Death Till Us Part

I have come to appreciate the dramatic differences in my culture of blindness and the sighted world.   The reference points the words the subtlety is very different.  The denotations might be the same or similar but the connotations are very different.

For instance what is beauty?    To a sighted person it may be a physical appearance primarily, or at least framed in the experience of the physical appearance from vision.    For me the definition is much broader.    I am not blinded by one sense.   To me beauty is much more the experience the warmth of a person their presence their emotional and intellectual and spiritual self.   If I’m fortunate enough to touch the physical I find out much more about the physical self.

My physical self image is so different than a sighted persons.  I can’t see my bits and pieces.    I can’t tell the difference if I’m overweight or not.   I can tell how I feel and know if I can do the things I want to do or not.   But from a physical point of view I look like I did when I was thin and then when I wasn’t.   Very confusing.   My self image encompasses so much more than the physical.   My generosity, my sensitivity, my intellect, my experiences of the world etc. etc., don’t get me wrong its not better or worse its being blind or sighted just a different perspective.

Relationships and marriages typically are things with tolerance boundaries.   I wrote a piece recently about being afraid.  I am afraid about my upcoming surgery.   Terrified in fact.   What if my capabilities change to the point where my partner can’t manage and has to take care of themselves because they feel like or can’t take care of me.   I don’t want to be “taken care” of.

Its funny when we take our marriage vows, “Death Till Us Part”, “For Richer And For Poorer”, “Sickness and Health”, etc.   But I know many people who have lost their vision and then their spouse.    I know many people who experienced a major health issue then lost their spouse.    I’ve seen people that have grown old together not be able to be together anymore because they can’t take care of themselves or each other any more.    Its sad.

I worry sometimes about losing my partner especially if I totally lose my sight.   I worry that I will no longer be able to make the connection between the culture of the blind and the sighted world and alienate my loved ones.   I worry about a loved one thinking they have to take care of me!!!

My wife and all of my children are so important to me.    I don’t want my wife’s life dictated by what I can and can’t do and I don’t want my kids taking care of me I want them to live.

My capabilities are so dependent on energy and I can’t function at the level I do without someone.   My wife and I had a funny talk a while ago.  She goes when you die that’s it for me no more crazy husbands for me.   She continued and said you’ll find another one, crazy wife that is.   Its sad but potentially true, and if I’m lucky I’ll never know, my choices are for high functioning partnership shared experiences etc.   There are many things I wouldn’t have the energy for if I was alone.    It’s a choice.   Although I’m sure my wife is entirely correct.  Its cliché but I will never feel again what I feel for her.  She is a very special lady.  Again Cliché I’d be nothing with out her and its true. Besides isn’t life something better experience shared?

Posted in: Living
Kyle Bergum

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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