For the last few months I’ve been living my worst nightmare. For most of that time Jack didn’t want anyone to know. He never wanted his life to be about having cancer and I respected his wishes. When he died though I was grateful for the support of family and friends who grieved with me and held me up when I just wanted to curl up in a ball and die too.
Every day is different. I am grateful for the life I had with Jack and I know that focusing on all the good things will always make me feel better than thinking about my loss. The days though that I spend alone are the roughest because I do think about all I’ve lost and of all the things I have to do alone now. And it’s hard… very hard.
When I’m around others my grief doesn’t go away but I am able to focus on something else if only for a little while. It is those times that enable me to realize that I will survive despite the intense pain and sorrow I feel.
What I’m learning is to allow myself to feel every emotion I have and to let it all out in a manner in which I feel safe and comfortable. Sometimes that is when I’m alone. Other times it’s when I’m with those friends and family who are also grieving. Once I let it all out the weight is lifted off my shoulders at least for a little while. It is then that I can see beyond the now… and there is hope in being able to do so.
Being distracted by anything enables me to begin living my life again. And I feel better when I do. I’ve even laughed a time or two. Jack would never wanted me to endlessly mourn his passing and I don’t want to stay there either. For me that means that I need to move beyond my grief… at my own pace… and to allow myself to experiencing whatever comes my way. It means saying “Yes” to new adventures and “No” when that is right for me.
Whatever I do honors both Jack & me because it’s always been about the choices we make. I’m choosing to find a happier place in life despite living my worst nightmare at the moment. And I know that Jack would be proud of me for doing so. So along with having hope there is peace in that knowledge. That makes happiness possible again… and it also means I will survive my worst nightmare.
And you will survive yours too. When time has passed and we’ve moved beyond the here and now we’ll be able to look back and acknowledged our strength. Then we can make yet another choice… to not just be a survivor… but to thrive. To find the joy in life. Because joy is there… waiting for us to be ready to live in it.
With love, Cheryl