We had a speaker at our lupus group today: Joel Drucker, there to talk about his experiences with his wife having had lupus, the ways in which they coped–together–
He coped with her death by putting her into writing and continues to heal now by sharing his story with others. (And by the way, if you see this, Joel, that quote from Dr. Rachel Remen my brain blanked out on? “Meaning is the language of the soul.”)
He had close friends who’d known his wife and would have had every incentive to read his book, and yet. They just couldn’t quite…
He knew that we wouldn’t be put off by it, and he was right. One woman said, We have faced death many times and come back, and heads nodded around the room.
(Me, I just have to find out where our long-misplaced Kindle is so I can finally read it.)
My childhood friend Karen years ago gave Richard a copy of Mainstay, by Maggie Strong. Strong, whose husband had MS, wrote that there were many books out there for those who are ill but she’d found nothing for those who love them, for those who are their caregivers on one level and yet are trying to still maintain a co-equal balance in a marriage.
At one point Joel said that after (if I heard right) seven years, it was thinkable at last to consider remarrying. And yet, all those shared memories: no new relationship could have those.
“It would be like stepping into the middle,” I said.
And yet. I told him that he was a deeply good man and he would do well when he did take that step.
He looked at me, taking in the measure of what I’d just said. “You met me forty-five minutes ago and you’re saying that about me?” (Like, how do you know I’m good?)
Joan had loved him that much. And I had just been learning how much he loved Joan. Case closed.
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