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Lessons not learnt

Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

After only 11 years of wedded bliss I lost my husband last December to GBM. His battle lasted only 9 months. I struggle with the grieving process. Someone said to me last week that sometimes what we face in this life is unfinished lessons from previous lives. My challenge in this life may be to embrace the experience, learn from it and to eventually open myself to new experiences again. My unfinished lesson is that I have not learnt to deal with death.
I am still mulling over what was said to me. I must admit it disturbs me a little.
any views?

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

Whoever spoke to you last week and intimated that your loss was based on a failure in a "previous life" implies that your husband suffered death because you had not learned a lesson. This makes it your fault.

I don't think so.

Please don't spend time thinking about bearing guilt for your husband's death because it just isn't true.

I would not want to be the person who lives as that person does, onlyhuman. What a fearful life that must be - what did I not take care of in my previous life that I couldn't possibly know about...wow.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

Very well put

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4837
Joined: May 2005

Just reading what was said, the person said "unfinished lessons from previous lives". I don't read it that as being any failures from a previous life. Saying it's a failure lays blame on someone I think, doesn't it? Lessons do not have to lay blame on someone, it could just be something one needs to learn to move forward. I do think that cancer teaches us things. While I am not a fan of cancer at all, it has taught me some things that I might not have learned otherwise. Maybe I would have, but maybe not.

I know there are many schools of thought about why we are here. Is it to learn things, follow God(s), karma, or no meaning what-so-ever? The unfinished lessons from previous lives may have been things that were ALREADY learned with Onlyhuman and her husband prior to him passing on.

Guilt is something so many of us feel. I imagine that having/surviving/being a caretaker for someone with cancer can raise more questions than it answers. Why not me? Why did I live and so-so didn't even though we have the same cancer etc. Guilt and blame have little purpose in this area and I do not think that was the message the person was saying looking at how it was presented here. That's my take on it. There certainly is no blame. Things happen.

I'm sorry for your loss Onlyhuman. Like your screen name says, that's all we are.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

Just want to make sure onlyhuman isn't burdened with guilt over something she could not have changed, no matter the words of a likely well-intentioned friend.

I know people believe differently than I do, but this reminds me of another thread on another blog on this website - one in which a relative implied actions of the cancer patient displeased God and resulted in the cancer. These threads are very disturbing.

Onlyhuman, you see how much people care about you on this site? We even (gently) debate with each other over your situation!

Hugs to Phil for posting - need to find a way to hear the music that is being played in your picture!

Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you all for your responses. Phil you are spot on. I am in no way racked with guilt.
I just never saw his death as a lesson on accepting death. It gives me a new perspective and sometimes new things can make us pause and think. I met my husband at a time when he had almost given up on finding someone. His first brush with cancer was in 2001 and if he had been living alone at the time, he may not have survived in that he may have gone undiagnosed until it was too late (thats another story for another time). Instead we met and have 2 beautiful girls - his legacy. He will live on in them. He had 7 cancer free years. Unfortunately his second cancer experience was a more serious one and his fight lasted only 9 months but even then we were lucky in that he did not deteriorate before our children. He had a dignified passing. (as u can see I am an uncurable optimist)
I do not think my having to redo certain lessons meant he had to die.
Since his passing I have been trying to keep everything together for my girls and I thought I am not the grieving sort. Got to get on with life...and all that.
I did not think of life after death of a loved one as a life experience to process. I agree with the person who said that one has to open up to the experience and just let go.
Thats my lesson to learn....how to let go.
Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I agree with Noellesmom. It doesn't make sense that everything that happens is unfinished lessons. That idea gets too messy. Also too much guilt.

So sorry for your loss but he still exists in another form. Maybe it would help you to grieve if you write in a diary what you are feeling. There are also grief counselors.

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mariam_11_09's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Nov 2009

I agree with babs211 that many people think that if you got cancer you must have done something wrong and somehow you are lesser than them. I have gotten it from several people who come from a certain school of thought. I don't care for it.

There are lessons to be learnt in life but I don't see that we learn them in the same way that we learn in a school. Many of the lessons can be learnt through surrender and acceptance.

Why not, just sit in the moment and feel the depth of the grief for the loss of your husband? Surrender and accept the grief and who knows where it might take you or what you might learn from it. I don't, only you will if you allow yourself.

take care.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

babs, that is TOO funny :)

Take care,


RE's picture
Posts: 4644
Joined: Feb 2004

Well I am afraid I do not agree with that line of thought. It sounds to me like a punishment for a misbehaving child. I am truly sorry for your loss, it did not happen because you messed up in a previous life it simply happened and I wish it had not. We all have crosses to bear so to speak, it is simply our walk in life and we all end up at the same cross road at the end. I hope your grief will grow into loving memories of the eleven years you had together, of the great memories you created and of the love you shared.


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