A Happy and Thankful Life

Make the best choices

There are a many things I struggle with in regards to J. I have many moments where I wish I had been able to do more. Did I make the right decisions? Did we make the right decisions in treatment? Could we have done more? When he relapsed the last time, should we have told his parents to come up? Did I make choices for his service that honored who he was and how he lived? Did he know how much I truly loved him and how I continue to love him? Did he know that I tried my hardest to make the best decisions when he couldn’t decide anymore?  Does he know much he is missed? Is there anything we could have done differently to change the final outcome?

As much as I struggle with this, I also try very hard to hush those thoughts and fears. They don’t sneak up as much as they used to. But they do linger. In the last month of his life, my heart ached with these questions. When I received the autopsy report, I searched the pages for something that we could have done differently.  His doctor calmed many of my fears. He said he also went through J’s treatment and history to think of anything he could have done differently. And there wasn’t. We made the best choices we could with the information we had.

I’m thankful to have remembered this tonight. There are times when I need to be gentle with myself. We made the best choices we could with what we knew at the time. Looking back, there was nothing that could have been done differently for J in the last two months. What was wrong couldn’t be fixed with medicine or surgery. Most importantly, I know this to be true and it brings me a small bit of comfort.

In honoring J’s wishes, I never discussed a living will or what he would want done for a funeral.  I came to regret that decision. But in making the best choice, it let him (and me!)  focus on the now instead of the “what if”. And that was what he wanted. We lived our life together to ensure our future together. While this is not the future we prayed for, I know and trust we did everything possible to have a future.

The past can’t be changed. We can’t undo what was done. We can only move forward, one small step at a time. There are many regrets I live with. But in order to be more gentle with myself, I must remind myself often to simply “make the best choices”.



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