Yesterday, I asked a friend who has experienced the grief that accompanies the loss of a spouse if she had any pearls of wisdom to share, and she shared this beautiful poem with me. How fortunate I am to have experienced this type of union during my time on earth!
Our union is like this: You feel cold, so I reach for a blanket to cover our shivering feet. / A hunger comes into your body, so I run to my garden and start digging potatoes. / You asked for a few words of comfort and guidance, and I quickly kneel by your side offering you a whole book as a gift. / You ache with loneliness one night so much you weep, and I say here is a rope, tie it around me, I will be your companion for life. -Hafiz
My mother-in-law, Pam, texted me yesterday to ask if Mike and I are doing okay. She acknowledged how difficult that question must be to answer right now. My response to her is below and provides context for the touching quote she shared with me in return.
We are doing okay. Or at least I can say I’m doing okay. Don’t want to speak for Mike. Last week I was pretty emotional but it was good to see my brother over the weekend and I had a good day today. I’m making progress on my project, which feels great. Of course I think it’s healthy to grieve and mourn too. We’re both losing so much. We are just trying to strike the right balance between honoring those emotions and enjoying each other and the time we do have together.
Grief is not a disorder, a disease, or a sign of weakness.
It is an emotional necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.
– Dr. Earl A. Grollman
time is a cruel mistress.
wrathfully, she steals the sands of my days and stockpiles them in dunes of night. useless, empty, tedious night when the world is asleep to my vigil, asleep as i watch her open her fingers,
and let the grains trickle through.
time, you mocking shrew, you dominatrix,
give me back my sand.
let me spend it how i want to
let this nightly vigil end.
i’m pleased to report the successful completion of 10 rounds of chemotherapy. this was the first round in a very long time i tackled without the assistance of the parentals. i’ll admit that i was a little nervous going into it. those long hours of feeling too drugged up to drive anywhere or do anything meaningful/productive can wear on you if you’re alone. but i felt confident that i had enough friends scheduled to help out, bring me food and keep me company. there were moments of missing my mom. there were moments (as there always are during chemo, no matter who’s around) of feeling lonely and scared and sad. and, of course, i felt the physical effects of the drug cocktail: jittery, nauseous, exhausted, nauseous, wired, nauseous. but overall, i felt calm and cared for and comfortable.
and i felt — and continue to feel — unbelievably fortunate and grateful to have the best friends a girl could ever hope for. what the sign below says is true. whether i’m physically by myself or in the company of another person, my friends have given me the amazing gift of knowing that you’re there.
thank you for the texts, the emails, the facebook messages, the hugs, the late-night phone conversations. thank you for letting me lean on you so very often. but more than anything, thank you for just being there. i love you all!