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Their gifts

david54
Posts: 115
Joined: Apr 2009

It has been just nine months since my wife of 32 years died.

In 1975 I was struggling in a private college in San Diego. I was working full time as a nurse’s aide while trying to navigate 15 units living in a dorm. I was struggling.

Last week, 36 years later, I flew down to Sand Diego on business and returned to my employer from so long ago. I walked the same hall where I worked night shift. A social worker asked me if I was looking for someone. I explained my reasons for returning.

I told her (Social worker) that way back then at the age of 19 I had no idea where I was going. I was drifting yet working so hard. I shared that at that time my girlfriend who would later become my wife, gave me permission to accept that what I was doing wasn’t working and to leave and come home. I shared that if it had not been for her, who knows how much longer I would have floundered. After I came home my life starting making sense with a concrete plan and achievements, slowly but surely.

I became a professional, a husband, father, and my life made sense.

She was fascinated by my sharing.

For me it is a part of walking through this maze of grieving and how much we gave each other, not always realizing the scope of our spouse’s gifts until they are gone.

AnnaLeigh's picture
AnnaLeigh
Posts: 177
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi David,

It's good to see you on the discussion boards. And you are so very right about the gifts. I believe that I received much more from my husband than I ever gave to him even through the long months of caregiving.

And the gifts just keep on coming. A friend asked me how I made it through all of those long hard days of caring for him during treatment, surgeries, etc. and my answer was startling to everyone who overheard........ "IT WAS THE MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE OF MY ENTIRE LIFE".

I have learned more about myself, my place in this world, and my priority list is now exactly where it should be while we navigate this journey as human beings. I have also learned how deep my strength and compassion run. I wasn't sure I would survive the loss of my dearest husband but I did and I am stronger than ever. The little things in life no longer upset me because I now have a view of the bigger picture. Most of all, I see that loving relationships can get deeper and richer as the years go by, even under the horrible circumstances of a terminal illness.

Glad to hear you are using this grief process to dig for treasure. It's there for all of us to find when we look.

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