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avatar assisted loving

life & death.
i mean, really, you can not have one without the other.
i read a blog last night from those two amazing gorgeous stunning women: the middle-ages bloggers, and it was truthful & wise & holy shit… life affirming.

ken & i talked about death last night. to be more specific, we talked about his death, when he dies, which if all goes planned, will be in about oh, you know, 25, 30 years. we also talked about life. his life. my life. our life. life.

and you know, every single day … something, someone dies.

a plant, a cellphone, a relationship, a dream, a friend, a television, a car.
a celebrity.
and yes it comes in threes.
a plant. a car. a dishwasher. all dead.

and sometimes you can revive it. you can. a new battery. pruning. a phone call. a new contact. a car dealership.
and sometimes you can’t.
you can’t revive it.
you can not bring it back to life.
and you shouldn’t try to. because then it’s not about life. it’s about fear. it’s about ego. it’s about control.

and i do truly deeply believe that. i do.

and i have a friend (okay, many friends) who would argue with me. saying it is god’s will to keep someone alive, on life support.

i don’t believe it’s god’s will. i believe it’s because we can’t say good bye. we can’t let go. we can’t imagine life without that person. we can’t leave well enough alone.

and the kicker is i totally completely get that. the whole entire fear thing. i do, because last night ken said to me i need you to make me a promise, promise me that if my life stops being the life i love, this life, if i become physically incapable of doing what i love to do, if i can’t remember one moment to the next, if i can’t hold you and kiss you and make love to you, promise me you’ll let me die.

i said: what the fuck? (i did not say WTF?, i said the words: WHAT THE FUCK) i can’t just you know, let you go, and i don’t want to you know, do that…
and he said: but it wouldn’t be me you were letting go of, it wouldn’t be me. i – ME – will be gone by then. my body is not me. i – me – will be gone by then.

profound, huh?
you betcha.

and so, i made a promise. i crossed my heart. because while i feel i have some control (okay, okay, okay… the frickin’ need to have some control) over my gorgeous sweet kind loving husband’s daily life activities (driving, drinking… come in now… please, honey, now… right now…), i do not have ANY RIGHT WHAT SO EVER as to how he lives it, how he choses to love, how he choses to say good bye TO HIS VERY OWN LIFE.

you know: ASSISTED LOVING.

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10 Responses to “assisted loving”

  1. avatar
    Sivan

    “you can not bring it back to life.
    and you shouldn’t try to. because then it’s not about life. it’s about fear. it’s about ego. it’s about control. ”

    Ahhh, yes. Sage words. And so true.

    Being a relatively young thing, in my 30s, I don’t worry about this so much with my partner. For me it’s my dad, who is ill, and who is not the same person he used to be, and who is degenerating into not himself at all. It’s hard to watch, and hard to let him go, but I already mourn the loss of who he was even though he is still here, in body. He doesn’t want to be a non-him. If assisted suicide were legal I’d support him choosing it, and if he were on life support I’d let him go. Because this is not about me, about my fear or my love, it’s about the best thing for the person I love who is suffering.

    Great post Amy.

  2. avatar
    Barbara@TheMiddleAges

    oH, yes, yes yes. Assisted loving! So perfect. And Ken is right: if he ever gets to that state, he wouldn’t be “him”. Anyone who’s ever seen a dead body knows that the”youness” has gone away. And to your point, we can’t grab it back. We can only choose HOW we’re going to accept it.

    Thanks, Amy!! xo

  3. avatar
    Kathleen

    I am such a strong believer in this. Assisted Love
    For humans and for pets.

    Barbara and Deb posts yesterday make me go back to my writing from last year. This is just something I feel so strongly about. A persons personal resonsibility when they are of legal age to state their wishes.

    I am now going thru this with a friend. A whirlwind of emotions.

    I have walked this path way too many times with others and would never think of leaving this decision to anyone else but myself.

    Come one night and ask Bums what I told him before we got married. You will LYAO….
    xoxoxo
    I will continue to write then share with you.

  4. avatar
    Madgew

    Write it all down and find someone who will follow your wishes. My kids and sister know what I want and I will haunt them if they don’t follow my will. Having lived through this with my best friend and my Dad I know when it is time for letting go and as hard as it was it was their choices and wise ones at that.

  5. avatar
    kristine

    32 years ago when I married DVR, I used to get hysterical over the fact that some day he would die…and I would have to LIVE without him. He, being a man and an engineer man at that, used to pat me lovingly and say: “honey you will be just fine.” Which then made me so mad I wanted to strangle him…Because I wanted to know that he felt the same and that, Hell No, he couldn’t live without me.
    So all these years later, I still cry when I think of living without him…and I’ve noticed when we have those discussions about then, and after, and IF…he has tears in his eyes as well. The day will come, we both know it, but in the mean time I am more aware than ever of how very very precious every day is with him…I must admit there are still times I want to strangle him, but at this point MURDER is not my goal…

  6. avatar
    melody george

    Best BLOG EVER…..Period. you take my breath away!

  7. avatar
    Hannah Kozak

    Our humanity is that we can’t say good bye or leave well enough alone. Thank G-d is right Amy.I certainly don’t know how to leave well enough alone when I love someone. Assisted Loving is a concept to live by. To keep loving the people in our lives until we can barely breathe. I know that sometimes my love for people takes my own breath away. It’s true.
    Thank you for writing about what truly matters: L.O.V.E.
    Big love to you amy.

  8. avatar
    Nancy Wurtzel

    I don’t even know where to start…you really touched me with this post, and I know that I will be thinking of it for a long, long time. Also, I will use your words, “Assisted Loving” and pass along the message. Thanks SO much. Oh, and your husband sounds like a gem. You are both lucky!

  9. avatar
    Jane

    Oh Amy. My heart hurts and I can barely breath reading this. Well done.

  10. avatar
    Hollye Dexter

    What a beautiful and brave conversation to have, and what a gorgeous statement about unconditional love.

    But you and Ken have many, many more years of passion and laughter and great movies and great wine and loving and friends and memories yet to be made. So just tuck this conversation away for now.
    xo


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