Up and down ... hold on tight ... some corkscrews and twisting turns ... yes, the roller coaster ride of emotions continues. But, if I'm honest, I do believe I'm making some forward progress.
Work is good for me and I'm fearful of where I would be if I didn't have that in my life. I no longer feel I must hide my true feelings when there, but I also notice that I have less times when grief overcomes me while at work. I'm kept so busy that my mind doesn't have the time to focus on my sorrow. So for 4 days a week, I have 11 hours that I'm pretty much able to feel "normal". The drive in and back home can still be troubling ... and my evenings and weekends need some real work. Before cancer entered our lives in 2006, we both were far too devoted to our jobs. The jobs came first and we just squeezed in our together time when we could. We both learned the hard way that when you're no longer able to devote everything to the job, it - and so many of the people you thought were your friends - disappear. I won't make that mistake again. But this history of not carving out time for myself, along with the 4+ years caring for Vern when there just weren't any available extra moments makes this new journey rather difficult. I'm spending some time this month developing a list of things I might like to do to occupy this down time. It's a step forward.
I'm finding wonderful support with the online bereavement group I participate in each Thursday. That hour & a half flies by with words of support and encouragement from those who are working their way through the loss of a loved one. I'm so glad I found that group - and that I gave myself time to get used to the chat format.
Last evening, I had the opportunity to meet a fellow MM caregiver who recently lost his wife. He and his family came through Vegas on their trip to California and we were able to have a nice face-to-face conversation over coffee. We've been exchanging emails, CaringBridge and Facebook posts as we each faced our challenges so it was really nice to meet in person. Why is it that cancer seems to enter the lives of the nicest people?
I've heard Vern's voice while watching a couple of movies during this past week. He loved Avatar and I was overcome when I heard Jake & Eywa say "I see you". Vern said that to me while in hospice and I didn't make the connection at the time, but when I heard/saw it in Avatar I remembered and felt his presence. I also watched The Notebook, not really a smart thing since it's a tear-jerker even when you're not dealing with grief. But, again, Vern's voice reached me when James Garner said "you & me", "my sweetheart", "I love you so much" when holding Gena Rowlands. Those were the remaining few words Vern spoke to me while in hospice. A very special gift from my guy.
I visited our CaringBridge site this week to look something up, and ended up reading quite a bit of it. I'm just amazed at all that we experienced. It was certainly not the typical MM journey, with so many unusual medical issues and crises, but it was such a special bonding time for Vern & I. Re-reading it, I can't understand how I didn't see the end coming ... but I sure didn't. This read did reinforce that I absolutely cannot wish for Vern to return to all that he endured. So I must learn how to move on with him in my heart.
"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light." (Helen Keller)