Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Message to Michael

A Healing Process,
originally uploaded by *Libby*.

Dear Michael,

I am turning to you tonight, as I'm experiencing a bit of writer's block. Actually, I keep thinking of various topics to touch on, but for some reason can't seem to commit to any of them.

In the last couple of days I have experienced little glimmers of hope. I am able to recognized that the path I am on is the right path. Perhaps it's because I don't know how else to do this. If I must live my life without you, then I need to be able to celebrate the life I had with you. I'm realizing that moving on is not going to mean getting over the loss of you, it's acknowledging the loss, and incorporating the loss into each given day.

Somehow I would like to think that there is a beginning and end to each of life's difficult experiences. Maybe it's because of the phrases we say to each other, or to ourselves. The one that I've heard myself say, and have heard said to me, is that "time heals." But what I have never really thought much about is what does healing mean?

Okay, Michael, I just looked up the word "healing." Most definitions I found online said it was "to cure" or "to restore to health." Hence the unrealistic expectation, that I will somehow be restored or cured.

I remember when you were diagnosed with the brain tumor. We were told that this is what you would die from. What we were fighting against was the odds of long term survival. We learned that it was a numbers game. With each passing month, year, the chance of survival went down. I remember resenting the hell out of long term survivors we would hear speak at various conferences. It's not as if they were doing something right and you were doing something wrong. It was that they were somehow responding better than others. And, as we learned, every time we went to a conference it was the same person speaking!

Well, it is so easy to get caught up in trying to get through my grief in the same way of thinking. If I do this right, I will be healed in the end, right? Wrong.

Michael, I know there is no cure for what ails me. I know that I won't be restored either, because what would I be restored to? Before I met you I was missing something quite significant...You!

I suppose healing is the process, not an end result. I miss you so much today, and I will miss you so much tomorrow. I expect that in time I will just become more familiar with missing you. My feelings for you will not change. I loved you yesterday, I love you today, and I will still love you tomorrow. I am very comfortable loving you.

Today I became very aware that part of my healing process is being willing to accept that the process has already begun. It's a painful process. To get through this I have to be willing to acknowledge that somedays are better than others. I have to admit that after an occasional long night of intense grieving, the sun rises. I get myself out of bed, look in the mirror, and marvel that I got through it. With each moment of intense grief I feel as though I will not survive it, but then I do. This is so important for me to see, and yet so difficult to accept.

Oh my dear, I'm just now understanding what survivors guilt means. Losing you has been the worst thing I have ever experienced. I know that in many ways I will always have you, but not in the way that I did, and not in the way that I want. I'm learning that part of this painful process is being open to the idea that I will survive this. Being the survivor is not easy to accept. To be a survivor means that someone else, you, did not. Just the act of writing these words feels so harsh, so unjust, inhumane, wrong.

Know this Michael. When I met you I was changed, my heart was changed. When I lost you my heart was broken, and as a result I feel broken. Now my heart will need to change once again, I will need to change. I have no idea what that will look like, or feel like. But I know this, it can't be worse. How can my heart be worse when it was changed for the better because of you. I will not allow that to happen.

In six days it will have been three months since you have been gone. I'm not sure what that means, or why it just came to mind. But I know that it is significant. It is a milestone, just as so many other days have been.

This is a letter of love Michael. I know you love me, and I know you watch over me. Thank you.




  1. Dan, it is a hard thing to do, especially in the early days, simply to smile, laugh or enjoy something without the love of your life to share it with.

    You are right, so right about the definition of "healing". This is the way I look at it:

    We had equilibrium.
    Disaster struck.
    We are wobbly for however long it takes.
    Eventually we find a NEW equilibrium.
    But we never ever go back to the old equilibrium, because we, and our world have changed.

    Yes, we are broken ... but like a loved piece of porcelain we can be glued back together. The cracks - the glue - represent the empathy that we gain, as well as our love and memories of our husbands, our new found strength too. They are part of the "changed" us ...

    Love to you
    Boo xx

  2. I like the way you think. I've been through many difficult times in my life, but nothing comes close to this one.

    Tonight was the last night of my 8 week bereavement group. We all walked out of there saying the time went by too fast. I think we are all feeling like we are too new to this to be on our own.

    Whenever I come back to my blog I am reminded that I am not alone. Thanks for being part of the glue that is keeping me together.

    Love back to you.