Oh Ernie! Ain’t that the truth! Such insight.
People will describe what you do as “Courage”.
You may not think what you do is courageous. But it is. You may think that anyone who loves someone would do what you do. But they wouldn’t.
You may think that if you love someone you do whatever it takes. If you’re married, you vowed to love and care for them “in sickness and in health, ’til death us do part” didn’t you?.
Death will part us all eventually of course. How, when and why remain a mystery. If it’s from FTD, you will have your love, your loyalty and your courage severely challenged.
The words ‘challenge’ and ‘courage’ are complimentary. The people I meet who are working through FTD face every challenge with courage they never thought possible. You will be amazed how it appears. You have no idea where it comes from.
People will compliment you upon it. Admire you even. Of course you’d rather not be admired for it under the circumstances. But honestly, it is nice to receive credit where it’s due.
And it is due. You should take it.
The courage required of you to traverse the rocky path of FTD would match anything that an Everest climber or a lone Atlantic sailor has. You will need every ounce of your being to watch the slow descent into the unknowing abyss. The abyss into which your loved one slips. Like a person falling off a cliff or a high building, you will first grasp their wrist, their palm, their fingertips and finally be forced to let go.
The ‘letting go’ isn’t death. It is allowing yourself the courage to face the truth. The truth that FTD, the silent thief, is doing its dirty work against you. Accepting this requires the courage that you didn’t or don’t think you have. But you do.
You really do. Sometime in the future you will realize that what you did was almost superhuman. You will realize that courage isn’t about physical strength or getting through a crisis.
It’s about realizing and accepting that which you cannot change. (As the saying goes)
- You are no longer ‘a couple’.
- You have to think of yourself as a single person. BUT you’re not. You are a widow or widower- in -waiting.
- You have to make decisions that you don’t want to make.
- You will need help, which you may not have ever needed or wanted before.
- You will feel exhausted.
- You will feel overwhelmed.
Not all of them, all the time of course. But all of them at various points in the journey. It’s ok.
Courage is what will see you through. The courage derived from your love, your loyalty, your fidelity to your love. You have it. It’s in there. Just search round in the myriad of emotions that are going on with you in the moment. Draw on it like water to a man in the desert. It will bring confidence, relief and strength.
Strength is what you will build throughout your journey. Courage is you. Courage is what you possess inside. It is there to help you through this. It is there to help you build the strength. If you were lucky enough to have had a strong, loving relationship through the years as I was, your partner will have helped you build this courage. He or she will have built upon your innate courage and turned it into something that will help you to help them.
The power to weather the storm. The power to make your love the guiding force.
The power to show your courage proudly for all to see. Like a banner.
One that you can fly proudly as a demonstration of your courage.