Sunday, September 15, 2013

The wound remains

I really expected this year wouldn't be quite so hard ... that my thoughts wouldn't take me back to this day 3 years ago ... the last day he was here in this house. The day I had to call 911 for the final time. But it has. The sadness. The heaviness. It seems to reside in my heart and burst forth even before I realize what the date is. Perhaps it will always be like this. An annual rewind of  one of the most important weeks of my life.

I find myself needing to go back to my CaringBridge journal to read again of those days. To try to understand how I could not have known that it was the beginning of the end. The signs are there ... in hindsight. And I beat myself up for not seeing them then. For not talking to Vern about it when he was still able to talk about it.  But I didn't and I can't change that now.  I did not expect that he would not come home. I did not expect that call would lead us to hospice. I had no idea when those 6 EMTs gently lifted my love onto a gurney on the 14th day of September in 2010 that he would be gone just 8 days later.

During those hard cancer years I didn't realize I had a wound, too -  there was no time, no energy, no desire to worry about me. My entire life was devoted to caring for him, to ease his pain, to research the questions, to be his advocate in the difficult medical community, to watch for signs, to give shots, to administer IVs and pills, to take blood pressure, to measure oxygen levels, to clean and rebandage that stinkin' wound that wouldn't heal, to spend countless nights curled up in a chair next to him as we waited in the hospital for the latest crisis to be handled, to flush his PICC line, to get him to his dialysis and chemo and doctor and blood transfusion appointments, to deal with that colostomy bag, to keep his spirits positive, to love him.  But my wound was there, festering just below the surface, waiting ... waiting ... waiting to break through and rip me open when he was gone.

Three years ... that wound is still there. It has healed at times - on the surface, just like Vern's. But it remains. Always and forever. A reminder of both the hard times and the blessings that were ours. Yes, blessings. There were many, even in the midst of the heartaches. Some days I can focus on the light ... some days are wrapped in the darkness. But the one constant is love. It was there ... it IS there ... always.


Susie Hemingway said...

But still the love goes on and to you and I regardless of all else, that is the most important thing. For while we still love they are still alive to us. Thinking of you during these days and wishing much solace and joy x

Anonymous said...

You and Vern are in my thoughts once more. Knowing that he is just out of reach. But always by your side. Know he is not forgotten. I have always believed that the only thing that transitions with us when we cross is our memories and love that we have shared. Be kind to yourself, you know he would want that for you. God Bless and keep you and Jeremy through these days ahead and all the days to come. None of them can be easy for you. G

tccomments2013 said...

oh, Dianne,

yes, it's the love that goes on, we know it, we feel it but on some days we long to have the absence of their presence, that void that is so foreign and painful be filled once again. and no matter how many diversions we create to alleviate that loss, that aching place in our hearts, the loneliness is always there. nothing can replace it - we just plug along trying to figure out how to live without it. i know you understand and have experienced moving a few steps forward in such profound grieving, only on days like this one to feel thrust right back to square one. it's one hell of a confusing dance, that back and forth. but i hope it will not take away or make you feel futile about how far you have come. set backs seem so decimating, the grief fresh as the days just after vern died. but going through the grief does not mean that the journey so far gets negated. grief's mission seems to be one of making sure the times we get pulverized and feel like puddles on the floor are so that when we feel relief from crying and longing and aching, and are able to turn outward, away from the self-centric place grief imposes upon us, that we will be able to see hope - the hope that memories will begin to morph into ones that can sometimes make us smile, or maybe just smile and cry at the same time. grief seems to say to us that it will takes us to places we would never wanted to go, only to deliver us back to what can be familiar and comforting. it's like it wants to show us the contrasts so we can find our way to some sort of happiness by learning to live again, still missing our beloved. i am so new at this, and also dealing with a new cancer - so really, what do i know? not much yet, but i offer you only a few measly thougts along with my heartfelt wishes for you to still believe and have faith in all you have accomplished. just as there is no right way to do cancer, there is no right way to grieve. no wonder we feel so lost sometimes - okay, most of the time for me at least.

much love and light, XOXO

Karen, TC PS - i don't do FB much, so just saw your message about the Adrian connection - amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the most beautiful posts I have ever read. Thank God for people who love like you do. When I was younger I didn't necessarily appreciate acts of service as a gift of love. But I have learned to love and appreciate those of you who bestow such love on others.