Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Progressive

Option A is not available.  So let's just kick the shit out of Option B.
                                      -from Option B written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

A year ago we walked hand in hand out of an appointment with the oncologist elated that we received the news that we had been hoping for-my husband was going to survive cancer.  It seemed easy.  My husband strong, vibrant and healthy, later we both talked about how lucky he was to get out of it so easy.  No further treatment necessary. Other people suffered so, we both carried a tinge of guilt and relief.

Well, long story short.  My husband suffered greatly.  I stood by him helpless, despite our attempts to find answers.  Month after month everything got cloudy as overnight my husband who was doing 1,000 sit ups a day in June transformed into a frail old man who could not bend down to tie his shoe.  Six months after we received repeated messages, "He's not going to die from this," my husband died early one morning holding the hand of one of his dearest friends.

I don't really want to be a widow, but I am.  I cling to routine.  It gives me comfort.  I tire as easily as I cry.  I laugh when I think of my husband and my heart literally expands when I think of our love. 

Fortunately, he gave me room to explore and discover myself while we were a couple.  Igniting my creativity makes me feel whole.  I write.  I am a photographer.  I dabble in drawing and play around with Zentangles.  I paint, but I don't really know what I am doing. (I have enrolled in two online classes.)  I can sew a fairly straight line with not so even stitches and I knit-usually one scarf a year.  Metalsmithing is something new for me and it gives me great satisfaction even though I am just learning.  Because I  built a life beyond a "couple-ship" through the support of my husband, I am able to engage in activities that help piece me back together.  This was a gift from my progressive husband who let me spend hours in the darkroom while he tended to the kids by changing diapers and doling out snacks.  I know how lucky I was and I consider myself to be darn lucky now despite the fact that I no longer have the physical presence of my love by my side.  I intend to "kick the shit out of plan B" and recreate and expand myself.  I have many options.  There is no escape from grief, but I intend to learn to live with it.


Mary Ann Reilly said...

Grief morphs and changes. The necessities that come with life become demanding and pull us from grief as well. Redefine yourself. Art seems to matter.

travelinma said...

Art has always mattered to me, but even more so now.