As the pain and trauma and anger of losing my wife ebb into the background, it becomes easier to look back without the emotional baggage to see what lessons I have learned since Kathy died.
One of the lessons I have been thinking about has to do with healthcare. When someone dies one reaction is to second guess our decisions and to wonder if we did enough or did we do the right things at the right times. This can torment the mind of the survivors if left unchecked. For me, I have no regrets. We did what we could and the time came for Kathy to die. It was just time.
But back to healthcare. Many of the ideas and opinions and I have about treating illness I learned from helping Kathy through her illnesses. She had been sick for several years. I had spent almost as much time in doctor’s offices with her as she did. We sought council from our pastor together. We consulted with specialists together. We talked about what to do if one of us should die. So the shock and trauma was not out of ignorance, but the shock of sudden loss.
So here are some of the lessons I learned.
Pray. Be prayed for. But if you are not immediately healed, get medical help.
It is not a sin to take medication, and it is not a virtue to suffer needlessly. If you can take medications to help you, take them.
Doctors are there to help us. But we have to take charge of our own healthcare. Don’t let any doctor or nurse bully you or push you into something you don’t want to do. It’s your body, not theirs. But if you agree with them, do what they tell you to do.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Why pay a fortune on a casket and a plot that no one will visit and will only be filled with dust in time. Cremation is a viable alternative even for Christians.
Facing your grief head on will make things clear up faster than pretending there was something else that might have worked. Beating yourself up will not bring them back.