Mike died of cancer at age 30.

by Sharon

My husband, Mike, died of cancer when he was 30 years old. I was 26. Our daughter was 7. He died in Feb 1978. Yes, 1978. I am telling my story now because I didn't deal with my grief then. How do you deal with it after almost 34 years? Can you do this after so much time has passed? You see, I didn't want to face it. I didn't want to feel the pain. Intellectually, I knew he was gone and never coming back. I had a 7 year old daughter to take care of, but I never shared my grief with her and she didn't share her grief with me. In reality, we both needed grief counseling, but no one suggested it. She was sad. I was sad. Of course! Her father and my husband had just died. It was normal to be sad. But, just because it was normal, doesn't mean we didn't need help.
Mike was sick with cancer for 2 years before he died. While that might imply that it was "anticipatory grief", I'm not sure it was. I was surely frightened of the idea of him dying, but I held out hope that he wouldn't die until very close to the end. We finally did have time to say goodbye the night before he died. I told him I would be okay and that I would take care of our daughter and he encourage me to remarry. In fact, he encouraged me to remarry very soon.
After he died, I was in shock for a few weeks. Then I started dating. Within 6 weeks I had my first date with my current husband, Larry, and Larry and I were married within 11 months after Mike died. This might seem shocking to some. It helps to remember that I was 26 years old. But I didn't escape the grief. In fact, I cried on Larry's shoulder during our courtship and into our marriage. It doesn't happen as often now, but I'm still crying on Larry's shoulder.
There's much more to the story, but I need to diverge a bit at this point. My ex-sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer. The cancer has spread. They removed several organs, but they weren't able to remove all the cancer. She will have chemo and the family is hopeful that it can be controlled. It doesn't sound hopeful to me. Last week I was feeling so much anger. Now I mostly feel sad. I couldn't figure out why I was so angry. But, of course, I was so angry after Mike died. I was angry for years! And so it was my "go-to" emotion after hearing about my sister-in-law. We were all young together. Mike died. And now she is very sick with cancer. And I can't think about this without crying.

Comments for Mike died of cancer at age 30.

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Oct 11, 2011
not judging but...
by: Anonymous

I am sorry for your loss. When you lose your spouse of so many years you HAVE to give yourself time to grieve in the steps you need and if you don't you , and any new relationship you have, will suffer. We have to go through the stages in a normal manner. IF we take on new relationships too early they are doomed to fail. What man or woman wants to hear or see you cry over someone else? It's not fair to them. We need to regroup and find out who we are all over again. Death of a loved one changes who we are.

We are vulnerable in grief and the loneliness that comes with it and we have to give ourselves time to heal before entering into another relationship. Otherwise we end up making some bad choices in our need to feel closeness or fear of being alone.

I would worry about the cancer gene that your husbands family had and if it was passed on to your daughter.

Oct 10, 2011
Delayed grief
by: Anonymous

I have a friend who is still dealing with the loss of her husband after 14 years. Sometimes I am discourage, mine has only been gone for 7 months and I fear that I will be grieving that long! Having said that, I made a major mistake of becoming involved with someone a couple of months ago. He let me cry on his shoulder at first and it made a bond that became terribly unhealthy! Instead of dealing with the loss of my husband, I used this man to relieve some of the sadness. It did not help that he has issues with commitment so we have of course been in this up and down relationship! Right now it is down and I am not only dealing with the loss of him and his emotional support, I am dealing with the loss of my husband like he died yesterday! Hang in there and get whatever therapy that is necessary for you and your child to be healthy! I have joined a grief group and hopefully it will help me deal with the loss of the "men" in my life! Good luck and keep on writing---it helps!

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