Monday, April 4, 2016

Supporting a Loved One

Dear Readers,
I wanted this to be a "happy" post as today marks 1 year and 7 months of me being sober.
But life doesn't always work out that way.

This weekend, after getting back from Arizona, we went to Wisconsin to see my father-in-law. We received word while on vacation that he was not doing well.
He has dementia and his health is on a fast decline.
In fact, so fast, we were not prepared.
He can't talk anymore, can't get himself up, isn't eating or drinking. 
He will soon be in care of hospice.
The last time we saw him was at Christmas when my hubs, myself, and my mom all had dinner together.
At that time, he could walk without help and he talked about the olden days. 

When my husband talked to his father this weekend, tears came out of my father-in-law's eyes.
We held his hand, talked about all the funny things we remembered, and kissed him good-bye. 
And we cried.

When my mother-in-law died several years ago, very suddenly, I was still drinking.
My husband drove home, and I flew in later as I was substitute teaching at the time.
I remembered that I had several drinks at the airport before I boarded the plane. I also remember there were some very drunk men at the bar that I was sitting at, and they made me uncomfortable.
When I met my husband at the airport, I told him I needed some wine to "fortify" myself before I went to meet his father and other family members.
So we went to a local tavern and I had several more glasses of wine.
My husband remembers that he didn't want to go, but he knew I'd be fighting him if I didn't get that wine.

Now at this sad time, I am not drinking. 
How would drinking help? Would that help my husband? Would it take away the pain?
What I did this time was to support my husband, with walks, holding hands, hugs and love.
By being by his side, sober.
No amount of drinking will ever take away the pain of seeing a loved one hurting.

With Much Love,
Wendy

25 comments:

  1. I am so sorry. That must be very difficult.
    When my father in law dies unexpectedly craig and I were about 6 months sober. He told me he was proud of himself for being present to help his mom. I was proud of myself to be there for him. It was sad, but we all got through it.

    I know drinking it would have been messy.

    Sobriety brings wisdom, responsibility and compassion along with freedom. Those are just as important.

    You are a great wife. Give your husband a big hug from me. He is a good guy.

    Stillness and peace

    Anne

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    1. Thank you Anne!
      My husband is a good guy! It's hard to see him cry.
      It's so true about the gifts of being sober!
      xo

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  2. Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It's so good to see how you can be a great support to your husband. One of the amazing things about being sober is how available to yourself and others you become. I'm sure you were a support in earlier times, too, but I'm also sure your husband is grateful that you're so present with him during this difficult time. Sending you a big hug! xo

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    1. Thank you, Thirsty!
      I am finding I can listen better to people now, too!
      xoxo

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  3. Hi Wendy,
    I am sorry you and your husband are going through this difficult time. It must be so hard. Being sober is the biggest gift you can give your husband and his father-in- law too. You can be really there for them. And they will appreciate that. Thinking of you all. A x

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    1. Thank you, Angie!
      I am glad you are enjoying your time off with your son!
      xo

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  4. Wendy I too am so sorry to hear your news and am sure that hubs is so reassured and supported by your strong and sober presence xx

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    1. I am stronger than I think at times.
      I am certainly stronger sober than when I was drinking.
      Thank you, Lou!
      xo

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  5. Aw so sorry to hear the bad news Wendy, that's dreadful. Life's thrown you another curveball but at least you've dealt with it in the right way. You're being so brave not returning to easy old habits. Your husband sounds like a great guy, and I'm so glad he has you to support him through such a difficult time.

    Hugs to you and your hubby,

    Francis

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    1. Hi Francis!
      My hubs is a great guy!
      Thank you!!
      xo

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  6. So so sorry. Hugs to your husband.
    Great story about alcohol and dealing with fears and pain. I recognized myself in it. Alcohol doesn't help us to deal with anything. It numbs us but the next day we still need to face our life.
    You are very strong and beautiful. You are my inspiration.

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    1. Thank you, TATB.
      I used to think drinking would help take away my anxiety, fears, and all the life brings.
      And it would for a little while.
      Very little while. And all the anxiety and fears would be worse.
      xo

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    2. I am so sorry for your loss. What a gift you give your husband by being sober to help him with his feelings.

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  7. I know from my own experience that sobriety can be a solid handrail at our side on the darkest of paths. I am so glad you can be a true support to your dear husband at this difficult time. Take good care of him, and remember to take very good care of yourself, too. biggest of hugs, Prim xxx

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    1. Thank you, Prim!
      I like that...sobriety can be a solid handrail...
      xo

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  8. I'm so proud of you to accept this in its whole and not mask the pain...love you Wendy!!

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  10. It's heartbreaking, your husband is lucky to have a wonderful sober wife xx love love love

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  11. I am truly sorry for your family's loss. It sounds like you have been and will continue to be a such a great comfort to your husband. Even though you were drinking when his mother passed, I am sure you were a wonderful comfort to him then as well. I respect your honesty about that time and really appreciate your reflective words and spirit. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, congratulations on your continued sobriety- that is awesome.

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  12. My dad has early stage Alzheimer's but is declining rapidly. My heart goes out to you at this sad time xx

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    1. Thank you, Daniella.
      It was hard, but such a blessing.
      Love to your family!
      xo

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