Once, when life was perfect, before I knew how perfect it was, I thought life would be this way forever. Was there stress? Yes. Were there disagreements? Of course. There were many less than perfect moments, but nothing was so bad, we couldn’t work through it.
Then cancer came. We fought it. He fought it. Our life changed, and all of a sudden, we knew that life could end up not perfect. On the other hand, we were sure, we’d win.
Until the day he won and left for Heaven, but I lost.
Somehow, life goes on. Months later, the sun comes up, I get out of bed. There are moments of living, moments of losing, and moments of just existing. This is deep grief. It’s not depression, it’s the pain that comes with losing your heart, your home, your partner in this big, lonely world.
Before I saw the world through the eyes of grief, there are many things I didn’t understand, but I do now.
I never knew the cruelty of the social question, “How are you today?” asked in passing, without pause for any answer other than “Good” or “Fine” or “Great”.
I didn’t understand the unhelpfulness of the phrase, “Please, let me know how I can help.” This phrase is not helpful in the way intended. I understand this now.
I never knew the gift of a phone call or a simple, “I’m thinking of you.” A card, a box of love and kisses, a text, a meal, a message of love – I never understood the power of small gestures.
Until I saw the world through the eyes of grief, I never quite understood the power of today. There might not be tomorrow. It is not guaranteed.
Everyday, I wish that life could be as it was before the illness, before the loss. Not all wishes get answered, so instead, we learn to live with these new eyes of grief.