Can you really prepare for loss? Is there a way to build a wall around your heart, knowing that metastatic cancer is likely to end in the death of your loved one? Is there some way to stop it from being one of the most painful experiences in your life?
Leroy’s cancer did not move quickly. There were even months when it ran away and hid somewhere, leaving us with the false hope that all those bags filled with poison dripping into his veins had actually been successful killing all those cancer cells. Or maybe it was the radiation that did the trick? I remember how happy we were with the results and we certainly were not preparing for his death during that time. For us, we just more of reason to look ahead, plan for a future without cancer, and get back to living.
So when the cancer returned and his prognosis turned to ‘terminal,’ we were stunned back into a reality that was heartbreaking, but still, there wasn’t any planned preparation that would have lessened the blow of losing him.
I’m not talking about getting his affairs in order. I’m not talking about wills being checked and power of attorneys being updated. That all has to be done regardless of prognosis and it’s not a fun thing to do.
I’m talking about preparing for the worst in your mind and in your life. Some care givers think that can be done. How?
How do you do that? When that final breath comes, it’s not to be believed. You really can’t anticipate it. It takes your breath away too.
The free fall from this kind of loss doesn’t provide a soft landing. Not in the real world.