I am a Widower at Age 44

I'm a widower at age 44. Sorry for the bluntness, but I need your attention. I have an important message to impart - don't take things for granted. My lovely, beautiful  wife, Koreen Reid has passed away after much suffering due to the complications of Multiple Sclerosis. In the last week of May, she aspirated, got pneumonia and hypoxia. Leading up to that week, her MS was very bad. The progression had been out of control for a long time. Every week it seemed there was more decline. If I had to estimate the decline due to this last aspiration, I would put it at about two years' worth. In other words, the state in which she was, just before she died, was roughly what we were predicting two years from now. We are so sad but grateful that her suffering has ended. She had a very rough life at the end. 

When she left for the hospital, I thought she was gone, that I'd never be able to speak to her again. I was able to communicate with her in the hospital through yes/no questions for several days (much like a stroke victim) and I am grateful for that. She even laughed a couple of times. 

So, my message is a firm, DON'T TAKE THINGS FOR GRANTED! I've been saying this since I was diagnosed 20 years ago, but even still, I (we) take things for granted. Koreen was very distressed about the state of her health two years ago, but two years later, she would've done anything to get to that previous state. You know what I'm saying? Two years ago, we should've been so happy for all that we had. No matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. So, love everyone in your life and tell them so. Make yourself happy as much as you can. Be kind and helpful to everyone, even strangers. Forgive anyone who has ever wronged you; if you were in their shoes you may have done the same thing, so, just forgive them. If I've ever wronged anyone who is reading this, I'm very sorry.  Don't waste time doing things you don't like, whether it's a job or being with people who bring you down, etc. Our time here is so short. You may not have tomorrow what you have today. 

I miss Koreen very much. I loved her very much. If I take my own advice, the pain caused by the void, although never gone, will be reduced. The best thing MS ever did for me was to bring Koreen into my life (we met because of MS); The worst thing MS ever did for me was to remove Koreen from my life. 
Submitted  6/6/2014 8:55:23 AM
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