Laura: He was diagnosed with a brain tumor

November 4, 2019

My husband suddenly became very ill one night and had a seizure. Our lives were never the same. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

After 8 years of the battle, he passed away. The most difficult part of that was waking up every morning not knowing if my husband would still be there.

I’ve used such a variety of coping mechanisms. My thing is being surrounded by people.

I went through this initial celebratory state where I was so happy he wasn’t suffering anymore. You see someone lose the ability to walk, to talk, to eat, to see. Those last few days I was praying he would go and be with his grandparents and family members.

I went through this phase of relief for him. Soon after that, I got really busy.

I broke all the rules and did everything they tell you not to do when you’re a widow. Don’t start a business, don’t start a business, don’t buy a home don’t get into a relationship.

I stayed so busy. I was in denial of it. I was go, go, go.

I hate being alone so much I am constantly surrounding myself with friends and family.

I’ve broken some rules and made up my own.

I realized I needed something more stable. That has helped me so much to take that time.

Being able to share my story with other people because I feel it helps people.

A lot of people just expect you to be done and be over it.

Being a 3rd wheel for me isn’t so bad. It’s worse to sit at home alone than go out and be with couples. I’d sure rather be out with people than sitting home alone.

Everything hit me later. I didn’t start going to bereavement group until 6-months later. You start to remember all the things you miss that aren’t there. Because he was sick for so long everything that year before was so different. Everything happened so slowly.

Where I am now…I’m happy, I have a great business, I’d love to have kids…I’ve thought about adopting…I do still hope to meet someone. I haven’t given up on that. 

A lot of people have pulled away. Friends you thought would always be there have pulled away. But then, the ones you didn’t expect would be there for you have grown closer. The relationships have changed. 

I obviously still miss my husband but it’s a different type of loss when family members and friends pull away from you.

I have heard from fellow widows that people just kind of don’t want to hear about it anymore. 

Losing some relationships for no good reason…that’s hard. That makes you reflect on all the bad stuff that’s happened even more.

I coordinate a walk each year and we walk in honor of my husband. For me family is so important.

I’m really close with my mother and my grandmother who is ninety-nine and a half!

I’ve learned that I’m okay supporting myself and I can do it. I had my husband for so long, we supported each other. We did everything together. I never thought I’d be able to do it after he passed. That was what I feared…being alone, not having him and not being able to support myself. 

I surprised myself. I did everything I never imagined I could do on my own and its worked out really well.

I was in go mode. Pressing forward and taking care of business.

Oh my gosh, I’ve done so much! I’m really proud of myself.

I never would have imagined I would be doing this all on my own. I’ve really come a long way.

I had no regrets because I know we did everything we could. Fighting for his life and living our lives to the fullest.

I had him for 16 years in my life and I know how blessed I am.

Hearing other people’s stories really helped me. Incredibly therapeutic. It’s okay to have a moment and know it’s okay to cry. That helps so much to be able to address that.  It took me a while to get there.

I love to stay busy. I definitely don’t like to stay home.

It’s inspiring and it’s helpful to listen to different reasons people have become single. It’s not easy being single.

I wanted a house full of people and kids and family. You make do and you make the best of it and keep moving forward.

My husband was one of the most positive most amazing people I ever knew. We lived life to the fullest. 

Phone calls, invites, that kind of stuff really helps. Check-in on your friends and family.

I do encourage people to stay busy and make plans. It’s so easy to stay at home in front of the TV or the computer. Get out, be active, join groups, call a friend, meet new friends. People need to be with people. Surround yourself with good people.

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