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Monday, October 03, 2016

Adjusting to Life

I think that when someone passes away after a long illness, the grieving process is different than when there is a sudden loss...not better or worse, just different.  I think along side the initial grieving, there is a sense of relief that the suffering has ended.  That relief lasts for a little while and then the deep grief begins to set in.

As most of you are aware, for several months before Scott passed away, he needed round the clock care.  He couldn't be left alone and needed help both physically and in all aspects of communication.  Our lives revolved around him. I rarely left the house except to go to work, the grocery store, or the occasional event for Paige or JJ. There were many frantic 911 calls and trips in the ambulance to the hospital.  There were times when I ran home from work in a panic to get home quickly to help Scott who was having a seizure or other medical need.   I slept on a couch in a make shift hospital room in our home for the last several weeks of his life so I could help him throughout the night.  And during his last week, I slept in a hospital chair next to his bed in a room at Overlook Hospital.  During his last moments with us on earth, we surrounded his bed, held hands, told him we loved him, prayed, and watched him take his last breath.  His children, his parents, and I watched as he left this earth, as peacefully as anyone could imagine, surrounded by the love of his family.  As much as we all knew that life would never be the same without him, we all wanted his suffering to end.

During the initial days after Scott passed away, there was a busy-ness that ensued that occupied my time and my concentration - funeral plans, visitation details, and a celebration to organize. When the dust of that settled and the services were over, we were busy with the end of the school year, the start of vacation, and all the tasks needed to handle his estate.   Friends came by often to make sure that I wasn't wallowing in grief for too long.   I started getting used to being able to leave the house when I needed or wanted to -- this felt strange, a kind of freedom that I hadn't had for a long time.  Then the end of the summer came and we entered the school year routine.

Now that life has settled down, the quiet times seems to engulf me in a deep sadness.  As each work week draws to a close, I find myself grieving the healthy Scott -- the Dad who LOVED to watch his kids play sports on the weekends; the husband who liked to go out for a good meal on a date night with me; the sports fan who would record the weekend games on TV and be sure no one told him the score until he finished watching to the end; the guy who loved to hang out with friends on a Friday night and talk and talk and talk; the family man who would relish in hugs and snuggles from his nieces and visits with his family; the man who would dance with me in my living room - the man I married - the strong, confident, social, smart, handsome, kind, amazing man I married.

So now I have to learn how to adjust to this new life...the life without him.  Since I was 18 years old, he has been by my side.   As I told him before he died, I will miss him terribly and I don't want to live this life without him, but I will and I'll be ok, eventually I know I'll be ok.  I will keep telling myself this and taking it day by day like he'd want me to.


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