Live Your Own Story

I had a very busy day yesterday…went to bed without writing about it…and then tossed and turned all. night. long. There was almost a 2:00am blog post…

Yesterday I went with 5 other women from my grief counseling group on a road trip/field trip. We drove over to Stillwater…walked around a bit and had lunch…and then drove up to Taylor’s Falls…had ice cream…and drove back. It was the first time I had met any of these ladies in person…but it really didn’t feel like it at all. There were a lot of laughs…and only a few tears…plus there was gorgeous weather. It was a really good day. It’s amazing how sharing heartache can form strong bonds pretty quickly.

In the evening I met up with the insurance guy I wrote about a few weeks back who lost his wife to brain cancer 5 years ago. That was great too. Although his wife had a different kind of cancer than Jason, he and I had a lot of similar experiences and emotions as spouses and caregivers. He was the first person who I have encountered that really “gets it”…brain cancer…young spouse…kids…trying to hold the pieces together somehow. He gave me a lot of things to think about. Two of them have been in the forefront of my mind today.

The first is the idea that “people are watching me” to see how I deal with Jason’s death…how our family deals with it…how we journey through grief…and spiritual/religious beliefs that are all wrapped up in that. Obviously I write a blog about my journey. It started with Caring Bridge…as a tool for me to keep people informed about Jason’s health and how our family was doing…then with this blog it morphed into something much more for me than for anyone else. Writing helps me process my day…my feelings…things that have happened. This is where I am “real”.

So let me be completely real for a second because the insurance guy asked me about my spiritual path last night…fair question…and I think maybe one of the things that people wonder about as they are “watching me” grieve. Other than asking for prayers…and thanking people for their prayers…I don’t really say much about it. Why?? Because I believe in God but I am also completely confused and more than a little bit angry right now. I do believe that Jason is in Heaven. He was such a completely good person how could he not be?? But why did this happen to him?? Why do horrible things like this happen to good people when there are so many assholes out there walking around completely healthy?? I want to stomp my foot at how unfair that is. Insurance guy said that there is always a bigger picture…a bigger plan…we just can’t see it yet. I guess I’d like to believe that in some way some good can happen out of all of this pain.

I remember a night when Jason was sick. We were laying in bed and I was crying. Completely heartbroken…overwhelmed…devastated. I said to him “I just don’t understand why this is happening to you” You know what he said? “Cancer doesn’t care”. Why is it that he was able to be so much more accepting of his fate than me? He was always the better person. The one with more grace. The one who was just so selfless.

That was a lot for the first thing I have been thinking about today…on to the second. Insurance guy said that he has a friend who always is telling him he has to “live his own story”. I don’t know why that hit me as being very profound because it is really so simple on the surface. Maybe because I always worry about what other people will think…or what someone else would do…or I search for approval for my actions. Maybe it’s because right now I feel stuck and frustrated…unable to go back…unable to look to the future…miserable in the present. I have no idea what my story is now…but I have to remind myself that I do have some power in what my story will look like.

So that’s why I was tossing and turning last night. Lots of heavy thoughts. Today was a less heavy day. Work and then a nice walk with a friend.

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