Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life After Loss: Becoming A Widow

Written by Lisa Bell

I lost the love of my life at the age of 31.  He was my best friend and I thank God every night for allowing me to find my soulmate at such a young age.  We had two beautiful children, a boy and a girl.  Our son was six and our daughter just turned one, when he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 27.  He was young, vibrant, and strong which allowed us to fight the cancer for two years until he succumbed to it.  


During my trial, people would say to me everyday, "Gosh, it must be so hard for you", I would answer, "Not really, I am thankful that I could be there every step of the way to give him what he needs, even if its just my presence that makes it easier", which it did.  We were family, he was my other half, just knowing that I was there made the entire process easier for him. He never got sick on my watch, which is difficult during chemo therapy.  Besides, I didn't really think that he would die, you just don't think that way, you think, "we'll get through this and we'll be a testimony."  Everyone would tell me, "Girl, you are strong, and God doesn't put anything on anyone that they can't handle" or "everything happens for a reason."  I would try to compose my anger and say, "Can I trade you my strength for my husband's health?" or "what is the reason that I deserve this kind of loss?"  Sometimes its just better not to say "words of comfort" because when someone is watching their world possible crumble around them SOMETIMES, there is just nothing you can say.  I went through asking myself "why me?" for two years.  On July 26, 2005, I went outside to smoke a cigarette, i came back in, washed my hands and went in to check on him..."Are you ok?"  He said, "no, I feel like I can't breathe." I rushed in and sat him up, he and I both knew what was happening.  I proceeded to tell him how much everyone loves him and thanked him for making me a wife and a mother.  He said, "I love you Lisa" and passed out in my arms. I called hospice, but i couldn't get the words, "my husband is dying" out."  The person on the other end didn't really know what I was trying to say.  I called my mom to come and get my kids. I called his mom and sister to see if they wanted to come and say goodbye, he was barely breathing at that point.  I held him for a about an hour and then I called 911.  They came in and tried to resuscitate, which was very traumatic for me because he was so skinny, I felt like they were going to break him.  He went to the hospital in an ambulance and his uncle drove me.  When I got there, I told the nurse, "they just brought my husband in."  She grabbed me by the hand and said, "Hurry, they are trying to resuscitate him,  and they won't stop until you sign the do not resuscitate papers". I did, and they stopped.  He was on a breathing maching for long enough for his mom and sisters came to say goodbye.  The doctor came in, looked at his watch and said, "time of death is 110a, you can stop the machine now"  I literally felt like someone just hit me with a bat in my chest, I keeled over and began to scream.  It wasn't until THAT moment, until i realized that he was gone and i was a widow.


I began to read a couple self help books, and one book called the "Seat Of The Soul" changed everything.  It helped me to understand that this wasn't happening to me, it happened to him and I was sent to to love and take care of him. I understood the theory of Karma and that everything in fact DOES happen for a reason.  Then I became thankful again, thankful that i had experienced such a wonderful and unconditional love. Thankful that I had two amazing children, thankful that we went through sickness and health and that it was DEATH that did us part!  Our vows were strong and true and if he was destined to go through this anyway, THANK GOD for sending me to see him through it.  I was married to my best friend and the love of my life and the daily tests that you go through in marriage was STILL hard. I can't imagine what it must be like for people that barely even like their spouses. I tell younger people that marriage is a responsibility. You are basically responsible for that other person.  What must it be like for someone to have to take on sooooooo much and HAVE to nurse someone through a fatal illness that they are not IN LOVE with?  Now THAT is a burden and I can't begin to express how thankful I am that I truly was in love with him because it was NEVER a burden, it was just something I had to do and I was happy to do it!

I started to date, not really date, but search for intimacy not long after. I just needed it in my life. The attention, I guess to distract me from my loss.  It wasn't until a year almost to the day, when I met someone worth letting in.  Love for me is not unnattainable, you just have to deal with the issues within yourself so that you do not project your insecurities on the other person. Love, IMO, is chemistry. It's a certain balance that you feel when someone genuinely loves you. I told myself for a long time, "Most people don't get as lucky as I got, ONCE in their lives, why would i get so lucky twice??"  But, I am comfortable in my own skin, and my light shines so bright that people just want to be around me. I am a hopeless romantic, however; I save my heart for someone that i can respect, and admire.  That is what love means to me, I gotta be able to look at him and see only him and WANT to give him my undivided attention. Another reason that I think I'm okay is because although I gracefully went throught the process with my husband, I never knew if it would hold up if in fact he truly passed away. I always told everyone that I was fine, and that I would be fine.  So I say that I willed it, I convinced myself that I was ok, although part of me felt  like, "there is no way that I can handle that, I hope I don't crawl in a hole and die." Words are so important, especially when you speak them into the air and you mean it!




Lisa Bell

About the author:

Lisa is a freelance writer living in Florida. She was born in Canada but raised in New York and is from Indian decent, Trinidad actually. She moved to Florida in 1990 and has been working in corporate America for 16 years. She has two amazing children, a 15 year old son and 10 year old daughter and she is a widow. She enjoys reading, writing and socializing.

Follow her @ Twitter

1 comments:

CONCRETE SOURCE MAGAZINE said...

May God continue to bless you. I commend you for your strength. Thanks for sharing your story. I know someone who is struggling with colon cancer. Watching them sometimes can make you feel helpless but God is good regardless of the circumstance.

 
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