My wife was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 49. She fought her war for over 14 years. We were married for 41 years and had two children. I was my wife's caregiver for all those years and after being fired from my dream job was her fulltime caregiver for the last 5 years of her fight. She was also in home hospice care for her final 14 months. While she was an incredible warrior, her disease took a horrific toll on her and was far more brutal than anything I could have ever imagined.
She has been gone two years now and my emotions are still very raw. I cry a lot more than I used to, I'm more cynical about life, struggle with even small disappointments, and miss her every single day, Right now is a particularly challenging time of year in that we have, in rapid succession, Mother's Day, both our children's birthdays, her birthday, our anniversary, and then the anniversary of her death. I struggle with finding a new way in my life, but fight that by keeping an ongoing list of things 'to do' that keep me focused on the future. Some are chore types of things, some are simply to write a friend a note, call an old friend, visit someone, or often to write, which I find quite therapeutic.
I found Connect when I was feeling extremely isolated and worn out from caregiving and appreciated the ability to talk openly about her experiences as well as mine as a caregiver. I actually was the one who convinced them to begin a Caregivers discussion group.
I view my grief as a new companion in my life. It will always be with me and while I wouldn't say I 'embrace' it, I also do not try and ignore it, sugarcoat it, or pretend it isn't a part of me now. I also found no help in the grief books I read. I quickly realized they were simply one writer's view on grief and not some panacea for others as they are often touted to be. I remember the day I took the book on the 'stages of grief' and hurled it into our garbage can. Best thing I did 🙂
Everyone's journey in grief is different and our grief is as unique as we are as human beings and as was the person we loved, lost, and miss. While I offer no road map for others, I am willing to talk about my journey if it helps.