This story by Emma Silvano describes the heart-breaking moment her partner was taken into a nursing home.

Even though it was a sunny morning in May, I felt a cold chill run down my spine. My head was a numb space, filled with dread. My heart was heavy with fear, loss and an emptiness I had never felt before.

My partner, Adele, was sitting on the bed dressed and ready as if we were going out on one of our days out into town. Yet, today was different. Different to any other day we had ever spent together. Different to any other morning we’d ever woken up to together.

A suitcase was packed and stood in the hallway outside the bedroom door like a looming blue spectre. The atmosphere was emotionally charged, but at the same time a silent desperation hung in the air. It was difficult to breathe.

Today was the day the two of us had been dreading.  We’d been trying to pretend to ourselves that this hour just really wouldn’t come. Today Adele was going to be taken into a nursing home. Taken away from me. Taken away from our life together.

This day had been a long time coming, yet, now it had arrived, it felt surreal, like a part of a distorted nightmare.

I tried to encourage Adele to eat something, anything, and to drink a cup of coffee. She told me, irritably, that she simply felt too sick. No music played as was usual in the morning, no Amy Winehouse,no Norah Jones. There was just a heavy disbelieving silence. My heart felt on the verge of breaking, but I knew I had to hold on just a little longer before I totally broke down.

Eventually, we heard the sound of a car drawing up outside, pulling into our parking space near our bungalow. A small red car, the car we’d been dreading seeing. I walked zombie-like to our front door.  Opening it silently, I let our visitor in. She was different in manner today, sombre and serious as opposed to her usual happy-go-lucky self. I could hardly speak. I gestured towards the bedroom where Adele was sitting, collecting a few items littering the bed.

In what seemed like a blur of non-activity, the wheelchair was manoeuvred into place so that Adele could heave herself into it. I couldn’t see straight as I wheeled the suitcase along the carpet behind her. Still the silence hung in the air like a suspended guillotine.

I watched, helpless and hopeless, at the back of the wheelchair. I wanted to scream, ‘NOOOO!!! STOP! Please, you can’t take her…please just let her stay here…’

The suitcase was as heavy as my heart as I pulled its weight behind me, outside towards the awaiting car. My stomach ached; my soul was tearing into pieces as Adele was helped into the front passenger seat. She couldn’t raise her eyes to look into mine. She stared at the ground, waiting to be driven away from me. There were so many things I needed to say, yet no words could suffice.

As the car sprang into life I put my fingers to my lips and blew a helpless kiss.

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