Life is both beautiful and painful in equal measure – sometimes all in the some moment. Sometime we’re fortunate enough to enjoy years of beauty and happiness, and then other times we have to endure years of exquisite pain. Life can be incredibly hard.
The idea behind this series of interviews is to share stories of pain… and hope.
It’s about allowing courageous women who have lived through deep pain to share their journeys and encourage other women who are struggling.
Today’s My Journey With… interview is about the raw grief of losing your spouse – a brand new husband.
Thank you to Nicole who shares her story below…
The memories of the night that my husband passed away sit flickering in my mind, like that of a candle flame caught in a draught. The kindness of time has helped me to forget some of the horrors, yet others are deeply etched into my brain, like tattoos that I never wanted.
Jason. It’s a name I no longer say often. Sometimes I whisper his name to taste the unfamiliar syllables and to remind myself of what was.
We met at my Matric Dance after party. I was 17 and he was the cooler, older 24 year old with his own house and fancy BMW. I was smitten. It took 7 years for Jason to propose and in 2010, we were married.
What was supposed to be the beginning of our fairytale marriage was quickly shattered by Jason’s illness. There is so much I can tell you, but the short of it is that when he went into hospital no one could diagnose what he had and two weeks later he died. Autopsy results confirmed an aggressive brain tumour (lymphoma).
What, or who, helped you to overcome or push through this experience? A book, a person, an incident, therapy, medication or was it just simply time?
The days, weeks and months that followed were dark and grey. I was so depressed that I refused to get out of bed or wash. My days were empty and life seemed futile. I felt like I was a burden to my family and friends. I withdrew from friendships and made some poor decisions that led to dire consequences. I smiled and moved robotically, living my life as an empty shell compared to the human I once was. It was the hardest time of my life.
Where do you find yourself now? Please share an update on your current progress or new space to encourage others who find themselves in the midst of the tough stuff right now.
I met Duron when I was broken and damaged. We met online – one of my friends had suggested I try it. I’d been brutally honest in my profile, yet Duron hadn’t been scared off. His patience with me was phenomenal and he listened empathetically to my life story. He never once showed envy or jealousy towards my past husband, only sensitivity and love. He built me up and put together all of my broken pieces. He is the love of my life and I will be forever grateful for all he has done for me and continues to do for me.
This is a story of hope. I know what it is like to lose someone, to have grief wash over you like a tsunami. You feel like you are drowning in its relentless waves and you just want to give up. I want to encourage you to keep fighting. There is hope. There will be a lifeboat, but you have to keep swimming.
After Jason died, I could never have envisioned the life I am living now. I am happy. My life is full of joy and laughter. I am a wife, I am a mother. I am stronger, I am a survivor of loss.
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