My husband was always a great worrier. A “worrier warrior” we used to call him. He was pretty darn good at it. If the worry was over about one thing, he’d find the next thing to worry about. Large or small. Even though his face would light up when he smiled, he also could be caught with a furrowed brow, as he would quietly go into his own head and his “worry space”. I was the one who always worked at easing his mind. I’m not a worrier, usually. I am the type who likes to dive in and fix the problem. I am quick to find options and solutions. I can swiftly make a decision and then get it done. Got a worry? Let’s fix it!
Well, that’s who I used to be anyway. Cancer changed all of that.
But THIS…THIS! This virus is too much. It has the whole world upended. How selfish of me to be personalizing my own grief when the whole world is grieving for everything we knew just a few short weeks ago. I can’t imagine what Paul would have done with this worry even if he had not been sick, but I cringe at what life would have been for all of our family if he had been sick when this virus exploded into our everyday lives. He would have been severely “at risk” and the hell we were already living through would have been greatly exacerbated by this virus which is eating up the world one bite at a time.
I am still grieving for the love of my life and the life we once shared. Yet, I still can’t help but feel selfish in my own grief. Who am I? It’s only been four and a half months since Paul left this world for another. I can’t seem to get a grip on who I am now, and I realize the whole world is going through the same thing. Who are we now? For me, it was already overwhelming to be experiencing such a profound loss in my life, but THIS! How dare I think that my grief is more important than those who are suffering right now and can’t see their family members? What about the heartbreaking thought of having your loved one die alone in an over burdened hospital without the benefit of holding the hand of a family member. How do families deal without the closure and what a beautiful send-off for their loved one would give to them? I can’t wrap my head around the thought that all of those incredible numbers that flash across the screen every damn day are human beings with loved ones who remain helpless. It’s completely overwhelming and utterly heart wrenching.
I can’t help but parallel this helplessness to my own experience with Paul. I stood by his side and did every damn thing I possibly could to help him through his cancer, but I couldn’t save his life. Every day life fell away from his body in a slow digression. I could do nothing to stop it no matter what I did. It was like trying to nail Jello to a tree. I was consistently waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” Of course, it did drop over and over again. But worse than that would have been not being able to be with him when he drew his last glorious breath on this earth. My heart pains to think of it. My grief would have been even more unspeakable than it already is. Imagine how the medical personnel feel trying to save all of these sick people without the proper equipment and supplies knowing that their attempts are futile for so many? To be trained to save lives and have them slip through your own fingers hour after hour, day after day must be unbearable. I can feel their pain.
My heart has felt broken for myself and for my beautiful family with the loss of Paul. This will go on forever. There is no coming back from this loss. Ever. I feel it is going to take a long time to feel “right” again…if ever. This is astronomical for me alone, but what is going to happen to our planet?
To add to an already burdened heart, I also ache for our entire planet. I am again waiting for the other shoe to drop. When will this virus touch our family? Friends? So far we have been outliers from this disease, but I truly feel that it is only a matter of time. So now, I’ve picked up the mantle Paul left behind and have become a “worrier warrior”. Not a legacy I asked for or wanted. Piled on top of the concern for our world, I worry that I am being selfish with my own grief. How crazy is that? Perhaps I feel I have no right to it when the entire world is grieving.
But you see, in the grand scheme of things, Paul was my world.