The Cruise

This is not the way you’d like the end to be.  A sweet elderly man with cancer had been living with his wife at home. She managed to arrange for him to be admitted to a rehab facility.  This in itself is silly- because rehabs are for people who have things you rehab from- like car accidents, strokes, heart attacks.  When cancer is riveting your body, doing physical therapy 3 hours a day isn’t going to help you get better.

The real reason for the rehab soon was evident- because the day she dropped her dying husband off, she left town for a cruise with friends. Didn’t call anyone while she was gone, never checked in with her husband.  It was if she skipped town.  The poor man was heart broken, like an old dog someone leaves at the pound. He declined very rapidly in the rehab place.  The rest of the family had to step up to decide what to do next.  That’s when they opted for the “house”.  I met him when he arrived.  He doesn’t have long to go, but this sudden abandonment is weighing on his mind.  Though he hasn’t said a word, he’s restless and sits, leaning forward with his head in his hands.  Occasionally he slaps his fist against his other hand. He’s struggling, and fighting his thoughts. He’s angry and devastated, and dying with things unsaid.

The wife is due back in town today. The family wonders if she’ll even try to find him. It might be good if she does come, perhaps giving him a way to let go of his anger.  It’s his only hope to go peacefully.

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