I Don’t Want to Say Goodbye

Today my thoughts turn to some words from W.H. Auden’s poem, “Funeral Blues:”
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Thankfully I didn’t have to say goodbye, but for a few hours, I thought I might have to. My closest and best friend for nearly 30 years, my beautiful bride, woke up with the worst headache of her life last Friday morning, and by the early hours of Saturday, she was in excruciating pain that no Tylenol or Advil or Excedrin could help in the least. As terrible as this was, the frightening concern was her history of having an aneurysm, and brain surgery to correct it, nearly 10 years ago. The “worst headache of her life” could end up being the last headache of her life.
So, I spent Saturday with the love of my life—my north and south and east and west—in the hospital emergency room. She underwent a CAT scan to see if any brain bleeds or other abnormalities were causing this massive headache. Praise God, the scan came back clean and they were able to give her stronger medicine to finally alleviate her unbearable pain.
Selfishly, Saturday was one of the worst days of my life. I couldn’t stand the worry and stress of not knowing whether my wife would be okay or not. I couldn’t bear the thought of the doctor telling us she needed another brain surgery. I couldn’t live with the idea that love wouldn’t last forever, that life would never be the same.
I did gain perspective, though. Nothing else that day was important at all. Things that normally would have angered me or hurt me or disappointed me had no effect. Nothing mattered until I knew that Kelly was okay; once I knew she was fine, nothing mattered more than thanking God for keeping her here with me. I absolutely hated the experience we had on Saturday, but I love the gratitude it gave me to thank my Creator for giving me my bride and for blessing me with each and every moment I have with her. Without her, I would echo the poet’s words of feeling like nothing can ever come to any good. I know there may come a day when I must live without her, but I don’t want to. And I will sure appreciate every minute I still have with her.
Troy Burns