Neither Fully Widow Nor Fully Wife – Married People Will Be Single Again
I’ve blogged on this before: married people left single again in a sense because their spouse developed dementia.
The church – run by married couples – makes an idol out of marriage, treats singles like second class citizens, or doesn’t take notice of singles, and it never seems to enter their minds that one day their spouse will be dead, either of old age, or possibly prematurely in their 30s, 40s, 50s from an auto accident, cancer or some other incident or health problem.
Your spouse could divorce you when you’re both 38 years old – maybe he says he’s fallen out of love, or he wants to run off with another woman.
If a woman’s husband is physically or emotionally abusive, she may have to divorce him.
Being married now is not a guarantee you’ll be married tomorrow or five years from now.
This is one reason it is to the benefit of married people to keep and maintain friendships with other people outside their immediate family (like hey, single adults).
Here’s another article about married people being, in effect, in a manner of speaking, left single again because their spouse has dementia.
- Alzheimer’s puts caregivers in painful in-betweens.
- Jamie A. Hughes, guest writer
… But for my grandmother, the outcome isn’t so promising, as her husband will continue to lose abilities with each passing year. She is one of 15 million people in the United States caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
According to a recent report by the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5.2 million Americans are affected by this disease, and the number is expected to climb to 13.8 million by 2050.
… Women bear the brunt of this illness in more ways than one. Not only are we more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but we also shoulder the burden of being primary caregivers. (Between 60 to 70 percent of people nursing a loved one with this condition are female.)
…2 Corinthians 9:11 says that Christians are “enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (NKJV), but I lost sight of that in the confusion of shifting family dynamics.
My grandfather struggled to pray at family gatherings, so my uncle assumed the task. Another person absorbed his duties around the house. Others became the handyman, bookkeeper, and financial planner.
Though I did whatever I could to help my grandfather, I rarely spared a thought for my grandmother. I didn’t fully understand how this disease has eaten away at her life and sense of self.
I came to see that she, too, was mourning—both for herself and the man she’s loved for 58 years, the one she’s losing to a pitiless disease that scours memories from the gray grooves of his brain.
I’ve watched her grapple with the fact that she is neither fully widow nor fully wife while also caring for my grandfather, and I can say without hesitation that her task is a sacred one.
She has looked upon human frailty in all its nakedness and come away filled not with loathing, but love. And even though Alzheimer’s has severed every cord that once moored her to “normal life,” grace and mercy remain.
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