A friend recently said “death changed you”. How could it not? Why would it not? Death of a soul mate, of a loved one, of a family member or friend will forever change you – and it should.
What I realize however, it wasn’t my husband’s death that changed me into the person I am today. It was the process of that death. It was in finding every means possible to keep him with me here on earth. It was the thoughts that went through my mind for 4 years. It was in the knowledge that he was going to die and still try to live in the moment for 3-1/2 years. It was in the love exchanged between us and watching the determination of one incredible human being get up every single day with a smile. Death changed me? Reality shows that death gave me a gift. My husband’s death gave me purpose like I’ve never known.
My husband strengthened me for twenty years in his every action. God only knew what the future held and what mattered to Keith was what he could do for others and especially, for me. He did what any kind, loving, adoring man would do. He built me up so that today I could emerge a stronger, changed woman with purpose. He never for a minute thought I was anything but strong and capable and would often tell me that. When I sometimes feel sorry for myself, I draw on the strength that I really do have.
I realize I don’t have time for drama. People who create these neat little spaces in their minds where nothing is good in life have never lived. I see it every single day and social media is the perfect platform. We can give light to the world or we can keep it dim with ignorance. Death made me less tolerant of ignorance. I don’t mean ignorance of being unskilled either. Ignorance is when people are so self-absorbed that they can’t look at anything in a positive light. I don’t have patience for this. Death changed me. I miss Keith more and more each day but if I dwell there, I wouldn’t be true to myself – death changed me. There are so many wonderful avenues to explore in this life if we just open our eyes to them. Nature, animals and especially other human beings.
I have no patience for people who complain about silly things – be grateful for those things that annoy you – you are alive. Quit complaining about your job – be grateful you have one. Do something to change your circumstances; only you can do that.
I have all the empathy in the world for suffering and loss – when that suffering and loss is out of our control. I don’t have it in me anymore to feel the angst of so many that just are unhappy people. I don’t follow the tabloid media like I used to – it’s all nonsense.
Death changed me and it changed others around me. I’ve seen profound changes in two of my children. Changes to show just how strong they are – there’s no room for drama. We have all learned a valuable lesson. Life is short. Learn from it. Create your own happiness. Be kind. Love yourself first. Give back. Give of yourself. Grow yourself.
Tears of sadness are like rain to the flowers of life.
Death changed me? Maybe a little, but I am able to speak more openly and honestly. I don’t have a problem voicing my opinion on something I truly believe in. I believe in hope. I believe in love. I believe in God my Father, I believe in helping others and I believe in paying it forward.
I’ve always had purpose, but death changed that purpose. I will forever advocate for those living with and dying from the very disease that took Keith away from me. My focus is with the PMP Research Foundation and with his surgeon, locally. It is with the online support groups of which I am a member. My purpose is to align myself with those of the same principles and same goals.Not just in cancer advocacy but in every facet of my life. I owe it to myself and to all of my children and grandchildren to always be the best person I know I am capable of being.
Death changed me? Death made me hopeful. God will bring me home someday too. It’s what I do with the time that I have left that is important. Life is beautiful and precious and yes, sometimes rotten things happen. Is it in your control? If it’s not, let it go.
My heartfelt prayers go out to my family fighting appendix cancer, living with appendix cancer/PMP and living with the results that appendix cancer left them with.