It was thrilling to be a small part of this newly published book by Michael Vocino (former Dean of Libraries at the University of Rhode Island) and Alfred G. Killilea (Teacher of Political Theory at The University of Rhode Island) Shown here is an extract from my article “The Way To Affirmation” I recommend this nicely put together book “Befriending Death”, for further understanding of human mortality: Now available from Amazon.
“The Way To Affirmation”
Married to my only love for almost thirty years and after a bravely fought battle to survive, Hamada lost his fight for life in November 2010. After a few months of grieving and resting my body and mind, for caregivers are exhausted after much time and many years in some cases, spent caring and nursing. We do for others what we might never dream of doing for ourselves and the struggle was hard, as this good man had the strongest will to live! We bravely go beyond barriers unknown to us. We fight battles, challenge medical authorities to negotiate the best care possible. Hamada fought every step of the way to continue to stay with us, accepting every treatment available, as many do. After his death I recalled the wise words of this clever man, these words spoken during his illness and a lot towards the end, requesting that I continue to live my life well and with joy. Difficult yes! But affirming life in the face of death is just that, the most difficult and painful road in the highway of life. How easy it would be to succumb and hide away with my grief as I know many choose to do. I so wanted that at times, feeling that I had nothing more to live for, but the dawn rises every day when all else is lost and for me it would have been a dishonour to this amazing man who fought through every treatment to survive. Affirmation! Yes a serious and solemn declaration of affection for the essence of this good man.
I decided as my body returned to life once more, that I would honour my husband’s memory and go forth with joy and a smile on my face and live the life he so wanted to do.
Embracing the years I have left in the best way I can, will be my affirmation. Watching and absorbing all that he can no longer see or do. Knowing and learning more about this world we live in and accepting my life now with the joy he taught me when we were together. No it will never be the same, but it will be the best I can do without him. It will be mastered in his honour.
First before affirmation, comes the shock, the numbness, denial, depression, fear and then acceptance. Only when you accept and only then, can you affirm life in the aftermath of death. Hamada loved to have fun and so shall I. The smile on my face will be the affirmation of my life lived with him; all we achieved together, all he taught me about living and what a waste if I do not make the most of these remaining years in the best way I can. Affirmation of a life lived well in his loving memory.