Life Gets Messy


After surgery a patient has an accpetable period of recovery from their incision wound. There are people watching over him in the hospital. Nurses checking vital signs every 15 minutes for the first couple of hours after surgery. They’re watching for signs of shock. Shock can be fatal.

After surgery a patient has family and friends popping into the hospital to see how they’re recovering. They offer to come and bring dinner or to help with chores when the patient gets home. They shower the patient with cards and flowers and balloons to help cheer him on in his recovery.

These things didn’t happen for my wounded heart. They didn’t happen for Scott’s either. Instead I spent those days in a blur. Physically I went through the motions of life. Getting up in the morning, going to work, picking up my son from school, making dinner, helping with homework. But I wasn’t really present in my life.

Rather, my mind was constantly thinking, ruminating, wondering what was happening with Scott, his wife and the kids. Our contact had dramatically decreased from on and off all day long to once every few days. We made no plans to see each other again.

Scott was busy coping too. The same grief patterns were happening for him. When something is broken, guys.. they fix stuff. But he couldn’t fix the cancer. He couldn’t fix the marriage. So he re-shingled the house. Then he remodeled a spare bedroom. It’s how he coped. He made their home better. And he moved back into their bedroom.

I wanted denial to last. It didn’t. So I bargained.. ‘if I______, then I don’t have to ______. If I can be his friend, then I can still love him.

I needed comfort. I went for a massage. Then a mani/pedi. Then reflexology. Then I sat and stared out at the lake. I missed him. He had become my friend. My companion. My love. I had all but disappeared from his life and he from mine.

My head understood it. I knew he had things to do for his wife and his family. I knew he had things to reconcile within their marriage. And I tried to give him the distance he needed. I knew that their extended relatives would be coming to support and lift up and console.

I wanted to make a casserole. I wanted to bring flowers and a new fuzzy robe for his wife to wear after chemo began. I wanted to run the teenagers to dance class or to part-time jobs. I wanted to help.

But I was on the outside. Scott opted not to let me inside. Not like in the movie “Stepmom” where Julia Roberts was the new girlfriend. Not like Susan Sarandon who had cancer and ended up reaching out to the girlfriend for help and support. Scott didn’t tell his wife that he’d met someone while they were separated. I had to trust that he knew what was best. But best for who? His wife? …His kids? …Me? Himself? Probably all. It was just easier if he never told anyone. He wouldn’t have to face the judgements that I had been facing from family and friends. He wouldn’t have to be the perceived ‘bad guy’.

I struggled to understand what all of the clues meant. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew. But my heart wasn’t ready to accept the place that I’d been given. I felt like I was a dirty little secret. It didn’t feel good.

Finally I tried to let go. Just let go and disappear completely from what we were. But Scott would seek me out. Looking back now, I suppose it was his attempt at the bargaining phase of grief. I just saw it as hope.

He suggested that I start writing in earnest. Finish my book. He said it would give me a focus outside of myself. Something positive to fill my time with instead of missing him so much. So a blog was born.

I knew nothing about blogging. I didn’t even know what a blog really was. But I googled “Blog” and came up on the first line.
I clicked on “Create a blog”. A theme… I needed something positive and funny to focus on. I had been doing some online dating for the year before Scott and I met. BINGO. I became a blogger and I started to breathe again. I found a purpose.


11 thoughts on “Life Gets Messy

  1. It is interesting how everyone comes to blogging in a different way but how we all hang on to it and do it because it becomes a part of us. What a great thing that is, don’t you think?

    • Yes Beth Ann.. blogging helped me unleash myself from the chains of despair that I’d found myself in. I began to focus and made countless new friends that kept me looking forward and outside of myself.

      • And that is so important, isn’t it??? It is hard to move on sometimes but the blogging world is very accepting, isn’t it??? I think that is what I love the most about blogging–you just never know who out there is going to read what you wrote and have it resonate with them. Keep on keeping on!

  2. Blogging may be a salve on your wound, Jeannie. When I read “Getting up in the morning … wasn’t really present in my life,” I could feel that pain. It’s as if you have suffered a death.

    The scar may linger but I hope the wound grows smaller.
    Hugs and Blessings ~ Maxi

    • Maxi,
      It was a death to me, the death of a new love. Stopped in its tracks. Life moves on though in baby steps as we heal. Sometimes its two steps forward and one back. You’re right about the scar. Life leaves battle scars behind to remind us where we’ve been. Everything for a reason.
      Hugs and Blessings,

  3. Jeannie I am glad I was there for you during this time without even realising what it was about . I am still here my friend and can only hope you are over most of the hurt by now. Plse feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to. Love you dearly Jeannie. Your good friend forever. Thys (HUGS) xx

    • Thys,
      You have been there for me many times. Offering me unknowing comfort and support. All of it much appreciated by the way!
      We all have lonely moments in life where we wonder if anyone is out there beyond our own four walls. Thank you for being there.

  4. From the depths of despair we find the new…the steps can feel very small indeed sometimes, but they are there. Blogging has brought a very loving and supportive circle around us. What never ceases to amaze me is the tenacity of the human spirit and our capacity to keep getting back up…you have this in abundance Jeannie – biggest hugs xxxxx

    • Jane,
      Yes the steps are small.. I call them taking baby steps. Just as a baby learns to walk, the falling down and getting back up to try again are how we learn to walk and then finally to run.
      Bloggers are the most amazing group of people. Filled with hopefulness, kindness and love. They share from their hearts.
      Tons of hugs,
      Jeannie xxxx

  5. Oh, my goodness! It is unbelievable how much I can relate to your story, Jeannie! At one point in my life, I felt so much as you did. And I wanted to help, not necessarily because anyone suffered a life altering illness but to heal the pain I felt we all were in. BUT I too felt like nothing more than a “dirty little secret”.

    Mourning over someone who’s died is different because whether we like it or not, there is some closure in death. But to mourn over someone who is alive on the other side of town but has ceased to exist in your life is completely different. It’s like suffering a death only you know of… I bargained just as you did and I was in denial, and in a whole lot of pain, for what felt like the longest time I’ve ever mourned over anything else.

    Isn’t the blogging community awesome? I feel as though there is an unspoken agreement among fellow bloggers to express ourselves without judgment and allow others to do the same and I like that-I like that a lot!

    I’m so glad I found your blog! 😉

    • Ahhh yes Mari,
      The grieving has taken the longest time. Every positive step I took for myself was met with another hurdle that I just couldn’t seem to get over.

      In the split second that he chose to go from being separated and then back to his marriage it changed everything. And there was no time for me to process what it meant for the relationship that he and I were building. Even though I was standing right there with him.. it never occurred to him to talk with me about any of it. He made decisions across the board and they were final. It was like in that moment, I didn’t exist anymore.

      The most loving thing that he could have done for us was to have let me go that day when the call came. To have said, “I’m so sorry Jeannie. Life has taken a turn that none of us expected. As much as I wish things were different, they just aren’t. I have to go back to my family and see this through. I love you and I will miss your presence in my life. But for all of us, I have to let you go.”

      For whatever reason, he wasn’t able to do that. I suppose we were all in shock.
      I just know that with he and I both trying to hold on through the grief process, it only prolonged the pain and sadness.

      I’m glad that you found my blog too. Thank you for your openness to comment about your own journey.
      Hugs to you!

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