Raw Emotion

Darn it!FullSizeRender (3)  Just when you think you have made amazing strides in your own recovery from losing your spouse and you have explored every emotion known, something creeps in and tells you whoa, not so fast.  Bring those feelings in a little closer and let’s look at them, shall we?  I’m feeling a bit like a disgruntled employee.  I want to complain to the hierarchy, but I am the hierarchy in this mess.

I went from having an amazing week two weeks ago, feeling good about life and what it has to offer, had an incredible last visit with my social worker Marcia from hospice which included my hospice chaplain Jeromy and the most amazing, spiritual, God-blessed communion with the two of them and Keith’s presence felt so strongly that there was nothing that could bring down the love and gratitude and safe feelings I experienced. So I thought.

I went to visit Keith today and put beautiful fall flowers in his vase.  I had hoped it would brighten my somber mood as I sat there crying that I want him back.  That is both selfish and unrealistic, I know – but we can’t help what we can’t help.  I was all ready with my bucket and scrub brush when I left the house to clean the stone, but my head was obviously not in it because I neither brought jugs of water or the soap!  There are spigots all over the cemetery but it’s well water and you can’t use that on the headstones.  We are right next to a dirt path that will eventually get paved, so all the mud and yuk is staining the stone pretty badly … I’m glad I bought bright flowers.  I normally feel such great relief after visiting, but this time it only brought me sadness for my selfish self. I will seek refuge in God again to bring me through this.

I’ve spent many hours over the past two weeks pouring over medical records.  I don’t know why I’m doing it.  I’m reliving the past 5 years.  Yes, October 29th will be 5 years that the CT Scan showed so much cancer and our life as we knew it changed. I go back 8 years and find the pathology from that stupid single colon polyp and don’t know how I missed this before, HIGH GRADE adenocarcinoma in-situ.  Does it change anything?  No.  Does it change the course of action?  No.  Does it make me angry? Yes.  I know, it was just a polyp – a single polyp that had not invaded the colon itself, (which by the way was at the bottom of the cecum right where the appendix hangs from) and future scopes were clear.  What if they had gone in when pathology became available and they had done a right hemi-colectomy.  Yes, the future clearly indicated appendix cancer mostly low-grade with 50% mucinous tumors, but that dual diagnosis of colonic-type adenocarcinoma aggressive –  I’m driving myself crazy with these thoughts.  What if that cauterization of single polyp caused cells to escape and get into the appendix and cause this?  I’m grasping at straws and it doesn’t change things.

I don’t know if it’s the time of year but leading up to the next two months it’s difficult not to remember how things were … and his last 3 days of he went through – what I and his closest circle went through.  This is not what I want to remember, but it keeps popping into my head.  Sure, he was in a medically induced coma-like state, but we weren’t.  I despise reliving that.

As my last post indicated, these emotions come and go.  I’m not alone.  Talking with other appendix cancer family who have lost their spouses to this disease, we’re all in the same boat.

My nature is actually more positive than this post.  Nobody wants to hear or read that you’re really not okay because they don’t know what to say or do and they can’t make it better.  What are you supposed to say when someone asks “how are you doing”?  I’m doing the best that I can in a situation that was neither wanted, needed, or expected.  Have I accepted it?  Yes.  But I’m lonely and missing the man that gave me everything and I miss doing things for him – things that made him happy and proud.

So, in ending this update I will just ask if you are reading this to pray that these darker days emerge with abundant sunshine of wonderful memories of a man so loved and so missed.

Speed up! Slow down!

wordpress october 2015Grief is cyclic.  Tomorrow will be 10 months that Keith went to heaven.   Summer has flown by and I really didn’t get out in the weather much; we had a hot summer and I don’t do well in the humidity anyway.  I am not sure what I did during these months.  I can recount events, but the day-to-day it seems I just glide from one to the next.

I’m not sitting here pining away, but my mind, all day long, goes to where Keith is.  What is he doing besides enjoying eternity; surely he is spending most of his time watching over me!  That’s what we planned for – that’s what I hope for.  We could sit for hours across from each other and not say a word and it was great.  I knew he was there and he knew I was just a glance away.  Sometimes I make-believe it’s just like that now.  If I will myself into that mind-frame, I do very well.

Yes, the only thing constant is change and God’s love.  He continues to bless me abundantly.  My dear friend Denise shared a song with me that I play over and over – because you know, music is to the soul what nourishment is to our bodies.  The song is Sailboat by Brian Rector.  Do yourself a favor and listen to it!

Two important verses for me:

And I’m pretty sure I’m heard
At least I know I’m speaking
But I feel like a fool
Cause I can’t hear you listening
But I’m not giving up,
Oh, I’m gonna move on forward
I’m gonna raise my sail
God knows what I’m headed towards

Oh I’m out in the waves
And I’m hoping and praying
Please let this wind blow me home
And night after night
There’s an empty horizon
My God do I feel so alone
Sometimes life
And most times
I feel just like a sailboat

So much has changed since Keith died.  A very deep part of me died that day but with that death, also came a new growth.  I’ve come to understand things that I never thought I would.  I believe I have found the meaning of my life:  Love.  I was born to love.  I do love.  I don’t mean romance because for me, that romance still exists.  I mean love for life and for others and for doing for others.

I am constantly reminded of a spirit that moves with me.  Truthfully and wishful thinking it is Keith, but it could be our Heavenly Father.  When we make it Home perhaps we are but one spirit.  So bright and so brilliant that what we search for in this life becomes so trivial in comparison.  So for me, living with love in my heart, expecting the pain and the loneliness to continue which carves my future, slice by slice, I can enjoy what I have.

I am human and I fall, but through heartache, at the end of the day, knowing in my heart that I did something positive, said something kind, hugged a crabby grandchild, rejoiced in the happiness of a newly engaged daughter and give thanks for my blessings, I can sleep peacefully.  Even if those precious hours of sleep are few at a time these days, I am sleeping.  If I truly pray, every day, which I do, then my life is complete.

Speed up!  My thought sometimes is to let life move forward quickly.  Slow down!  My reality is that I am taking it one day at a time, slowing down those thoughts, and doing so with love in my heart.