Sometimes Reality Sucks

Photo by Masha Raymers on
No sugar coating. No pretend happy face. The sad truth is, sometimes reality just plain sucks. Like this afternoon. I needed to take a friend to the ER. I had not been there since March 19, 2021 when my husband went there by ambulance. First it was they would find out what was wrong, give him some meds, and I would take him home, and once more we would readjust our lives to compensate for what Parkinson's had taken away this time. That scenario changed into him being kept overnight for "observation," which then led to "a few more days" so they could run some tests. The "few more days" turned into 10 and the rehab and therapy that didn't work out lasted 3 days. And, when he finally came home he was unconscious and on oxygen. Three days later he died. Walking with my friend into that same ER this afternoon brought all of that flooding back and reminded me that nothing worked like "it was supposed to," (in my mind at least), and because of that I am, indeed, alone now. And I cried. Then I sobbed, while I silently cursed the disease that had taken him from me and, in the process, altered my reality forever.

And what is my reality now, I asked myself? What did I lose that is so upsetting? What did I lose?! It often feels like I have lost everything at one time or another in the past 18 months since "we" abruptly turned into "I". And this time I was reminded yet again that the dance of intimacy a husband and wife has is now gone. Not just the physical intimacy, but the day-to-day "I've got your back" intimacy. The kind we, unfortunately, take for granted. The "I'm here when you need me. Together we will face life's trials and get through it" intimacy. Forever gone. 

But here's the deal: Brian and I fought his Parkinson's Disease together side-by-side for 13 years. For eight of those years the background music to the dance of life with PD didn't change much. We sometimes allowed ourselves to forget about what life down the road might look like, or when that would come. However, it did come, and it fulfilled its deadly mission on April 1, 2021 when it claimed his life. As I thought about this today, I grew angry that this dance was now over. Reality knocked on the door again and reminded me that even if you don't let it in, it will slowly seep through the cracks and under the door to complete what it came to do. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the reality for me is this: the music of this dance didn't just abruptly stop when Brian died. It stopped at least three years before that when he no longer was able to drive or to write. When  hallucinations just kept getting worse until he was starting to feel unsafe in his own house. That was reality. That was the reality that I was too tired, too scared, too caught up in survival to face. The reality is, I lost him long before the day he died. I just didn't want to believe it. It was too painful.

So, I told myself that I cannot let my mind haul me back to feeling cheated. Feeling maligned. I lost the Brian I knew and loved long before he physically died. It's just that some things, like today's visit to the ER, remind me that Reality cannot be denied, whether it is the reality of the past or the reality of the now. 

                          Note to self:
                          When things 
                       feel overwhelming,
                      One thought at a time.
                       One task at a time.
                       One day at a time.


One thought on “Sometimes Reality Sucks

  1. Wow that ER reference took me back too. I remember going for my colonoscopy after Caren died and having that same feeling you described seeing the same ER again. Hope that you get some peace writing down your words and sharing them. Thanks for the read.



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