Kevin here. . .

Sometimes it just gets to be too much. Another crazy medical bill comes due. I looked so old in the mirror this morning, my face seems to fall more every day. Shit, I lost another pair of glasses, and I haven’t paid my ranch hand for four weeks and catching up always hurts.

The attorneys still haven’t settled that car accident from 18 months ago, and they may have stopped returning my calls. I can’t find that tool I really need, and a skunk got into the hen house last night (yes, we have chickens). And every time I forget an appointment, I worry about having Alzheimer’s dementia.

When a big bill comes due, I worry that my nest egg will run out. My son quit his job to sail around the world, and I am both jealous and worried I will never see him again. And, my body aches. Too often I’m short of breath, and I’m tired out by 9:00 pm.

Sometimes when it seems too much, I just want it all to stop. Then the next person who asks me for something gets bitten. And that makes me feel nasty and grouchy and unlovable and unloved.  I don’t know how to pull out from what feels like a death spiral, that terrible feedback loop into despair.

Stopping the cycle

So, I look to recover. I try to find some job to do so that I can feel competent. Maybe catch up on paperwork and bills to gain some sense of control. Getting out into nature helps. Meditation brings me a fuller awareness of my feelings, and then, I am better able to find perspective. I used to masturbate to soothe myself, but these days I usually need medical assistance to get hard. So even that seems like too much trouble. Sometimes, I am like a 2-year-old. . .I just need a nap.

Mostly, my Beloved brings me back. I snap at her, for no reason perhaps, and I see the hurt in her eyes. Then I see her worry as she understands my pain, and through that connection, through that relationship, I find the strength to gather myself back together.

I realize I will let go of my irritation and despair for her sake, for our sake. I remember my gratitude for all we have, and we have so much. And mostly, I am grateful for Victoria, my Wife, my Partner, My Bedpet, and Fellow Traveler in this last chapter of our lives.

I need her touch and to share her breath and to feel her warm, heartfelt hugs. I need to be comforted by her as by a mother. And then, the kundalini, the sexual energy, will stir. And just like that, she is not my mother anymore but my Lover.

As the energy builds, as our breaths catch, and our senses heighten, I get lost in the moment and all thought of yesterday and tomorrow become superfluous. Then I revel in the glorious, healing, ecstatic present moment.

Victoria, My Beloved, thank you for helping me hold it together. . .and I promise to be there for you as well.

Victoria here. . .

Well, my dearest, it’s not easy growing old, that’s for sure. And in my experience, moments of despair are part of that process. It could be that learning to deal with despair is a major challenge in aging.

I certainly have my moments. The hardest is accepting my aging face. I used to say that my was face falling apart, but that only made me feel worse. I’m working on a gracious reframe, but I’m not quite there yet.

I miss the gracefulness of my younger body as much as my younger face. Maybe more. I’m embarrassed when I take stairs slowly so that I don’t trip and look like an old lady doing that. But I am an older person, and that’s the reality we’re all working to appreciate, because if we don’t love ourselves as we are, what is there?

Supporting you while loving myself

So when you snapped at me the other morning, I knew where you were coming from. No use taking it personally, I thought. Intellectually, I understood you were hurting and needed comfort not criticism, love not anger.

But you caught me in a moment of superb flow, when my enthusiasm was high and I had the energy to support it. So even though you hadn’t attacked me personally, you had popped my balloon and down I plummeted. We were both flattened then. . . down together.

I could have gotten angry because that youthful energy is priceless to me now. I thought about it and decided being angry would just escalate us into an argument, so I chose not to. And, my energy is my responsibility anyway.

There is a fine line between being your mother and your lover. Too much of the former kills the spark, but providing loving care and support is part of being your Beloved. Usually, I would have embraced you and held you until you felt better. But this time, you took me down as well, and I had to take care of myself. So, I drew a loving boundary. All I could do was let you work it out on your own and stand by with my heart filled with compassion.

We are strong for each other, and I had faith you would find your way back to yourself first and then to me. And you did just that! That is the miracle of love—we struggle through the tough parts so that we can find our way back to each other. Anytime, my beloved, anytime.

What do you do when your beloved is hurting? Let us know in the comments below!