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 WordPress.com 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.