I have a really great friend who is experiencing a difficult period right now. Her husband, of some 40 plus years, is seriously ill with a lung infection
causing him to stay hooked up to oxygen continuously. The doctor's have no exact diagnosis for her, they are being vague about his condition, mainly because it is unknown how this lung infection got so radically out of control. The antibiotics
he is on, are having no medicinal affect on his condition, and are wreaking havoc with his mind. He has to stay on steroids
to try and stop the infection, and when it begins to minimize and they drop his dosage, the infection rages again.
How do you talk to someone who, in some part of their subconscious mind, hears a message that is nothing like the one being told to them? I believe they refer to that as denial. We have all experienced it, I have actually lived it for long periods of time in my life, sometimes knowingly, to protect my "reality" from causing me irreparable harm. Reality, being a state of mind, sometimes leads us down the garden path for safety
, Thank God. But when you know your friend is there, what do you do, what do you say, do you really have to be honest with her/him? Isn't it best to be tactful, subtle, even vague? Does that then put me in a state of denial?
Reality in, and of itself, is just that...reality, but do we always have to see it that way? I like to think that the ability we have to dream and whisk ourselves away to magical kingdoms and romantic getaways in our mind, are the indulgences we treasure in times of need. But how many of us really remember them when we need them the most? Like when we have to stay in a continuous state of denial, to protect the reality of the person we have loved for 40 plus years from the harshest reality of all, vaguely speaking, his or her own journey home. Do we prepare them to go home, or do we revel with them in the memories of all the experiences that time has allowed us to share? Do we take them down the garden path, for the sake of the illusion from reality
, or do we face the cold hard truth and prepare them to go home? How do we know if they are prepared? What if going home is something we have never dared to talk with them about, thinking we had so many years left to talk about those things? Do we take the chance, and follow the garden path as the kindest road home, or do we dare to even ask them where they expect to be tomorrow? It must be hard for my friend, he being her high school sweetheart, the one, the only, the ever after. I pray that the words come to me tonight while I sleep, fitfully with her on my mind, waiting for tomorrow when I have to again wonder, what can I say? I know that the little things I do matter, the food I prepare, the jokes I make, the time I spend wondering how she is, how he is, will they make it through this, will he get well; but does it really matter if I tell her the facts if I know them, or is this a time when even God would forgive me for...the little white lie?
All I can do is ask, so I do. God, what can I say, what can I do, please tell me tonight, before morning's dew. I thank you for strength, each day as it dawns, but I still need the courage to righten the wrongs. Is it a lie, or is it for true, to unravel a thread, of lying or dread?