MY Rock is Gone

by Carly
(NB, Canada)

I lost my husband of 12 years to esophagus cancer on May 16,2012. He was only 43 years old. I now have to raise our 2 beautiful daughters ages 4 and 6 on my own and what a scary thought that is for me.

Ryan was diagnosed August of 2011 after he was having trouble swallowing his food. The scope came back and told us it was cancer. We were shocked. The Doctors thought it was in the one spot and we got it early. He had his esophagus removed on Dec.16,2011 and we were able to bring him home on Christmas Eve at 4pm (little did we know then that it would be his last Christmas with us). We found out in January of 2012 when the pathology report came back that the cancer had moved into some limp nods so we got his chemo started right away. A few weeks into chemo he lost sight in one eye that is when we found out the cancer started to spread. He then got weak in one leg and they found the cancer spread more. He just kept going downhill after that. It ended up taking his eye,both legs,bladder, voice and was spreading into the brain. The Doctors thought he
would last about 3 months after the spreading started instead he lasted one week.

I have no regrets on my part. I took a leave from my job to stay home and look after him and the kids.

I am getting by day by day staying busy with the kids and doing as much fun stuff with them as I can because it is so unfair to them. Ryan was the most wonderful father and did so much with the kids all the time. The oldest child still cries every night over him and tells me how much she misses him. My heart breaks every night listening to her cry.

I always called him my rock. When I would panic over things he would calm me down just by talking it out.

He was the most positive person I ever met. The whole time he was sick he never complained and just said he was going to beat this. The sad part of his positive attitude there was no good bye from him.

He had so many friends the wakes and funeral were so busy. Once you met him once you never forgot him. Why is it that this stuff always happens to the good people.

I get so sad and scard when I think of the future and what he will miss out with our children and all the decisions I will have to make on my own.

I have read all the stories on this site and it is comforting to know so many other people are in the same place as I am and trying to get past all this grief we have. People tell me time will make things easier but at the 3 month stage things still feel the same to me.

I pray that we will meet again some day and that he is watching over us and will help me make decisions like he always did before.

Always loved by your wife Carly and daughters.

Comments for MY Rock is Gone

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Aug 09, 2012
My Rock is gone
by: Dee U.K.

Carly I am so sorry for your loss of your husband Ryan to cancer. Your husband is the same age as my oldest child 43yrs. I am so sorry that you are so young to be a widow and to have to bring up the children without the support of your husband. I was married for 44yrs. and lost my husband 3 months ago. It is early days. None of us know what to expect from our grief days, how long they will last and how painfull those days to come may be. We can only take one day at a time. It is scary to look too far ahead. But saying this we sometimes have to look ahead as plans have to be made and often this takes us into the future. But let it be the immediate future otherwise this grief would swallow us up.
The worst part of losing one's husband is just what you say. Making decisions by yourself and not having your husband for support.
My husband was an exhibition carpenter and worked all over the world for the last 44 years of his working life. He worked with Asbestos in his 20's and was cutting asbestos and ended up with a deadly cancer. I was his caregiver for 3yrs.39days. It is heartbreaking watching the one you love die slowly, and in a painfull way and there is nothing you can do to help them or make things better. It intensifies our grief. Having your children will mean this is a diversion for you. But in the difficult days of grief you still have to be mom and this must be very difficult. I hope that you have good supportive family and friends to help you through your grief and help you day to day till life gets better. You will live and love again. But it will take time. Nothing or No one can replace what we as wives have lost. But this does not mean we have to close the door on companionship and warmth if it comes our way. It is however a very Lonely life getting to where we need to be so that we move forward in life. Best wishes

Aug 08, 2012
I can relate
by: Sandy N


I lost my beautiful husband Tom on May 9th 2012. He was healthy, fit and the most positive person you could ever want to meet. On March 22nd he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Just 5 weeks later he was gone at just 46 years old. He had his colon resection on his 46th b'Day (March 30th) I met Tom 22 years ago when he was 24 and I was 31. I was a newly divorced mother of 3 small children. He owned an indoor skateboard park that my 8 year old son frequented. We fell in love almost immediately and very quickly went into business together. For 22 years we have spent every day together. Like your husband Carly, my Tom was so positive that he never accepted that he would lose this battle. In some ways I have struggled with this because we never had that final goodbye. In other ways I am so happy that he never realized that the battle was lost because the toxins from his liver went to his brain very quickly. My sixteen year old who was the only child left at home was very close to her dad. She also possesses many of his strengths. Shortly after he died she said to me " Mom, I am sick of all the books telling us how to survive. I want to do more than survive, I want to thrive again." She has been to two National Cycling events ( since may 9th) and has come home with 4 medals with podium finishes. What I have concluded since May 9th is that there is no one easy answer. We talk a lot and cry a lot. I train with my daughter on our bikes everyday the same as Tom and I did before. Exercise helps me to release the stress that comes with the loss.I have even uttered the words , wow the weather is great today. Those moments I realize that I can feel joy again , albeit on a small scale right now. Sorry to ramble, I guess that's my grief relief for the day.

Aug 07, 2012
MY Rock is Gone
by: Milagros (Mexico)

Carly, I am very sorry for your loss. Your story is like my story. I lost my husband, my best friend, the father of my daughters (11 & 7 y/o), my everything, in March 2012. He was killed by a robber. He would be 43 on july 11th. It has been a long and difficult road. It is very hard to be alone when we were always together since 1996 (important decisions, work, fun, school of the girls, arguments). I do not smoke, drink or watch TV. I am in therapy and have found some shelter in books. I have read a lot of books about grief, but now I am not interested in this topic (all say the same). But I discovered in the Internet two very interesting authors who have written that death does not exist, it is only a transition. They are Michael Newton (Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls) and Erika Kübler-Ross (The Dougy Letter - A Letter to a Dying Child, and some others). I have found some comfort after reading their books. Please try to look at them, maybe they can help you too.
God bless you and your family.

Aug 07, 2012
You will now be the rock
by: Hope


I remember that feeling. Trying to raise a 11 year old without my rock. Everyone told me how wonderful it was that I had my son to raise, as if that would get me through grief. In the beginning, lets say the 1st 6 months it was my son that was trying to fix my grief. I was having a hard time even being able to experience grief trying to keep it hidden from him.

I too tried to make a life for Brandon though I did not feel like it and cared about little. I wondered how am I to raise a child who has just been diagnosed with Asperger's 6 months after Paul's death.

I will tell you now that it is 2 1/2 years plus into grief that things do change. We adapt to this new life ever so gradually that we wonder if we will ever beat it. We tend to think that it is something we have to over come when in reality.

Grief is a huge adjustment. When we finally get tired of grief being the master of our lives. Tired of the over whelming blahs that make living so bland and gray.

Now Brandon and I try to live life to the fullest.
This summer has been local concerts, Kansas, ZZ Top,Steve Miller Band (tommorrow) and whoa I can't even believe it...Areosmith and Cheap Trick Next weekend! Lynyrd Skynyrd some where in August.

Baseball games, Museums etc. All things that I thought I could not do with out My Love.

Yes at first it was forced. Fake smiles pasted to my face. Trying to make out that things were o.k breaking down in private, and occasionally in public. Usually a memory, having pictures reprinted for an album for the kids. I eventually just told them to take the pictures that they wanted. Able to reprint them but still not strong enough to make an album for each.

You will get through this in your own way your own time. Just do not let anyone tell you that you should be over it by now.

We widows never are over it, we just adjust to it.
One breath one step at at time...

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