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There is nobody to share it with because nobody else understands my grief.   Many can empathize because they are going through their own grief.   But your grief is your grief to deal with and while we can all commiserate with each other, you know your grief and I know my grief.

I might be perceived as a grieving widow.  The assumption is she’s fine and is doing well. Nobody understands my grief.

I get up every day (thank you, God) and (mostly) do the things that need to get done but it is a struggle – every single day.  Nobody understands my grief.

Don’t feel sorry for me because this is my grief.  This is my pain and I will gladly suffer grief because I have seen what physical and emotional pain does to a person.  I watched it for 4 years with my sick husband.  Oh how strong and courageous he was … You don’t know courage; so much can be said for what we choose to show the world.  He was never a dramatic person so why bring drama into the mix?  Nobody wants to talk or hear about the downside of cancer.  It’s not death people – death is a welcome end to the misery.

My grief isn’t just the loss of my husband – it is all those 1,506 days from the very first phone call that there was a problem with his health. The tests kept us busy and then the diagnosis – we both died a little that day and the grief began.

Grief is about who was there and who wasn’t there and figuring out in your mind how to forgive those that weren’t.

When you have taken care of someone for so long, and watching the horrors of what the mind and body goes through in a slow, methodical death, you don’t ever get to forget that and over time, it becomes more prominent in your mind than when you were going through it. I am not just talking about physical pain.

I would not expect anyone to understand my grief,  it would be impossible because there was not a single person who lived with that man and intimately saw what I saw. So much was not for public consumption.  Nobody understands my grief.

Have I lost all of my marbles? It’s possible that during those 1,506 days I lost many things. It is now, nearly 14 months post death that I am starting to understand my grief. It is not just the death it is the hours, moments and days in between diagnosis and death compounded by the insurmountable sadness felt at being alone.

I know I have a support system. I have people who care and so many people who are going through something so similar, but completely different.

This is a process, I know.  The many stages of grief described have not been applicable in my case. One could not possibly understand my grief because there was no greater love than the love that we shared together, in sickness and in health. This is my grief.

This is my grief.

13 thoughts on “This is my grief.

  1. You are right, I don’t understand because it is yours (grief), but I can commisserate. I grieve and die a little bit each day too. I also am in awe at Mark’s love for me to continue to fight so that I am not alone. And while our experiences are so very different, I pray that you will feel my love for you just as I feel yours for me as we each continue in our journey in this world. And I pray for God to comfort you always.

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  2. In a way, I am speechless as, although know similar pain and grief as yours through the loss of illness and death. Your circumstance is your own and your grief if your own. The only way that I can see the comfort and relief is through God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost…the Triune God. He knows you and your grief and I am glad to know that He does comfort you because you ask and you believe. That is a comfort and joy to me to know just that. I hope he brings you unbounded joy when you have had more of a chance to get through the grief that you suffer alone. Try as we may to commiserate with you; we are only on the border of your sadness. I know that you will find happiness again and it will fill you with the joy you never thought you would find again. I have seen it so many times. As much as Norman Schauer loved and treated Irene so well while he was married to her; that ended too in heartache and death from cancer. As much at Frank Moffler gave her so much joy as he loved her and made all of us laugh with his candid humor; that too ended in death from disease. But, through all the rest of her life…..she loved her first love William Jackson until the day he died; too soon and through a catastrophic death which he forwarned us was not going to be a “normal” death. His death was joined by so many people that it was a whole village that was affected and saddened on a level that I personally have never experienced before or since. My sadness was buffered because I had a new baby boy to take care of. He was a great joy and is to this day! My overwhelming sadness came later when I was on my way home from the trial to determine if insurance would have to pay damages. Yes, the court ruled that they had to pay. I was driving home by myself and had to pull over to shed my sad, sad tears all by myself. It was cleansing and helpful to do that but I still remember all of it if I let myself recall that….as now…tears well up in my eyes and I grieve alone. So the grief may never completely go away but your mind is a wonderful healing instrument that will also always be with you. You are a blessed woman and more than most women I know. Keep up your path as it is a good one! I feel like I should say “Amen”! Love, Aunt Sandy

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    • Wow, Mom, beautifully said. You said it all and then some. Therese, your words are profound. It is your grief. It is my grief. I’m so glad you have great support and sympathy abounds but in the end it is yours to live with and through. I love you, Cuz, from the outskirts physically but right up next to you in spirit.

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  3. Therese thank you for your beautiful words and for sharing. My own path has been so similar. It is with a mixture of extreme pain and relief that I read your words. Pain to see up close how sadly similar our experiences have been, relief to see I am not the only one, I am not alone with this hurt and horror and harm. All of my trauma is emotional (well most of it) but that harm is just a grain of sand in a bucket to what my Paul had to endure physically spiritually and emotionally. My grief like yours, goes on in a bright straight light as a beacon with no light switch, a lazer of loss and broken hope that belongs only to me and to my Paul, as my grief is also his grief. His regret to have to leave his family he loved so deeply and his life that he loved. I grieve for him as well as for myself. A double grief. My grief also includes grief and such sadness to know you are also hurting. Part of this journey ‘s lesson for me has been to embrace all of the special people I have met because of my husband s diagnosis that I never would have met were it not for his cancer. I am honored and grateful to have been able to forge friendships that are deep and lasting through our support groups. One of those friendships is with you Therese. I love you as I love my sisters and I wish with all my heart that I had the ability to undo this harm for you and for Keith and for so many others in our PMP family. That is the double edged sword of empathy. Because your grief is unique to you, but because I am in such a similar circumstance, being your friend, and loving you as I do, both adds to my pain, ( to know you are hurting) and also lessens my pain at the same time (to know I am not alone). And so we trudge forward, some days haltingly confident. Other days, fragile as though our loss was as fresh as yesterday. Most days I feel like some Sherpa with a burden far too heavy to carry on, but now that I am upright with it, most days I can trudge on. I thank you so very much for always being on this path to walk with me and to steady me when I falter. Just as I am always here for you. I wish so much that we never had to be here, to live each day on the verge of tears each minute is such a different way to live than my old life. But I love my husband and I miss my husband and I respect my husband and so I grieve. I am grateful to be left to remember him and honor him and to be there for the others on this path. Love you Therese.

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    • Thank you Cindy, I love you very much and I am grateful for our friendship … fortunately we do have each other to understand. What you say about grief is so right … it is because of the love, respect and friendship. I think you say it so well that we grieve for what they have lost. I still try to always remember what they have gained .. strong wings to carry our burdens.

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