Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Life's Detours

     When my son died, I took a long and major detour off the path that was my life.  My husband was very ill.  He had been in a nursing home for several years.  As much as one can, I was prepared for his death.  Well, you never know what fate has in store for you.  Instead of my husband dying, our son Chris was killed.
     I had been feeling sorry for myself because I was still dealing with some complications from breast cancer, working everyday and visiting the nursing home daily.  Chris dying plunged me into a spiral of despair, self-doubt and anger.  It was too much for my husband.  He died six weeks later.  I had asked Chris to bring Dad home to end his suffering.  With both gone, now I was alone.
     I lost my way on the detour.  I no longer wanted to live.  Luckily, I had some very close friends who didn't give up on me and a pastor who was there for me.  These factors, along with my faith and counseling,  helped me.  I chose to go on.  I figured if people weren't giving up on me, then I had to respond.  The last thing I wanted was to become bitter and angry and push everyone away.
     One of my friends came every weekend.  They took me places like craft fairs and shopping.  They invited me to dinner.  I did things with them, I couldn't do on my own.  I don't think I could ever re-pay them or thank them enough.
     I learned that isolation was my worst enemy.  I realized I had to be open to some help and friendly gestures even though I didn't feel like it.  It was a small start to getting back on the road to possibly continuing the journey of life.  Notice I said close friends.  I had to be selective about who I associated with and where I went.  I would avoid large gatherings.  When I experienced distress from certain people or situations, I no longer exposed myself to them.  I felt there was no point in bringing unnecessary stress to my self.
     Even though I needed the love and support of others, this did not include all types of activity.  I had to trust my judgement  and be kind to myself.  Once, I had to leave a gathering because I became so upset by someone's conversation.  My friend understood, had her son get my car and I left by the back door.  But, it was okay.  It was a learning experience in feeling my way back to life.
     I hope you can relate, Dear Readers, to some of what I said and be able to get out little by little.
Peace and God bless.



GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

So many terrible things to deal with all at the same time. And to lose your husband right after your son meant that you couldn't even share the devastating grief of your son's death with the other person in the world who knew and loved him as much as you.
It's been one year now and I still can't attend social functions at all. At most, I can be with a few people (socially) at a time, and that depends on which people. I'm only able to take baby steps still.

rosemarie kaupp said...

Dear Graham forever in My Heart,
It's only been a year. You are doing just fine by seeing close friends. You are not isolated and that's good. It was a long time for me before I could go to social functions. I still can't go to funerals unless I go with someone. You have to follow your instincts and be kind to yourself. Don't expect to be super human. All of us need to start with baby steps. Life will gradually get better if you just plug along and do what you are able to do. Be patient with yourself. I will pray for you and please think of me in your prayers.