There is a sort of emotional pain that is small and nagging - it's persistent and always there. Like an achy joint. It's annoying, but you can live with it and most of the time you don't even notice.
Then there is the emotional pain that is so overwhelming that it crushes the breath out of you. You want to avoid it or make it stop, but the only way out is through.
You feel so pressed, so brittle - if somebody touches you, you'll shatter into a million tiny pieces.
I am familiar with this pain.
I need to understand that this is also the emotional pain that my dad is feeling right now. His wife of 50 years has gone from being (in pain, but) relatively independent - to not being able to stand up or even use the toilet by herself.
How much will she recover? Nobody knows. We hope that she'll recover to the point that the doctor originally thought she would. But it's going to be a very long time.
My dad is serverely diabetic, he has a cardiac history and he's 72 years old. He's very afraid that he won't be able to take care of her the way that she is now and he's right.
The pain in that helplessness - knowing the one you love is hurting and not having the ability to fix the hurt...hurts.