As widows & widowers, we all have heard (and will hear) the insensitive words about life/death/grief/going forward. I have a certain amount of tolerance for those who have never experienced the loss of their heart.
However, my tolerance is at zero (or below) for those who know this loss and say things such as: "you are wallowing", "you can't be helped", "you need to move on", "quit living in the past", "pull yourself up and get a grip", ...
Really? I was married for 34 years, 7 months, 17 days and 11 hours. I have been a widow for 2 years, 4 months, 7 days and 4 hours. (By the way, I don't have to sit and count, my heart does it for me - even when I don't want it to.)
I get up every day, do my hair, get dressed, and go to work.
I talk, and laugh, and eat.
Shop when needed.
Take long walks as I can.
I engage others in conversations - some they start, some I do.
Yes, I have the gut wrenching moments, the memories that totally blindside me, and the tears that lately are only shed after dark when I should be sleeping.
But I am pressing forward (with no manual, no instruction booklet) the best way I know how.
I stumble, I say the wrong things at the wrong times, I laugh too long, I talk too loud and too much. But then, I am too silent, too still and quiet. I say "I'm sorry" too often (course if I don't say it then I am "cold hearted and do not care about the feelings of others").
I make mistakes.
I don't know everything there is to know about all this. Lord knows I have more questions than answers. I am searching for a measure of peace - Rick always said "Go where the peace is". (But what if there is no peace anywhere? What then? Sigh)
But I am living this widow's life.
Hoping that Rick would be proud of me.
To those who have said these words, I want to say - "I am glad that you are better than this. I am glad that you have found a way to make it thru this life. I hope you continue, that the grief doesn't way-lay you at some point.
If you have found your 2nd chapter? Congratulations. I hope you never have to know this grief again.
If you have the strength to never shed another tear? Good for you.
I am trying, and today? That is the best I can do.
So either love me, and lend me your hand, or your shoulder, or your ear, or just leave me alone."
5 years ago today, this was my Facebook post -
"ok ... Deeeeeeep breath ... breathe in ... breathe out ...
Saw Dr. Tris today ... tests are back from the DNC and the cervical biopsy ...
results? Not what we had hoped for ... sigh.
Uterine cancer. Breathe Margaret ... never in a lifetime do you expect to say the big "C" word in regards to yourself ...
Believing there is a God, and knowing I am not Him.
Dr. Tris and his nurse Linda are working to get me to an oncologist. She said she will be working on that tomorrow and Monday, and will call me.
Definite hysterectomy as soon as possible!
Preliminary pathology report - no cancer in the cervix, cancer is in the lining of the uterus, with no invasion apparent, no metastic cancer apparent.
According to this prelim path report the stage will be a "1". Highly unusual for uterine cancer."
What were the results of all the tests in the next 2 months? Definite uterine cancer. No question or option but to have a hysterectomy.
I was admitted as a patient to MD Anderson hospital in Houston TX.
September 28, 2012 - the date set as my cancer surgery.
What should have been a simple 2-3 hour surgery turned into 8 hours on the table. I bled out, having to receive a total of 7 units of blood (after having received 6 in order to have the surgery). My bladder was completely removed and then placed again. A 2 foot section of my colon was removed because it was "suspicious". Lymph nodes were taken out. And a radical hysterectomy was performed.
I remained in the hospital for several days, and when I was discharged I was given strict instructions that because of the several hundred stitches inside, I was not to lift anything heavier than a fork for 18 weeks.
At the 6 week check-up, I was given the pathology report. My oncologist, Dr. Frumovitz, explained it all in down to earth terms. I was a miracle. A walking, talking, breathing miracle.
What a 5 years it has been. Ups and downs. Joys and sorrows. Rejoicing with celebration and barely breathing with guilt.
The questions that haunt me now - -
Why did I survive when so many do not?
I have friends who are dear to my heart that have lost husbands and wives, the love of their lives, their breath and hope and joy, to Cancer.
How can I truly rejoice when they are in the nightmare of learning to live this life without their heart?
Why did I survive when Rick did not? Even tho he did not die from cancer. He still died.
How can I celebrate my life when (1) he cannot & (2) I am one of the ones who have lost the love of my life, my breath and hope and joy.
I struggle with guilt and shame - that I have survived the Cancer Monster. There is a sense within my heart that I need to apologize to those who have lost their life and love to this Monster.
Of course, no apologies will ever make this life right and fair.
So, I press on. And I breathe.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here