I thought I was beyond grieving about how things had changed. …or maybe we are never completely finished grieving over the loss. It seems to come back when you’re not expecting it which in many ways makes it harder to handle.
Here’s what brought it on this week. Every morning as I’m preparing Lynn’s morning medications and nutritional supplements, he listens to his Bible lesson for the morning and then he plays a few songs off YouTube. He loves music. He is a very talented musician and has a beautiful tenor voice. Besides the fact that he can no longer play his guitars or hold drum sticks, he also can no longer sing. His diaphragm muscles are too weak to sustain the slow release of oxygen needed to sing without having too many “breaks” in the lyrics.
One of his daily exercises is to sing a little trying to strengthen those muscles. I usually am not in the room when he sings and since he can’t sing very loudly (you need breath to project) I usually don’t hear him. This week, however, I came into the room as he was singing along with Elton John’s, “I guess that’s Why They Call it the Blues.” I like the song as well, so I came into the room singing along. As I was unhooking him from the peddler so he could come into the kitchen to eat, we were singing along together. I could just hear the sound of his former voice. (Even as I write this, I have tears in my eyes and feel like crying.) He could not sing a full verse and he would have to “cut out” at the highest notes, but the voice was still there.
I miss that voice.
I think it was Lynn’s musical talents that made me fall in love with him in the first place. I’m a sucker for a ballad singer…especially one who plays guitar. Plus he used to write me songs for special occasions that were beautiful. He even wrote one for me that he sang at our wedding. (everyone say ahhhh…..) For me, that was the most romantic part of our marriage and relationship.
That’s pretty much gone now and I miss it.
I miss those times when we used to sing together with old songs on the radio. I miss when he used to surprise me with songs for special occasions. I miss being in choir with him and practicing our parts as we drove somewhere. I miss hearing his solos at church. His voice could touch your soul it was so sweet. I really miss it and I’m grieving that loss today.
I hope that it will return one day but I don’t expect it to. During one of his hospitalizations, I was told his loss of lung capacity was significant and would likely decline further over time. He’s much better now than he was but I also know that anything that affects his lungs could create a crisis for him. Practicing singing will help make that more difficult but it won’t prevent it.
I guess the other part I miss is the intimacy that his singing gave us. Our hearts connected during those times. We can no longer be physically intimate and though we are closer now than we ever have been, the relationship is different when the husband has to have all his care provided by his wife. The man wants so much to care for his wife, to protect her, to do for her and make her life better. It’s the essence of being the husband. When the wife becomes the protector, the provider, the one who cares for and does for both of them, it changes that relationship. It’s still a good relationship but it’s different. I miss my protector and I miss the romance.
I don’t know why I’m feeling this way all of a sudden. I just got caught off guard by his singing…nothing else….but then I guess that is how grief is. You think you’re okay and it sneaks up on you even as time goes by. It’s just one more aspect of MS (or any life-changing illness or injury) that we all live with…saying goodbye to what was and accepting what is.