FOOD FOR THE SOUL
I just had a one hour visit with my ex-husband, the first face to face since his cancer diagnoses. Sure, there have been phone calls and texts, but not a face to face. He shared his fears about death, his fears about being a burden on his new wife and his family, and how he never expected to have cancer. I am in a strange situation, on one hand we shared 27 years of ups and down, and on the other hand, he is now remarried and has a new wife and family. Our divorce was anything but amicable, so this makes this whole situation all the harder. Again, I am choosing to follow my heart, and will do what ever I can do to give support, and advice if asked. He and I have now come full circle, and while we know we will never be able to live in the same house again, we can be friends. It is funny how a life threatening event can cause many people to once again put life into perspective. One thing I discovered when my mom, dad and sister were diagnosed with cancer, is that this diagnoses is often times harder on the loved ones. I remember Kelly and Mom telling me that is was much easier to be the patient than to be the family member. I shared this with Bill, and encouraged him to take time to support Mary (his new wife). She is going through so many emotions at this time, as are all of us. But it hits closer to home for her. I can only imagine how she may feel cheated, in a sense, because she was alone after her divorce until she met Bill, fell in love and married. Now a mere 6 months later they are facing one of the hardest challenges that life can throw at a couple. Life is just so freakin unfair at time. I can’t even begin to count the times that I have been slapped down by life. Again, we have 2 choices in life…let it win, or beat it within an inch of its life. It’s okay to challenge God, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to bargain, it’s okay to be sad, but it’s NEVER okay to give up. In 1968 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book about the 5 stages of death and dying, based on her work with terminally ill patients. The steps are 1. Denial…2.Anger….3. Bargaining…..4. Depression….5. Acceptance. That simple model has now become a reference for anyone going through a life changing events, from breakups of relationships, to dealing with a terminal illness. It is such a good read…and can be so inspirational to know that the feelings you are having are valid, and quite frankly okay to have. Sometimes a person will start with one step, touching briefly on the following steps, and then ending with the last step. Others will circle a few time, touching on a few of the steps, but hopefully landing on the last step, which is acceptance. As person really can’t move on and be at peace until they reach that last step….even if they touch a tip of their toe on that step, and then stumble back down a few steps.
I personally went through a bad breakup a few years ago, and trust me, I stomped on every one of the 5 steps. For 2 years I was like a child on the playground, playing hopscotch all over those steps. Then one day, I decided that the step proclaiming acceptance was the one I needed to land on, and stay there. So my point here is that Bill needs to remember that while he is fighting for his life, he needs to always be aware of those around him, and support them as well. Even if it involves reassuring that person that nothing will happen that they can’t get through together. He has been blessed with a wonderful woman, and I can assure him that she is scared to death. There is nothing scarier than the unknown. NOTHING! These things can also cause you to challenge your faith in God. Frankly, you can be pretty honked off at Him….and anyone in raised in the faith knows that is not the way to feel…but He will wait patiently for you to work it out and come back to Him. I strongly believe that God puts these challenges in your life, and then sits back and watches how you handle them. I did suggest that they get into a cancer support group, and soon. My mom, sister and I joined one when Kelly was done with her cancer treatment. The wonderful thing is that you realize that you are not alone, your thoughts and fears are real, and that there are others out there that can help you to get over these bumps in the road.
So as I said before If God brings you to it, He will see you through it! We just need to stand united, knowing that not one person is alone here, and it’s okay to be scared, angry or at peace. Never be too proud to get the support you need, even if it’s through blogging, as has become my saving grace. You are never alone ♥