Saturday, July 19, 2014

Year 2 Sucks

Year 2 sucks.  That is the consensus from me and my widow friends.  I know the world expects us to be done with our grief.  We've made it through the first year.  And, yes, somehow a year has gone by since Ed passed and I'm still getting out of bed every day and facing what lies ahead.  But the grief is so deep the first year, that I think I was numb for most of it.  Every day there was something new to challenge me and the littlest things were major obstacles.  I look back at learning to use the riding mower or even the push mower.  Learning to use a paint roller for the first time.  Such simple things to some of you, but new things that I had to learn, "had" to learn because Ed wasn't here.

The tears come unexpectedly lately.  Yesterday they came when I was simply dusting.  I moved the change bowl on the dresser--the bowl Ed dumped his loose change (or whatever else) into every day.  And it was sitting on the dresser that was Ed's, the one he owned when I met him.  That dresser became ours and now, sadly, it is mine.

Or when I washed the mirror and what stared back at me was an old, sad person.  I feel like I've aged a million years this past year.  What happened to that happy-go-lucky, glass half-filled girl?  The girl who was never sad and even after Ed was diagnosed with cancer would respond cheerfully when others inquired how Ed was doing.  Sure there were times I cried over the past 30 years--usually due to frustration, anger, or stress. But rarely due to sadness.  I know that made me lucky.

What is this new life that is now mine?  It is unknown and it is scary.  For the first 20 years of my life, I was a young girl, living with my parents, with dreams of going to college, getting married, having children.  The next 30 years were filled with my dreams--the love of my life, a wonderful son, a loving home.  And my dream was to grow old together.  That dream has been shattered.  And so now I'm faced with not knowing what my life is supposed to be for the next 20-30 years (God willing?).  Who am I?

Year 2.  The veil of grief has been lifted and now the fear of the future is being exposed.  A future that is scary that I must face alone.  I fear this sadness will remain--will I ever be happy?  I fear being alone the rest of my life.  Who will care for me when I'm in need?  I fear making the wrong decisions and hope they won't be too damaging.

So I remind myself to take this year to just get through each day.  Year 1 was about surviving and remembering to breath each day.  Year 2 I need to keep navigating my way through this new life, just one day at a time.  And if I keep moving, hopefully, I can stay one step ahead of the sadness so it doesn't latch on and leave me a pool of tears while dusting a dresser.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beating Cancer

"When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer.
You beat cancer by how you live,
why you live,
and in the manner in which you live."

--Stuart Scott
Jimmy V Award Acceptance Speech
ESPY Awards, 2014

Dan shared this with me and these words spoke to both of us.  I guess I can say Ed "beat" cancer since I am amazed and awed at how he lived his life after his terminal diagnosis.  I can only hope I would be as strong and graceful.  He taught us all how to "beat" cancer.  Stuart Scott is doing the same.

Thank you Dan for sharing this with me.  You give me strength in so many ways.