Cancer Ever After

Musings on Infertility, Adoption, Parenthood and Cancer

Grief

Grief is strange. My grief is deeper and broader than the ocean, and it’s as if my mind and body know that it is far too much for me to bear. I feel as if somewhere inside,  my mind has attempted to put a dam on the Ocean of my grief, but it’s an impossible task.

You can no more dam grief than you can stop the tide. With any loss, it is inevitable. And yet, I cannot comprehend the enormousness of what I have lost all at once. I feel as if the last ten years were based on lies and misinformation. I question our life together. Was he ever really happy with our life? Was the infertility and cancer just too much piled on to previous difficulties, or was it getting laid off that was the final straw?

I weep for the future we won’t have and the memories my children won’t have of their father. My children are 5, 5, 3, and 1. The twins may remember a couple of vacations, and I’m hoping the 3 year old remembers a little. I know the baby won’t.

If I wasn’t enough to live for, why weren’t our children?  That’s the part that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. I never questioned going through a single part of chemo or radiation because it was simply what I had to do to be here with my family. It was the price I had to pay to get to live longer. I wanted to live to see my babies grown. Why didn’t he?

There are too many thoughts intermixed with the sadness. I miss the jokes, the hugs, the partnership. I can’t think of everything or I’ll be sucked to the very bottom of that ocean. Instead I have to grieve in parts in pieces. So my mind created the dam.

There are days where I am walking and talking and seem just fine, but inside the tide still rolls. Out of  nowhere there is a tide of sadness, or rage or despair that rolls up in a wave over that dam and takes me by surprise. Sometimes it’s a song, or word that triggers a memory. The memories are still more painful than comforting.

I cry in the car, in the McDonald’s drive thru, on my lunch hour, in the shower…. The numbness has worn off, and the dam seems to be lowering as if knowing I need to fully grieve Tim’s loss, and judging me more capable now than I was at first. I miss the life we had, I miss the life we should still have, and I hate having to explain that Daddy is dead everyday to a three year old who just wants bedtime kisses from his Daddy.

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The knock

Disbelief then numb

Hearing words that don’t make sense

suicide      gunshot     somewhere he knew he would be found

Was he depressed?   Is there someone you can call?

Every conversation, every argument, every word dissected.

My world turned upside down.  Love that I knew, believed in, was a lie.

How did we not see?

headaches  tremors  dizziness  irritability noise sensitivity night sweats

 

“It’s Parkinson’s.”

“No, It might be cancer.”

“Reflux”

“It’s just a balance issue.”

Where did we go wrong?

Every conversation we’ve had is now rewritten.

Angry last words that can’t be taken back. You left without saying goodbye.

I should have called.

Would you have answered?

ammo ammunition bullet chrome

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The hardest thing I’ll ever do.

As a child, the hardest thing I ever had to do was:

… get on the school bus with a complete stranger
… speak in public for the first time
… hear the word divorce
… say goodbye to my best friends

As an adult, hardest thing I ever had to do was:

… hear there was no heartbeat
…allow myself to be stuck with needle after needle
…go to the hospital and leave without our baby girls
…bleed for months on end, laying it that bed, praying our babies would make it
…rock two colicky newborns all night long
…walk into that hospital not knowing if I’d leave with a son
…say I had Cancer out loud
…hold out my arm for that first IV.

No.

Now I see those weren’t really that hard at all because you were by my side, doing whatever was needed, being my shoulder to cry on. It turns out the hardest thing I will ever have to do is:

…get out of bed and face the day without you by my side
…walk into the kitchen to cook breakfast, when you should be standing there
…go to bed alone, never again to cuddle up against your side

No.

The hardest thing I’ll ever have to do is:

…to explain to our children why you aren’t here
…to make sense of what you’ve done
…to understand why you didn’t fight to be at our side.

No.

By far, the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do

….is to forgive you.

I love you.

woman in black long sleeved cardigan

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Gone

A single snowflake falls.

The mighty oak doesn’t even feel it’s weight.

Winter brings more rain, more ice, more snow.

The smaller trees begin to break under the weight of the snow.

The mighty oak continues to stand proud as trees around it buckle.

The next ice storm downs a medium size tree, who helplessly falls under the weight of the ice in it’s branches.

The mighty oak continues to stands tall in the promise of spring. But even for the mighty oak, the winter has taken it’s toll. The ravages of the rain, the snow and the ice are there, but unseen.

A single snowflake falls.

The mighty oak falls too.

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