Gone But Not Forgotten

February 2nd marked the thirteen anniversary of the year I lost my beloved, Brian. He was only forty-six when he went to be with the Lord. Way too young in my opinion. Our older children were married with children of their own, but our youngest two were a junior and senior in high school. They have spent the last thirteen years without their dad by their side to witness their graduations, marriages, birth of their children and so much more. It breaks my heart that they have had to miss out on having him with them through so many events in their lives. I spend many days doing the what if game wondering if things would have been different over the past thirteen years if he were still with us. Of course, there is no way to know how our lives would have gone as no one can predict the future.

Some years the grief and sorrow around this time of year is worse than others. In years past the day of his burial on the fourth brings me more sorrow than the day he died. This year it was the day he passed that put me in a bucket of tears more than once. Some years the days go by as if it is just another day and I question why I feel that way and then other years I barely make it through the days before and after without feeling guilty, lonely and depressed.

Brian was a great man who was loved by everyone who knew him. He was an LPN for many years and his patients thought the world of him. He was the kind of person who never met a stranger and who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Our marriage was not perfect, and neither was our family, but we made it through a lot of tough times together.

Some days I feel guilty that I no longer live in Tallahassee where he is buried so I can take flowers to his grave or go visit and tell him about all the things going on in the world. Yes, I did that when I lived there as it was therapeutic, but ever since I moved to Tennessee in 2009 my visits back are few and far between. I ask myself why I feel guilty and I can never seem to find an answer to that question.

Some people wonder why I still grieve for him when I have remarried. To me grief does not end just because you found someone else to love and be loved by. I love my husband, but I did not marry him to replace Brian. I married him to have a companion in my life. Brian will always hold a special place in my heart, and I will not apologize for that.

If you’re dealing with the grief of a lost loved one, feel free to reach out and provide any comforting information that you can or if you just need someone to talk to, you can reach out for that too.

I Must Always Remember to Breathe

Remembering to breathe when your met with major life decisions is not always an easy task. This past year has been a real struggle for me. It started in December of 2019 when my husband and I separated. That time did not last very long, but in the coming year there would be two other separations, one of which lasted about 3 months. I had filed for divorce and our court date had been set only to be post-poned and then set again. The final separation ended in September 2020.

I spent several months in counseling during 2020 trying to get past things from my past all the way back to childhood as part of the problems with my marriage were due to things that had happened to me that I had never healed from. Although the counseling helped to a degree, I stopped going, My therapist was good in some ways, but I did not agree with some of her methods, plus it was expensive and not covered by my insurance, so I give it up.

Through all these things, I was also working from home doing so in a forty-one-foot RV. When we were both in it, the space became very crowded in a matter of minutes, not hours. I am sure this also led to some of the problems we were experiencing at the time as well.

In September, we committed to making our marriage work and he came home. Part of working on our marriage meant buying a house that would provide space for me to have an office since I am working from home for the unforeseeable future. We closed on a house in December. I posted about that in a separate post.

Just when it looked like things would be better for us, we received the news that my husband has CANCER. “Remember to Breathe” has become my new motto as I tell myself this too shall pass. You see when a spouse has an illness such as this, it is not just him/her that suffers or goes through the steps of recovery. The other spouse must go through this with them.

This is not our first experience with him having a serious illness and now I prepare myself for what lies ahead, not knowing what tomorrow holds, how we will get through this stumbling block or what the future holds for us, much less him. Through it all I must remind myself to “Remember to Breathe”.

We had an appointment with the oncologist, and he decided on his treatment plan and now we wait until we can get started with that said plan. I lost all my patience years ago with my children, so waiting on someone to take this as seriously as I do and to get started is taking its toll on me already. While writing this post over several days as I kept changing my mind as to what I wanted to say, we got the appointment for March 9th for his first step in the treatment process.

I am having to rely on my crafty side to find some relaxation and remind myself that I have got this. Remind myself not to let this get the best of me. I must tell myself that it will be okay, and we will get through this, but there is a side of me that ask, “will we”? And if so, at what costs? Will he make it through this? Will I lose another spouse? There are so many unknowns and what ifs.

Keeping my depression in check during times like this is not easy. I know this has led to a lot of my recent weight gain (after losing 48 pounds last year). I must find a way to push through this and find a way to cope with whatever comes my way.

How do you cope with living with cancer? How do you support your spouse through this? How do you reach out for help and feel like people really do care and want to be there for you?