The real dirt about marriage.
Thank-you, Michele. You're not alone either.
Thank -you for the good advice!
Thanks for the knowledge kind words . Sounds like we’re in the same boat!
Dear @audreyferber, I wish I could give you a hug and sit down to share a coffee. I hope you have friends that support you, though compassion fatigue is a problem. My husband was 59 when he died, after a long illness full of the procedures , deterioration and the incapabilities you so eloquently explain. We were lucky, I was an ex-nurse and did all his care, and we live in the UK, so healthcare is free (well, it comes from our taxes). But I was his nurse, not a wife.
When your partner is sick and deteriorating for a long time, is like living through a bereavement before it has happened. Not just because you are losing your husband, the person you fell in love with and married. But you grieve because you have lost the things that were important in the marriage, and a part of yourself.
“This too will pass”. One day you will be free to remember the good times, you will dance the salsa, and go to Barcelona.
It’s all too true. That’s marriage. And then afterwards there’s the parents, and it’s just a matter of time, I expect, before I help take care of at least one of my single, aging friends. And then me, last.
Wow. Powerful. And …This moved me to fear … how well will I hold up under this pressure? The answer: not well. Not well at all. Will I find that moment of grace? Thank you for that, for ending there. As readers we will try to stay there in that moment and ignore the reality that it is a moment only, real, but fleeting. Maybe that’s all we get. Maybe that is enough? I guess we make it enough.
I’d never thought about the smell a vacuum cleaner makes until I read this essay and followed Audrey Ferber into a world of loss and pain I couldn’t bear but couldn’t resist. “Pairing socks orders the world.” And that line about swinging a coyote by the tail....
Moving, unflinchingly honest, and spiritually instructive. Thank you. This is what memoir ought to do.
Tender, raw, unfliching. Hard to read. Hard to turn away.
I was riveted by this essay. Powerful, searingly real, beautiful, heart-stopping, unforgettable. The ending pierced me. Thank you, Audrey Ferber.
Heart-rending, raw, and painfully beautiful. Thank you.
Such honesty about the dualities of care, written in lucid, confident prose. Thank you
Oh, what a searingly significant slice of life. Well written to the point of the feeling of me being inside her head as she goes through these motions and thoughts. I care about her now. I will think of her in days to come. In this pace of life we live in now, the wholesale experience of desensitized living on every level that we’ve used for coping, carrying her story around with me for days will be like old times.
This was an incredible essay!! I love how you saw laundry as her solitary pleasure
I felt all of that.
This is an essay that makes me want to journal, notice my own life, and write. Thank you for sharing these gorgeous words.