It was the constant moaning, even in her sleep. I knew she was in pain and I really did feel badly for her, but the continual mumbling, groaning, was more than I could stand. A few drops of the poppy oil and she could sleep, however fitfully. But I could not.
Every night the same routine, fix her dinner, a few drops in her tea, and soon she would slump in her chair. I was now able to carry her to the bed. The sickness caused so much weight loss she could be lifted easily. She was settled for the night.
I was wide awake and unfortunately her moans could be heard in my own room. The television or music playing, didn’t help. Even with headphones, I seemed to hear them, or was it my imagination? I was so attuned to her noises, maybe I could never hear anything but her, unconsciously complaining.
She was in constant pain, and I did sympathize, but it started to wear on me. Always afraid to leave, that somehow I’m the only one who can care for her. I remember when I first noticed she was getting worse, it was sad and I vowed to always be there. Now I’m tired. Even saying this to myself, the guilt starts to overwhelm me.
This needs to end. I think she would want it this way, a relief, a final relief. Tonight I will add a new amount of drops. The strength of the opium will quiet her, one last time. I fixed her favorite meal. She never ate very much, but loved her tea. I put her to bed as I did every night. After a while she succumbed to her final rest.
After a few weeks, I took a holiday, feeling free of my once loved burden. The guilt seemed to subside, and I returned to our home. I even smiled as I fixed my dinner, anxious to relax, finally free. Two glasses of wine and I settled in with a book. I was really concentrating on this new mystery and then I heard it……. moaning.