Sep 4, 2006

The Art of Grieving

Mike and Tristan-cat 1997

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. "

"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. "

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

My late husband Mike died five years ago today.

Of all the anniversaries,this one's the hardest.
There's something about the smell of the September air, the Back to school/Labor day advertising, the weather changing... that will bring me right back to that horrible day I woke up and found him gone.

Five years ago he wasn't supposed to go that quickly....The doctors had said it would take about a year for those little metastatic tumors in his lungs to kill him. What the doctors didn't count on was the palliative Chemo killing him early. I think he had had enough too.

I believe your spirit and will to live can keep you going....Mike was tired of the pain.
He had a bad reaction to the chemo and when it made it hard for him to swallow, eat, and drink....he just didn't try. I don't blame him for not.

It was almost like a gift from him...not to have to watch him suffer any longer.
Five Years has made me stronger, more resilient. Things slide off my back now that wouldn't have then.

In Five Years I went from unemployed to a college graduate and a member of a respected profession. I still wonder if I would have gone back to school if his loss hadn't of given me the opportunity, confidence, and the initiative.

Five years has actually made it harder for Ari. She understands more now, the older she gets. She understands how she stands out among her peers...having a Daddy in Heaven.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross lists the 5 stages of grieving as:

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression

5. Acceptance

I went through all of these....several times in various orders. I did finely come to rest on acceptance.

I accept that he is gone. It doesn't make me miss him less. It doesn't make me less lonely. It doesn't make it just make the pain of his loss softer.

Time doesn't heal all wounds...just makes them more tolerable.


At 23:12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i first heard you had married mike, i couldn't believe it. i wish i could have visited you two when you were together, he was a great guy. if you want to talk, you know my number...

At 00:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - I found your blog (and you) by first reading your blog about Mike and finding him that morning.

One handsome dude. One great husband.
And a good daddy.

I hope Ari will find comfort in the fact that he had a brief time with her and loved her very much.

You indeed, have come a long way in these last five years.

Thanks for posting the picture. As we commemorate this anniversary, we also celebrate his life, even those of us who only "knew" him via your postings.

We, too were blessed.

At 10:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike would be proud of you.

At 11:30, Blogger Intelinurse said...

Im sorry for your loss, its sounds as though youre finding ways to grieve and remember and keep your self on track-thank you for sharing such a deep and intimate aspect of your life with us.

At 21:37, Blogger Janet said...

You are a brave woman.
I'll keep you in my prayers.

At 16:39, Blogger oncRN said...

thank you for this post.
peace to you.

At 11:35, Blogger Unemployed Nurse Jack said...

I agree with s.r. - Mike would be even further amazed by and proud of the woman you've evolved into.

Lovely post for someone who must have been a terrific husband, father, son, brother (?) and friend.

Hugs to you, Jo.

At 12:00, Blogger Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

I'm just recovering from surgery, so have gotten behind on blogs and am just catching up.

I am thinking of you, as you continue to adjust and grieve. Something tells me it will be a lifelong process, though the remembrances will be become sweeter and sweeter...


At 14:20, Blogger WI Catholic said...

I will keep you and Ari in prayer for awhile. You have done much in the past five years, and he would be proud.

God bless, Jo!

At 08:45, Blogger The new Third Degree Nurse said...

Wow. What a handsome hunk. I'm so sorry, Jodie. There are no words that can fill that gap. If you're like me, you feel cheated for only having your soulmate in your arms for such a short time. I do, believe, however, that he's with you forever and very happy you're a nurse.

I'm reminded of all of those things that cancer cannot do: it can't kill love.


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