Matt, There are days I don’t recognize myself anymore. I though grieving you would be the biggest hurdle of my life. I’m finding that grieving who I used to be is becoming a hurdle that seems impossible to jump over.
So much has changed in these last two years. You have been gone 6 years and I’d begun to think I had finally found stable footing. Funny, I look back now and laugh at how I foolishly thought my life had stabilized.
Nothing could have prepared me for the avalanche of grief that was waiting right around the corner for me. Being diagnosed with cancer was something I never saw coming. It was another of those rouge waves that hits with such force you are left helplessly struggling to break through the surface of the water fighting to find your breath.
I never realized how much I took for granted. When the waves of your loss would hit I would get on my bike and physically exhaust myself until I felt a semblance of calm return to my soul. If the weather was bad I would grab my yoga mat and find my zen place as I stretched my muscles holding poses until I could no longer feel the chest tightness or racing beats of my heart.
Today, my physical body has endured the brutal treatments to help me beat this ugly disease. My back is no longer able to bend or twist. I am full of rods and screws. My bike hangs in the garage. It’s become a symbol of the independence I’ve lost. My days of beating back the grief has disappeared like the woman I was before your death.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful this disease was cut out of my body. I’m grateful for the radiation that was guaranteed to kill any ugly cells left behind. I just wish I had known how the reality of my treatments would have impacted my ability to handle the anxiety that comes when the reality of your death hits me head on. I’ve lost my physical ways of coping. The best I can do is walk and I can’t walk long enough or far enough to make a dent in my grief.
Now I depend on my daily dose of xanax or my THC or CBD. I hate who I have become. I never understood your dependence on pills. I foolishly though that you should have handled your anxiety with physical activity like I did. Little did I know how debilitating back surgery was and how it impacted your life. For that I apologize to you my beautiful boy.
I hate walking around with that lump in my throat. I hate how my mind has taken over and fills me with fear of what my future might hold. I hate that some days all I can think of is death and leaving everything I love behind. I hate that you’re not here to help me through my dark days.
I hate that PTSD has become my constant companion. I long for those days when we were both healthy and life was a breeze. I miss our endless walks on the beach. Our laughter as we remembered your antics as a kid. We were so much alike. I wonder how you would have reacted if you were still alive knowing I had a potentially life threatening disease.
I survive by praying for healing of both my mind and body. I pray that you have found your peace and one day we will once again walk on a heavenly beach together both healed from our diseases filled with peace and joy. Until then memories of who we used to be will carry me until we meet again.