The Gift of Talking

by Debbie C. on May 20th, 2013

It was an overcast fall day as we walked into the Oncologists office for the first time, both of us knowing that the news we were about to receive wasn’t going to be good.  But, he squeezed my hand as we walked through the door as if to tell me that everything was going to be OK.  From that first day to the last, my husband showed me how to die with courage and grace.  We were given a death sentence that day, but at that moment my husband ceased thinking of himself and began thinking of those he would leave behind; I was in awe of him during the next 7 months as he helped prepare me for life on my own.  I still thank him every day for giving me this gift. 

On his good days we would sit on the sofa side-by-side, holding hands and talking about what he wanted for me after he died.  He wanted me to stay in the home we built together, should I feel comfortable doing that, of course.  He shared with me how he wanted his funeral service to be conducted, right down to the church he wanted, who would select the songs to be sung, and who he wanted to speak.  He told me that he wanted to be laid to rest in a place where his sons, grandchildren, and I could visit often. He even wanted to make sure I knew how to protect his precious Japanese maple tree at the front door from Japanese beetles; yes, he thought of everything!  It was difficult at times to hear him talk about not being by my side one day, but he made sure I had no unanswered questions of his wishes, which I realized at the end of his life allowed me to grieve his loss with every fiber of my being, and that is the respect he deserved.  Little did I know that all those heart-to-heart talks on the sofa were his way of preparing me for that fatal day.  What a wonderful gift to give to someone you love!

My wonderful husband taught me how to die, he was, and still is, my hero.

Debbie C. was married to a wonderful doctor in Prince William County, VA.  His planning provided Debbie with a Gracious Goodbye...may we all follow suit.

Posted in Stories    Tagged with oncologist, Planning, talking, questions, fatal


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