Joe Mustich

When Your Life Partner Passes

Joe MustichJoe Mustich, Hospice Family Member

The Spring Equinox marks the official end to winter. This year it also marked the day that my spouse Ken passed away. During the 35 years we spent together, we always looked for ways to support local nonprofits, especially within the art and music world. We attended many charity events, such as the annual  Tea for Two Hundred fundraiser for the New Milford VNA & Hospice and Interfaith Aids Ministry. Our profile as a couple seemed to look outward, as we always searched for ways to become an integral part of our community.

But while our public profile faced outward, our private one turned inward towards one another. We lived our lives knowing that at any moment we could be taken away from one another. When asked by a friend what we considered our accomplishment in life, we turned to one another and responded “our relationship.”

Our cancer journey lasted eight months, and during that time we continued to live life fully. A drive to see an oncologist at Yale was not a trip of doom and gloom, but rather an excursion that brought us to a place to see great art in New Haven.

When it came time to call Hospice, we opened our home in Washington, CT to the nurses and therapists at New Milford VNA & Hospice. They guided us and supported us, so we could continue living and loving as a family as we had done for over three decades.

My life partner Ken had been no stranger to the Hospice experience. In his early twenties, his mother lost her long battle to cancer. Her last words to him were, “You will be fine.”

Ken, if you can hear me, here’s what I want you to know: “I will be fine.”