Matt, today is a beautiful day. The sun is shining. The sky is a magnificent shade of blue. I should be able to enjoy the beauty but today my darkness found me.
I never know when it will return until I feel it building like a storm churning out at sea. Just off my horizon threatening and ominous. There are times it dissipates before hitting but today it hit full force.
I never know what brings it on. Perhaps it’s the memories of our lives before your death. Perhaps it my loss of the life I lived before my cancer treatments and surgeries. Perhaps it’s the guilt for not understanding how your chronic back pain drove you to seek relief through poison pills.
Now that I live with your pain my thoughts turn to how horrible it must have been for someone so young to endure daily pain. I feel like I’m re living your life as a lesson only to be learned by experiencing exactly what you did.
You injured your back. That injury led to surgery. That surgery changed how you were able to work and live. Your limitations forced you to give up your business and to make lifestyle changes no one your age should ever have to make. You lost your ability to do everything you loved and masked the pain both physical and emotional with pills.
I injured my back. A tumor was found and surgery followed. Cancer was found. That surgery changed how I was able to live. No longer could I do any of the things that helped keep the darkness away. No more riding my bike screaming into the wind. No more yoga where I could stretch and twist and breathe the grief away. No more digging in the dirt, planting colorful flowers to ease my pain.
Now all I have is time. Time to remember, relive, and rethink every moment of how life used to be. Time to pray for peace in dealing with the losses of my life. Time to remember life when the memories weren’t coated in grief.