absolute reality to her. The medical trials....out of hope. Pushing the nurses and doctors aside to comfort her as I was sure she would die right then and there from the reactions to the drugs....on two occasions. And we finally said enough is enough. The monthly sickness from chemo and radiation. Losing her hair and remaining strong and courageous and with dignity. Better than I ever could. The long talks about the future for our children and how I would have to help them....alone. The countless trips for infusions, radiation, Dr. appointments, blood tests. Sitting in the room, wearing earplugs through dozens of MRI's so that she did not have to endure that alone. Keeping track of all the medications and dispensing. Tracking everything. Thousands of miles driven over those years to all the appointments....talking and holding hands most of the time. I hated knowing these were the final years, months, days, hours, minutes.....her last breath. Ohhh how it all hurts so deeply now. Pure anguish and pain having to see her go through all of it....and I could do nothing to save her, only comfort as best I could.
I miss her terribly. But it is the anguish of processing all that I witnessed, and lived through and shared that is tearing me up inside. PTSD??...on steroids. When this anguish subsides, if ever it does, I will sleep. I sooo look forward to the days when my memories just make me smile and miss her.....and never think of these horrible things again. Until that time comes, I am up....on the front porch and the back deck. And when the birds start to sing just before the the first traces of morning light.....as they did on that morning almost 11 months ago when Linda left us....that is about when I crash. And tomorrow is a new day.