Matt, it’s been a while since I’ve written. I’ve thought of you everyday but this cancer treatment and the two surgeries have really beat me down. I don’t even have the energy to cry about everything that’s happening to me. Your loss hits so hard every time I remember you complaining about your back pain after your surgery.
Never in a million years could I ever have imagined that pain would one day invade my body as like you I’ve had back surgery and I’m filled with screws and rods.
How I wish you could come back just for a few hours. I would beg your forgiveness for not being more compassionate towards your pain. I always thought you just wanted an excuse to use the opioids that finally got you addicted and contributed to your death.
All I wanted to do was get you off the pills so you could get your life back in order. Little did I know how you were suffering every day of your life.
I guess that saying is true, Until you walk in someone’s shoes keep your opinions to yourself. I now understand why you would never sleep in your bed. I’d always come downstairs to find you sleeping on the couch with the TV blaring. I blamed you getting high and falling asleep in positions that looked horribly uncomfortable. I remember waking you up and urging you to go to bed only to have you scowl at me.
Now I get it. I can’t believe that I have such a hard time sleeping through the night. I start out in my bed but wake after a few hours in excruciating pain. I need to get up and walk until the pain settles and then I find myself in the recliner just like I found you.
I’ve also been given OxyContin. I’ll admit I had no choice but to take a few as my pain was unbearable at times. Every time I handle that prescription bottle I flash back to you. It is the only thing that helps with the pain but I’m terrified of becoming addicted like you did. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to continue to live in pain every moment of every day. I feel like God is teaching me a very valuable lesson in empathy. I truly had no idea what you went through until now as I’m going through the same painful journey after back surgery.
I wish we could go back in time. Knowing what I now know I would have treated you with compassion instead of expecting you to go to work everyday functioning like a person in perfect shape. Telling you I understand now really makes no difference as you’ve been gone for 5 years and 2 months.
I hope you hear my prayers for you. I hope you know how sorry I am and most of all I hope you forgive me. I’ve been living like this for 3 months, you lived with this for 7 years as you struggled with chronic pain and the horror of addiction.
There are no words to describe my grief over losing you and now losing me. I can no longer advocate the way I used to. I can’t walk the dogs or do anything that once brought me stress relief and a slice of happiness. This is not the life I envisioned for us. I saw you married with children, living at your happy place by the sea. I saw family vacations with grandkids and grand pups running and jumping in the surf as you and I sat together on the sand sharing the beauty of life. I saw you and Mike growing older together sharing the joys of fatherhood. I never saw you dying at 37 or me fighting cancer at 63. I guess it’s true, we have no control over how life will twist and turn. That for me is the hardest to accept. I thought I could save you. Now I’m fighting for my life not knowing what the outcome will be. I can only hope that one day we will be together again sitting by the sea, no longer in pain but in paradise. 💜♥️