May 30, 2010 - 6:09 pm
My husband died April 27 after a nearly three year journey with tonsil cancer. My heart is broken - we have two children - 18 and 20 who have been simply wonderful through all of this. I realize that I am being very hard on myself - I know this grief is very new and raw - but I'm impatient with how terrible I feel and everyone says "Take care of yourself" but I really don't know how to do that. Nothing much seems to help.
I can get through what I need to do. I'm perfectly functional - but it's so hard - it's like being in a terrible fog all the time and when I do emerge from the fog, it'st just to feel that terrible, piercing pain that cuts through me like a knife. Things are complicated because I'm a pastor and my church is full of people who think somehow I should work out this private grief in front of them. I am perfectly capable of doing my job - I went to hospice today to visit a dying man - that kind of almost clinical thing isn't hard for me - but I can't bear 200 people asking me "How are you doing?" every Sunday morning.
He had been having a really good remission, so we made plans for a big 25th anniversary trip to the Bahamas with our kids. So we leave Tuesday morning - the three of us are still going to go because why not? It's way out on a quiet island where there won't be anything but sand and water and sun but oh, I had to call the airline finally this afternoon to cancel his ticket and that has plunged me into that deep sorrow again.
He died so quickly. Until the end of March, he'd never been in pain, never had any kind of symptom - all his physical problems came from the chemo and radiation. But all of a sudden, the good remission turned into a monster - the cancer came back everywhere and he died literally as they were transferring him from his hospital bed to a gurney to go to the hospice inpatient facility. His doctor says he thinks my husband chose when he wanted to die- that morning he was sitting up eating breakfast, and 12 hours later, he was gone.
I need to know that someone out here in the universe knows what this horrible grief feels like.