Widow Wednesday: Complicated Questions

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ~ Theodore Seuss Geisel

I found that quote months ago; it hit me hard and I haven’t been able to shake it. I’ve been thinking of it constantly for 6 months.

There has been a hard question hanging over me for a long time. Almost seven years, in fact. It’s not a question that anyone else has asked, and I don’t think it’s one anyone would even *think* to ask. I was scared to ask this question because I didn’t know if I could handle the answer if it was “Yes.”

Because a yes might change the way I thought of myself. The way I felt about the last 20 years of my life – maybe my entire life.

My question was…

Was I so angry with Mark because of the difficult life we had together, that, when the time came to decide whether to keep him on life support or remove him, I let the anger make the choice? Did I let my husband die…or even worse, did I kill him?

Now, I know this was a purely emotional question. I followed the results of the tests, I know…I *know*…there was no brain activity except for the most basic functions, I saw the scans, I saw his body fighting infection after infection. I listened to all the doctors, and I listened to Mark. We’d had talks about what would happen if either of us was ever in a vegetative state (thanks to the Terry Schiavo case from the summer before). I knew that he didn’t want to be in that state once everything had been done to bring him back. I know that there was no coming back…and yet.

So, after I admitted to myself that this was a real question, one that I was really and truly scared of hearing the answer to, I decided to ask. Because I needed to hear what others thought and then deal with it, whether it was yes or no.

I asked William first, and he answered, “Are you asking me this because I should be worried? No. I don’t think I married a black widow or a murderer. You don’t have that in you.”

I asked my friend, Christie. Christie was my friend and boss for 8 years and had some idea of both how hard my married life had been and everything that lead up to this decision. And she said, “Absolutely not. You don’t have that in you.”

I asked a friend who is a medical professional and she said, “No way you would ever do that. Ever.”

I can not begin to tell you how relieved I was. How huge a weight was lifted from my shoulders with those answers. Because I don’t know what I would have done if these people had thought I might have let Mark die, if they thought I didn’t fight hard enough for his life. I was and am so very glad that the question was more complicated than the answers.