The First Christmas Without Her


Well, here it is, come at last: the first Christmas without my love. I’m dying inside, lost the love of my life…the soulmate I’ve been married to for 42 years. We have shared such a full life, some highs, some lows but always together. We laughed together and cried together. We made some heart-wrenching decisions mostly for the good of our kids. Sometimes those decisions were the wrong ones as can happen in life. But we did the best we could.

When we reached the empty nest time of our life it was nothing like what we expected. No kids meant less worries. But then we found ourselves wrapped up in a blanket of warmth and communing that surpassed everything we had before. We were able to focus on each other again.

It was a wonderful feeling to know that my love was not afraid to go down life’s road wherever it might lead as long as we were together. We laughed at the same movies; teased each other about taste in music (she liked the Beach Boys; I liked the Beatles but we both adored opera), but ultimately just loved being together.

When I faltered she lifted me up. When she couldn’t bare to give sad news I did it for her. When someone we knew needed help we both went over the family budget to find a way to do it.

I can’t help but remember our little inside jokes. I guess all long-time married couples have them. I’d crack a corny joke and she’d give me “The Look”. I’d mention how I thought her ears were cute and she’d bring up how I said that back in college about another girl.

Then the monster showed up at our doorstep and she would no longer be the same physically. She couldn’t stand on her own. She couldn’t do the things we all take for granted each day. Everything was too hard to do. Gradually, she became weaker and less self-reliant.

The hardest part I now have to face is that I can’t do it with her anymore. I am alone. Yes, I have my two wonderful daughters and a grandson that is perfect in every way. Yes, prefect! But when I come home from work my dog will be there to greet me but my soulmate will not. It will be an empty home with nothing but memories that I am sure will never fill the void.

There was one last decision about our life that had to be made. This time I had to do it without her. That decision was to return my wife to a nursing home to delay her death a few more days or maybe even a few more weeks or to move her from the all-to-familiar emergency room to comfort care in the hospital for her final days. My heart and I chose comfort care. That meant no more feeding through the gastric tube. No more IV for hydration. But it also meant the right kind of medication to take away her pain and let her sleep.

The staff was the most loving, understanding group of people I have ever met. Such a contrast to the nursing home staff that seemed to be either overwhelmed, uncaring or downright resentful. But each day that passed, no matter how peaceful, marked the path to her the grave. There was so very little time left for us to be together. She slowly drifted into whatever realm exists between life and death. I spent the last day holding her, hanging on her every breath not knowing if each one would be her last. But still such a better alternative to weeks in a nursing home shuttled back and forth almost daily to the hospital every time she started to fail. Finally, the last breathe came and went. She passed away in her sleep without pain.

While it tears me apart inside I know she is much better off now and at a long-sought peace. Her last words to me were “Babe, Don’t cry. I’ll be all right.” And she is at last.

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About Bill Mosca

Programmer, Database Engineer in the Healthcare Industry. Humorist by avocation.
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13 Responses to The First Christmas Without Her

  1. Vivianne says:

    I can never , or anyone else, can never replace your loss. I can send hugs and love to you….not to replace any loss…but to help fill some of the hole that was left. I love you dear brother of mne.

  2. Heather Diane Mosca says:

    I love you to the moon and back Papa, this was the hardest blog to read with being blinded by tears in my eyes. I love and miss you Mama everyday, there’s not a day I don’t think if you and focus on the Love you gave us. I forgave you long before you had to say goodbye. Oh, how I can’t stop my tears right now, how much I want to hug you and kiss your cheek. I promise you Mama, we’ll take very good care of Papa♥

    I love you past the heavens and the stars for which peace and silence is where you are. Not silent in my heart, always hear music playing even tho we’re apart. Tears fall but not wasted, only saved in remembrance that our hearts are still connected. As I try to slow down my breathing a calming feeling overcomes me, as I know your near by comforting me. I love you Mama♥

  3. Maria says:

    Uncle Bill .. I send you much love and hugs. I wish I could have been there to give you solace during your darkest of times. I can only partially understand your loss. I cannot imagine what I
    would do without Jim and we have not been together for nearly as long as you were. I understand the loneliness and the loss of what to do now that she is gone. I just wanted to let you know I love you and have always. I hope to get to see you soon to deliver the hugs I send in person.

    • Bill Mosca says:

      Hi Maria, my precious
      I reflect back on the times I spent taking care of you at your grandparents’ home. While I was only 16 I felt like your father and will always hold the most wonderful of those times in my heart. Thank you for expressing your love to Diane & me.

  4. Brianne Maddux says:

    Simply beautiful… There aren’t enough words. Love and prayers are with you.

  5. Doyce Winberry says:

    Bill,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve never met you in person but you’ve helped me and so many others with Access. I particularly enjoy it when your sense of humor sneaks into the answers you give. You’re a kind man and I wish you the very best.

    • Bill Mosca says:

      Doyce, I really appreciate your kind words. They mean more to me than I can express. The emptiness that has been created after 42 years of love and companionship will never be filled. I’ll always be a fraction of myself, but the support and friendship that you and others have expressed make it easier to get through each day.

  6. johnlagreca says:

    Hey Bill….Just hoping and praying that this Christmas Season brings you happiness and love…Carpe Diem!

  7. Bill Mosca says:

    John – thank you so much for your kind words. This year’s holidays will be tough. Maybe they will always be tough for me. All I know is that people like you who touch my life in the kindest way will always mean the world to me.

  8. David Pratt says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it brought tears. I too have a wife of over 40 years and two grandchildren of five and 3. I am fortunate that my truly better half is healthy and will hug her after reading this.

    • Bill Mosca says:

      Thanks for reading my post, David. August will mark the second anniversary of my darling’s parting. I still have a hard time facing the world without her. I’m glad you can still hug your wife.

  9. Bill says:

    So well put, thank you!

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