Hi my name is Janelle, i am 46 years old. In April i lost the love of my life to Stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma. We have three beautiful children, 19, 16 & 13 who now have to travel through life without their Dad. If one more person tells me I have to find a new kind of normal, i am going to scream, there will never be normal ever again. My husband Mark was my hero, he never gave up, his final few months were cruel & debilitating, he never complained or asked, why me. My heart aches, i feel so empty & alone. In the end i was the one who told him it was okay to go, in reality i never wanted him to leave. I only exist because there are three children who need me.
Your world has been turned upside down and there is no chance of accepting that your new situation should be considered anything close to "normal". What could they be thinking?
Life just isn't fair. And sometimes it is less fair on some than others. And people with the best of intentions often say things that we just don't want to hear. That's not to say that their intent is wrong, but we might not be in the right mindset at that moment to look through the specific words spoken to the intended message.
As I see it, we all have a range of options when dealing with grief. At one extreme of the spectrum we can carry on as if nothing has happened; at the other extreme we can spend all day of every day curled up in a corner waiting to die. In reality, we find ourselves in a position somewhere between these extremes and that position will change day by day and even hour by hour. How we change our position along the spectrum is something that we need to work out for ourselves.
Sorry if this comes across as a bit harsh, but you are only in your 40s and you have 3 children who will always depend on you in some form or another for the next 40+ years. So desppite your situation, you have a duty to yourself and your children to come to terms with your situation and "choose life".
So, whenever you are feeling uncomfortable with your emotions, one way or the other, I challenge you to think about your position along the spectrum described above and then choose where you want to be. Sometimes that will mean having to "toughen up a bit " and at other times "just let it out".
But wherever you do find yourself emotionally at any point in time, help others to understand where you are and where you want to be so that they can work with you rather than (unintentionally) creating relationship barriers.
And if you are finding it particularly hard to manage your emotions, hug your children and get strength from your combined love. It is amazing just how strong children can be when you least expect it.
Good luck and best wishes,
I feel like life never turns out the way it should be, but life does go on.
I say that coming from being a daughter who lost her Mum to cancer when I was 16. From a daughter who lost her Dad to cancer when I was 22.
Life changed drastically after my Mum passed, she was my best friend and I was so lost without her, Dad tried his hardest to be there for us, and we were here for him too. He was never the same person as when Mum was alive but we all got through it together. I became so much closer to Dad. Then Dad passed. It's the hardest thing in the world to keep moving on, but you have to do it. If not for yourself then for those around you. I'm now 23 and I'm facing a life of my parents never being there for me, if I do ever get married I won't have my Dad to walk me down the isle or if I have children, they will never get to meet them. But I get through it because I know how proud they would be of me when I do. They are gone but are always there.
I'm sharing this so that you can see your children's point of view in a way. Don't forget him, grieve, but be there for your children, they will be there for you in their own ways, but sooner or later they will thank you for it.
Thank you Jessica for sharing your experience, your parents would be so, so proud of you. My children are my purpose and reason to keep on going. Without them i woukd have nothing, with them i will continue to push on.
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