I’ve been grieving for over 6 years, only my grief is very different than anyone else’s that I know. I have too many widow friends to count. When their heart breaks, mine aches and chips away with each one. Because I continue to support patients and spouses in the brain cancer community, I continue to love and lose.
The grief I’m talking about though is for my life. I know I have a lot to be thankful for. I know I’m blessed. But I lost my husband and marriage in many ways. The kids lost their Dad in many ways. It’s heart wrenching to see Kenzie wish her Dad could do the things that other Dads do.
Our marriage has evolved into something very different. Being totally transparent, Mike and I were already in marriage counseling when he was diagnosed. We had good times and bad times, but everyone who knew us knows we had a turbulent marriage. But even so, our marriage was our normal. It was our choice. We made a conscious decision every day to choose each other. Even though we struggled, we had hope for our future. We had plans for our future. We had things we could work on, things we could improve. And we were excited at the possibilities! There was an excitement for the future! We started traveling. We took a beach weekend getaway, a random weekend in San Francisco, I went with him to Hawaii on a business trip for a week. We had just started deeply focusing on us and taking the extra time and effort to invest in our marriage.
And then one day, everything changed. We went into survival mode. We had to walk each day out not knowing how to even plan for the next.
I lost my husband in many ways very quickly after diagnosis in June 2012. His loved ones lost many pieces of him as the brain tumor and treatment slowly took away his ability to run, play, reason and think in many ways. He didn’t have much common sense, but he was SO smart. 😉 I miss having conversations that he could follow. I miss connecting. I miss him being the head of the household. I miss bouncing ideas off of him. I miss him doing the homeowner repairs, yard work, taking the trash out. I miss him working and stopping by the store on his way home. I miss him coaching our childrens soccer team. I miss his crazy entrepreneur ideas like buying land and canoes and running a business in the mountains and front porch rocking. I miss family vacations. I could go on and on.
We gained a lot too. He still is witty and has his sense of humor. He appreciates and loves deeper than ever. He has a level of compassion deeper than before. (He was compassionate before too.) He is so kind. He is gentle. (Except when his anxiety and confusion is out of control)
So touching on grief, I’ve been working hard on healthy healing. I want to fuel my body with healthy foods that will nourish my body. I am working on exercise. It’s been quite an experience realizing my strengths, weaknesses and habits. It’s hard to make time to take care of myself. I make sure everyone else is taken care of: but taking care of myself has proven to be a huge challenge. Challenge accepted.
I even started an accountability and support group on Facebook for friends who also want to work on their health. I did this to hold myself accountable and to help others achieve their goals through accountability and support. I thrive off of the thought of inspiring and motivating others. I might not care about myself enough to exercise, but if my exercise will get someone else motivated to get out and move, I’m more likely to get it done.
I’m not even sure if I stayed on track with this blog post, but I’m posting it anyways.
Thank you for being there and for the prayers, love and support.