My husband, the father of my teenage sons, died 18 days ago.
I am blogging about “the new normal” to save my sanity. I hope to be of service in the process.
Mark was a throat cancer patient. His official diagnosis came on his 46th birthday, and he died less than two months after his 48th birthday, from complications from radiation therapy.
This blog is a continuation – an attempt at a continuation – of the journey that I recorded in Mark’s CaringBridge site, found here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/markdaves.
Fresh grief. Reality is still unreality.
I understand that I have not had a conversation (well, not a two-way conversation) with my husband since March 21, 2012, the night before he died. I understand that 18 days have gone past me like a shot. I also understand that it seems like ages have passed since I got the early-morning phone call to rush to the hospital, “He’s not doing well at all.”
I know that the memorial service was attended by 400 witnesses. I have held the ashes in my hands, seen the tiny fragments of calcium, bleached white.
Doesn’t matter. Can’t be true. Not real. Can’t make me know it.
I’m still half-waiting for Mark to come out of the shower, ala Bobby Ewing, and laugh at me for crying over a bad dream.
A blessing, sure enough. If reality hit all at once, I would probably run mad. I might just do it anyway. (In fact, I almost titled this blog “Running Mad,” just to get the urge to run mad out of the way, but it turns out somebody else owns that URL. )
It will take time, I know that. It’s also going to take some therapy, too.
The last six months of Mark’s illness were awful, with ambulances and emergency rooms, the stuff that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders are made of. As the worst-possible scenario started to form into a likely outcome, in a precious moment of meditative stillness, a voice came to me, cutting through the fear and dread and doubt. It said, essentially, “If you can write about it, you’ll get through it.”
The CaringBridge site was my saving grace and my release, and the best way to communicate with the people who loved and carried Mark, and me, and our kids, through the terrible blessing of cancer.
This site, I hope, will help carry me through the “new normal”of life without Mark.
We had 24 years, 4 months, and 15 days of togetherness. You don’t just get over that, and a rough visit to CancerLand, overnight.
So, here we go….