My good friend, Tom, asked me to write about some of the positive events over the last year. In a matter of weeks, I will have reached the one-year anniversary since the passing of my wife due to cancer.
For much of the time, it was difficult to come up with anything that was positive. However, I realized that I have been blessed with such good friends and a wonderful support group. I don’t think I could have made it through this without them.
Seeing the tremendous kindness of people was amazing, like my wife’s co-workers who put me up in their home for 3 months shortly after Sally passed. Relatives in my home state have let me stay with them so I wouldn’t be alone. My cousin has taken me out for golf games and have had many lunches with long-time friends. Family members have also stepped up for me, including ones I barely talked to when I was with Sally.
In addition to my support group, I’ve also made some wonderful new friends. Our conversations have helped me to make big strides toward recovery. Yes, I’m still on the emotional roller-caster, but it seems a little more manageable.
I think a lot of my wife, Sally. She was loyal and loving and we had a lot of great years. It would have been 34 years together last month, and realized that I was one of the lucky ones to have found the absolute love of my life. I met her with I was only 20 years old and was also fortunate to have never felt the pain of separation or divorce.
This experience has also taught, and forced me, to think and do things out of the box. I’ve done some traveling by myself for the first time. I have seen, and will see, places that I haven’t been to. I also made the decision to pursue a master’s degree in geography. That’s not an easy goal, but it’s something that I’ve needed and wanted to do.
Sally and I owned an elliptical machine that she used all the time. I barely touched the thing. Now, I joined a gym and put in about 45 minutes to an hour 5 times a week on a stationary bike. The place is my escape, but, Sally would be shocked.
I still work on my businesses and somehow managing to get through each day. There were mornings I didn’t even want to get out of bed, but I did. I pushed forward, despite my mood.
It’s very true when one of my friends said, “it doesn’t get easier, but it does get better.” She also said that “it’s okay to give yourself permission to feel better.” It’s good advice, at least it has been for me.