The Hard Stuff: "He's dying — and he's shutting me out."
My husband is terminally ill. I know he's in almost constant pain, but he never complains. Trouble is, there's never a word out of himat allabout his condition. He says that he's been around people who complained about their illness and he doesn't want to be one of them. I told him that his doctors need to know he's in pain so they can ease it. He's loosened up about that, but he still won't discuss the fact that he's going to die before his time. I want to know his wishes and feel he should make a will. How can I broach the subject? D.U., 58, Houston
One part of your question is easy to answer: Get him to do his will by doing your will. Anyone over 40 needs one. It matters not whether you're on death's door or fit as the proverbial fiddle we all have to do it.
As for your husband's reticence about his illness, I won't lie to you it's scary, heartbreaking, and just plain infuriating. You want him to be open, more confiding, more honest. Indeed, youneedhim to act that way, if only to reassure you that you're not alone in this. That's not selfish, by the way; you're suffering too.
Your husband is going to do what he needs to do to feel as comfortable and in charge as possible. That's his choice. Know this, however: Illness is a journey. How he feels and acts today will be different from how he feels and acts weeks from now. Given his personality, it's unlikely you'll ever sit down over a cup of tea and have a gut-spilling sobfest, but there may be many moments when he opens up. If so, accept his candor for the gift that it is.
Award-winning writer Karen Karbo is the author of. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Send your questions to her at: The Hard Stuff, REDBOOK, 300 W.
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