One thing I have learned on this journey, this steep and rocky path is to never give up hope. I did. Many times over the past few years of David's illness, I totally and completely gave up hope. He would never get better. There is no cure for lung disease. He would die.
And he did.
However, I watched him give up hope, only to find it somewhere else. A kiss, a cuddle, a smile, a shared memory, the voice of a grandchild over the phone. Life goes on until the candle flame goes out.
They advise you in palliative care to never give up hope. I used to get angry at that, for how can one hope when you know that death is certain? What good is hope?
Ah, but it's the focus of hope that shifts. You know there is no cure for the disease, that the end of life is near, so your "hope" shifts. You hope that the end will be peaceful. You hope your loved one will die in comfort and with dignity. You hope you will be there with him, and not at home or hastily picking up a sandwich in the coffee shop.
Until then, you go on living because that is what you know. David was in palliative care for just over two months. About a month into his stay, he mentioned to his doctor that his cataract was giving him more trouble than usual. An opthalmologist would be making rounds next week, how does that sound?
He died a licenced physician - just as he had lived.
Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful Holiday Season, filled with joy, hope and blessings.