Finding Meaning: an Ask Dr. Neimeyer Guest Post

A new comment on the post “After sudden death of a husband; finding meaning in life” touched us, and we decided to share it as a guest post for this week’s Ask Dr. Neimeyer. Here is the link to the relevant post:

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Well, I am amazed at the similarities in the stories, long term marriages, new or impending retirements, amazing spouses, grown children, unimaginable grief and of course sudden deaths without any warning. I lost my Jim in October of 2020 and I too do not want to or think I can dig out of this hole.  We were married for 42 years and friends for 50. We had an amazing last year together, a 5 month long romantic winter holiday only to be followed by a stage 4 Cancer diagnosis for me. After much chemotherapy and surgery, remission was diagnosed days before his passing. As so often in our marriage, we had beaten the odds and were so excited and appreciative to pick up where we had left off before the Cancer. This was not to be the case, Jim drove down our driveway with Peace, Joy and Excitement in his heart  as he went to pick up just one last prescription for me, the morphine had ended and some lingering neuropathy from the Chemo seemed to be the last challenge.

Last words to me were, ” Wendy, I will pick up the prescription from Costco, you finish supper and we will eat when I get back.” I was talking on the phone and he turned and said “goodbye” to me and the person, I was talking to. Jim passed away as he made the right hand turn at the end of our driveway. Not on anyone’s radar and too crazy to even register.

Yesterday, I thought I had figured out this insanity, Jim had experienced life to the fullest, successes, failures, constant busyness, he had done it all. I sat back and was a spectator for much of his whirlwind activity and relished in so doing, I was always engaged, happy, proud and never ever lonely or bored, as we both lived through his amazing energy and zest for life.

We complimented each other as any venture was always shared, with Jim the backbone that kept it all together.
I am so proud of you Baby but how do I go on, my everything is gone and my zest for living as well. One question has been answered, Jim has experienced life to the fullest, zoomed through it in 67 years. My experiences are ongoing and my time not yet finished, am I able to fulfill my destiny or have I been stopped by my loss? If it is God’s will, I will hopefully move forward, the Cancer was defeated and until we meet again sweetheart, I of course will live the lessons you have taught me and never give up.

Tonight, not so sure about these conclusions, this grief has created a crazy rollercoaster that has filled 3 journals  with memories and unanswered questions. One definitive answer has been the strengthening of my Faith, it is so obvious that the only thing that will replace my Jim on Earth is my love and trust in God, through his son Jesus Christ. These are not words I would have even put in a sentence last year at this time, every cloud does have a silver lining and strengthened Belief is mine.

Oh, I do ramble on but, found it distressing that there are others dealing with emotions as I am, grief is something that is not discussed until it becomes the only part of your existence, the tears have started  and maybe I will fall asleep.
Yes Baby, I just want you to come home!

love, Wendy

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