Thursday, July 03, 2014

"I miss her something terrible."

A daughter brought in an 85 year old man for an office visit. He and his wife lived on their own. The elderly couple had resisted every effort on the part of family to move out of their house into an apartment in a senior center or in an assisted living facility. Together, the frail couple helped each other with their medicines, activities of daily living and went everywhere together. His wife had crippling arthritis and was in constant pain. Finally, after 2 months in hospice, she died.

Here was the husband in my office, bereft, tearful and lost. He had lost his wife of 64 years. That is more years than I have lived.

"We went everywhere together, doc" he told me.

He looked up to me with tears in his eyes, his voice cracking as he said almost in a whisper, "I miss her something terrible."

There is no medicine, no pill, indeed, no answer to grief.

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