One Month Today
(Perth, Western Australia)
My beautiful wife Monica passed away, one month ago today.
On the 15th of June 2012 at 12:33pm
I was holding her hand, together with her daughter and mother as she took her last breath.
The hardest part for me to accept, was the speed with which it all happened. She was diagnosed with Bronchial and Liver Cancer only 10 days earlier. We had to take her to hospital on the Monday with breathing difficulties. On Thursday we were told there was no hope and she was placed on a morphine drip. On the Friday she died in our hands.
The only indicator we had of what was to come, was two weeks beforehand. She had been feeling unwell and went to see her doctor. He ordered the blood tests which started the chain of events. She wasn't feeling well enough to go to work the week before the diagnosis. Beyond that, there were no warnings. She had only just celebrated her 52nd birthday.
I don't envy the people that endure a long and protracted battle with cancer. I can't even begin to imagine the hell they must have to live through. But to loose someone you love so very much, to cancer, in only 10 days is heart wrenching. When Monica was first told the news, she was so incredibly strong. We discussed going to the local cemetery and selecting a plot together. There were many other things we wanted to plan in the limited time we knew we would have. Even her very first specialist appointment, to discuss treatment options, wasn't due until the week following her death. Instead we had an agonising 10 days of deteriorating health and not knowing what was happening.
I know the question of WHY will never be answered.
It hasn't even been asked.
I know Monica didn't choose to leave us this way.
And I don't lay any blame on her.
I know she loved me.
I know she knew how much I loved her.
I have no sense of guilt.
I just have an immeasurable sense of sadness and loss.
It's not there all the time.
I try and get on with my work and my life.
And then, smack!
It hits you in the face, harder than a speeding train.
You realise that it's not just your beautiful wife you've lost.
It's your whole life.
Your entire reason for living.
I'm fortunate to have a close family and wonderful friends.
They've told me things will be easier after the funeral. That there will be a sense of acceptance and closure. The truth is they're wrong.
Yes, it was the worst time of my life.
They were the hardest things I've ever had to endure;
- watching her take her last dying breath
- identifying her body for the funeral home
- delivering a eulogy at her funeral
- watching her coffin be lowered away
These were agonisingly painful moments, filled with tears and heartache. And yes, in truth, the pain of these moments has eased. The memories of them are no longer as devastating as they were at the time. So when my family and friends ask me how I'm going. I put on a brave smile and say "not too bad" or "okay".
But the truth is, I'm not.
The hardest part is missing all those intimate moments together. Not the bedroom, but in our LIFE. Like today, just after pay day. We would always go out shopping together and buy something special. Just a carefree moment before the reality of a mortgage and all the bills slap us around a bit more. We would have lunch or diner together in a cafe or restaurant. Nothing too special or fancy.
Just the two of us, in our own little world.
Enjoying each other.
Or having someone to talk to.
Even to occasionally hurl abuse at.
Or simply to say "I love you".
Someone you can open your heart to and know you'll be safe.
It's said that to experience true happiness, it needs to be shared.
I found true love and true happiness.
And now it is gone.
This may sound terribly selfish, but ...
I no longer grieve for the loss of my darling wife.
I know she is gone and is not coming back.
I grieve for myself.
For the love in my heart, that is no longer shared.
For the happiness I can no longer find.
For the laughter and fun that is no longer here.
For the hug that I know will never come.
Or the tears that won't wipe away.
That ALONE, I cannot love myself.
Every day I wake up and turn off my heart and emotions.
And try and get on with the task of living.
But in truth, I know all I have is an existence.
Not a life.
I wrote a poem a few weeks ago that I posted here.
My Waking Demise.
I really don't know where the inspiration for it came from.
I've never had a poetic bone in my body.
But as I read it again, the reality of it continues to haunt me.
My life is my waking demise.
A living death, punctuated with the mundane moments of existence.
Like going to work, paying the bills, eating, sleeping, crying...............