The New Normal?

November 23, 2016

323 days ago, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to get through another day.  Nor, did I want to. The emptiness of losing my husband has been overwhelming.  The past nine-and-a-half months have been even harder than the nine-and-a-half years we spent fighting the stupid cancer.  I remember in 2007, the doctors telling us that we would have a new normal.  We refused to believe that.  But 332 days ago, I had to face a new normal.  So far…..nothing is normal….except getting up and going to work.

For the past 332 days, my new normal has consisted of coming home to an empty house every night….not having anyone to share dreams with as we lie together at night….not buying groceries….because, what’s the point?  It’s only me here.

I cry uncontrollably.  I fight anxiety of upcoming special days and holidays.  I cry some more until I finally drift off to sleep.  Then, I dream of him….and they haven’t been of happy times; no, they are always of his final days.  It haunts me….and I reluctantly awaken each morning with emotional exhaustion just to do it all over again in a few hours.

For 332 days I have tried to find meaning in all the pain.  With no luck, I’ve tried to find myself again.  I have wept silently and I have screamed in the woods just to make sure God heard me.  I never want to forget the pain of losing my husband because that pain is from the loss of the love we shared.  It’s not “normal” for me to feel vulnerable….weak….alone.

The Black Hole

This is the first time I have been sick in a long time.  I was always the one making sure I was healthy so I could take care of my sick husband.  It’s very rare that I get sick, but when I do, it hits pretty hard.  I’ve been glued to the couch for the past four days with nausea, vomiting, migraines and dehydration.  I am shaking, I am weak and I am crying.  Uncontrollably.

It’s times like these that I miss that companionship of my husband that vowed to be there in sickness and in health.  Although I am very private when I am sick (I don’t want anyone holding my hair back or listening to me wretch), these past four days I have come to the realization of just how alone I am.  I’m a big baby.  I don’t like being alone when I am sick.

For four days, I have not had the strength to lift my head, to walk to the kitchen, or try to eat.  This has definitely stalled my rebound.  I’ve also had four days to wallow in self-pity and mourn the loss of my husband as I lie here alone on the couch….and oh yeah, dragging to the door to let the dogs out because they’ve been whining at an ear piercing decibel for I don’t even know how long now.

I feel I am being swallowed by a black hole of sadness and I can’t fight my way out.  I can’t see beyond the ceramic throne….let alone try to see the glory of HIS thrown through this loss.

I’ve arrived at a dangerous place of loneliness, heartache, anxiety and grief.  I need to stay busy, but I physically can’t.  I know I need to keep moving, keep reaching, keep believing….but I am exhausted; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I begged God last night for just a glimpse of Heaven….just a glimpse of my husband.  Please, just a peak so I can know that all I am going through is not in vain.  And…..Nothing.  Just floating on my back in that black hole.  I am fighting with everything I’ve got to keep moving forward.  How long will I feel like I am sinking?

I began to stare at pictures of the Black Hole. My mind wandered aimlessly trying to figure out where that black hole lead to.  After quite some time, I noticed that my focus had unintentially shifted from the darkness of the hole to the beauty of the stars encompassing it.  Even at the darkest part of the center, the hole is surrounded by shimmering lights.  Hope.  Maybe if I keep treading long enough I will float back to the surface and see the lights.  I want to see the lights.  I need to see the lights.

Maybe you are like me, and you’ve been focusing on the darkness.  Everything you’ve lost. Everything that has been broken.  Everything that has been taken.  Everything that seems out of reach.  Grief can take us down a dangerous path of isolation, loneliness, depression and despair.  But we must keep treading.  We must keep moving toward the light.  I refuse to give up even when my heart can’t take anymore.  I need to be surrounded by the light.

When I finally get to the top of this sinkhole, I will look back and see the beauty of your light that was surrounding me.  Lord, keep me from sinking.  Help me keep my eyes on You so I can rest in your light.

All My Love,

Stina-B

Another New Normal

This is the post excerpt.

I can’t believe I’m finally doing this.  Telling a story about an extraordinary individual from my perspective.  I will be honest, transparent and…..vulnerable to the best of my ability.  I love with everything that is in me and I hope you feel that love through my story.

To catch you up to Chapter 10 in my journey, here is the cliff note version:  My husband, “Spike” and I had an incredible love story.  The kind that movies are made of.  The kind that went through the fire and came out stronger.  The kind that was challenged every day, even in the face of death.  9 1/2 years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma…CANCER.  I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with him….but he spent the rest of his life with me.  He went to Heaven on January 6, 2016.  Cancer took so much of our time, strength, energy and vocabulary that I almost hate to give it a place here.

So, this blog will not focus solely on the C@NC3R itself, but what I learned about life after the doctors told us we would have a “new normal”.  Now, almost a decade later, I am a….. (I can’t hardly spit out the word)……WIDOW.  That is the first time I have acknowledged this dreadful fact.

It’s been seven months since the funeral and I’m having a hard time moving on.  I don’t know how to handle life after love.  Ours was so rare, so genuine, so special, so…..real.

Once again, I am being told that I am going to have another “new normal”.

I’m hoping that by blogging it helps bring healing to my heart….and maybe even yours because maybe we have something in common.  Maybe you’ve been through a loss or are facing a difficult situation right now.  Maybe you’re as exhausted as me.  Tired of putting on a game face to prove to the world…or maybe just yourself…how strong you are.  Truth is….my heart feels like it is dying.  I’m in survival mode.  Just doing what I gotta do to get through another day, another hour, another minute.  Maybe, just maybe….you feel that way too.

Let’s be real….let’s be honest.  I give all of my love…all of the time, even if it hurts.  You can trust me…..I’ve been there…..I understand and I want to hear your story too.

So, here’s to you and me, finding a new normal….whatever that is.

All my love,

Stina-B

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