I am struggling so with my lack of control in the process of John dying. No one knows whether he will live for weeks or many months longer. He feels he still has his mind so he still has some quality of life, though it is increasingly difficult to understand his speech. He can no longer enjoy wine and sold his collection.
I want reconciliation and closure; John doesn’t want to talk about anything that involves paying attention to the fact that he is dying. We talked today with the help of his friend Debra King and he understood better that if he wants me to talk about my feelings, he is going to hear my grief. He asked if I could talk about what is going on at work and I said that doesn’t feel very real to me these days, I am caught up in the intensity of his dying. We did talk some about our lives together.
I am powerless to have any effect on the situation. I keep looking for something I could do that would help him accept dying, but he doesn’t think he needs anything, he is convinced that not thinking about it is the approach that works best for him. There are choices he could make to have some control, such as refusing antibiotics, but he isn’t ready to make them.
The feeling of powerlessness and lack of control brings up childhood trauma for me. It is a panicky feeling of not being able to protect myself, not being able to have any effect on the situation. I remember in my gut what it feels like to blame myself because that is less painful than being powerless.