Since losing Luke I feel as if I have been bombarded by two kinds of sympathy. The first are those who reach out to say how sorry they are for my loss and how they can’t imagine what I must be going through. These are the people who typically offer vague help and then disappear as time goes on. Grief tourists.
The second kind of the person offers sympathy by checking in on you without pressure, offers helpful advice, talks about everyday life and doesn’t give you pity looks when you bring up your late husband. They share their memories and give love and laughter to an otherwise dark time.
Over the last three months I have had so much time to reflect on “how I am doing”. I must get asked this question a million times a day. The truth is that I have grieving for a lot longer than just the three months that Luke has been physically gone from this world. His cancer caused him to slowly disappear before my eyes and over the last year and while we always held out hope for a miracle, we both knew deep down that our time together was limited.
I have been numb inside for so long. Not because I don’t care or feel the pain from the loss of my husband, life, love, partner, my world. I feel that pain and loss every day. However, I know Luke. I know that more than anything he wanted me and his family and everyone he loved to be okay. He wanted us to be happy and to move forward. Luke hated the thought that we would be in pain and was never scared of leaving this world, but rather leaving us alone. He was the most selfless person I’ve ever known.
One of the hardest things for me to come to terms with since losing Luke has been losing my identity along with him. I spent the last seven years of my life as his girlfriend, fiancé, wife, and now who am I? I haven’t been able to admit to myself that I am now a widow. This is the first time I have been able to write that down. I still can’t admit it out loud but I’m taking baby steps to confront my reality.
As odd as it feels to say, I have truly been blessed by the wonderful people in my life. My family and Luke’s family have been nothing but supportive and loving. My friends/ neighbors across the hall are always there for me and are a constant reminder of what it means to be a good friend. Through social media I have connected with Rachel who was a fellow cancer caregiver and lost her husband to ALL back in 2013. Her love, kindness, friendship, and experience has truly helped me through this difficult time in ways I can’t even express.
So here I am on the eve of New Year’s Eve, wishing that my Lukey was here. Out of the 7 years that we had been together, there was only one NYE that we didn’t spend together and that was when he moved to Winnipeg on New Year’s Day. I always considered it to be our holiday. This first year without him not getting to kiss him at midnight is going to hurt. I know though that he will be with me here in spirit urging me to go on and take care of myself, enjoy some time with friends, and maybe watch some lord of the rings.
I am wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year. Stay safe out there in the midst of the pandemic. Wear a mask, sanitize, social distance, get your vaccine when you are able, and always, Always, ALWAYS think of others. That is the Lukey way and how I strive to live my life.
6 thoughts on “The Big W”
Happy New Year to you! Here’s to a year that will mean a transition to maintenance therapy, to long walks with your puppy, cuddles with your cat, happy memories of Luke, and time to heal. Lots of hugs and warm thoughts to you.
LIndsey, I am so sorry that I have not been able to keep up my conversations with you and give you more support.. About 5 weeks ago while rushing to get in and out of Safeway quickly to pick up a prescription. I had a fall resulting in losing almost complete use of my right arm. It is now in a sling and I am doing a little better but night times are hard as it tens to slip out of the joint and I need move it back to a more comfortable place. My own doctor has been off most of that time but returns next week and I hope he can shed some light on this. I had a full dislocation of this same shoulder over 40 years ago and I think the socket is just plain worn out. Christmas dinners for the children and their families were about the extent of our Christmas Day. They are too worried about Covid to come here and certainly we would not go to their homes at this time. We do hope that you continue to get positive results from your treatments and we want to continue hearing how you are doing. I cannot even begin to understand your pain and how much you miss Luke but I can tell you that i admire you for trying your best to build a new life without him. Keep memories of your times together.close in your heart and know that he loved you every minute of your lives together.. There may come a time when we can invite you with your beautiful dog out for a run here in the country! Love, Cathy Welch
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Lindsay, you cross my mind frequently. As Bethany’s ‘best friend,’ you became my ‘other daughter.’ That one New Year that you weren’t with Luke, you were with us. I remember starting the year with my two girls (Bethany & you) walking on the Rockland breakwater on January 1st! I have photos that I treasure. May you find peace in the months and years to come. It’s a process and there is no right or wrong way to do the grieving. Please know that even many miles away you are thought of and loved.
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May the new year be a healing one 🙏 we think of you often and pray for you to find some peace as you fight your fight . Know that you are not alone . Reach out anytime to anyone . Lots of love ❤️
Lindsey. Know that I love you and think about you and Luke every day. I wish I had gotten to know Luke better. I feel I’ve gotten to know him better in the last year than the six years before. I learned he loved you, he loved his family and he loved life. I believe he left this life so you could concentrate on your recovery and not his suffering. You said it best that he was the most selfless person you know. I wish we could support you more being up there in Winnipeg but know it’s your life right now. Can’t wait till this pandemic is over so we can travel and see you more. I am here for you for what ever you need. I love you. ❤️ Dad
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I’m so happy you have a friend Rachel to connect with. Bless her. And also yours and Luke’s family. So hard to not be together at this time. I’m glad for your supportive friends across the hall. I wish you comfort and courage. Prayers, Cindy Miller