Please Unload Here

Talk to me. Tell me your troubles. Is your cluttered, messy house making you mental? Do you fantasize about giving your nutso kids up for adoption? Is your job driving you bonkers?

Tell me everything. I can take it. I want to take it. Mike died of cancer two-and-a-half months ago but I’m still a half decent sounding board, a good friend (in my opinion), and a fantastic secret keeper. I also love bone-headed husband (and wife) tales.

Being the bereaved is lonely and isolating. You’ve lost your anchor, you become unmoored. But despite the radical change in your life, you’re also fundamentally the same person.

While I haven’t felt any friends pulling away from me—the opposite is true, actually—I wonder sometimes if people are holding back telling me their troubles and triumphs.

Hearing tales about happy lives filled with laughter and love lightens me. And as weird as it sounds, hearing stories about the big and small irritations of life makes me feel normal.

Perhaps friends fear sharing their struggles with the newly bereaved because think their problems are trivial in comparison.

It’s not a contest whose life is crappier or whose really rocks.

But if it were, I would definitely, definitely win (or at least place in the top three) in the crappiest life contest. Look it up—dead husband, single mom of young son and widow (uggh, that word) at 44 trumps bratty kids, irritating spouse and lousy boss any day.

And if you’re afraid to say the wrong thing remember this: no matter what you say, no words can hurt me more than I have already been hurt.

Case in point: A family friend, a devout Catholic with the best of intentions, told me he liked to think of Mike looking up at us. To be clear, he was joking about my dead, agnostic/atheist husband burning in hell. I had to laugh. Mike would be laughing too.

So feel free to unload on me because whatever, whatever you say, it will never be worse than that joker.

7 thoughts on “Please Unload Here

  1. Robin… despite never having met, I look forward to reading your entries. While I do wish that you did not have to endure this, I feel somewhat calmer knowing that I am not alone as my 46 year old husband becomes sicker and sicker. Watching my three kids endure this is beyond horrible, and knowing that there are others out who understand what I’m going through brings me an odd sense of comfort. As though perhaps I will be able to get through, since others are also managing to get through. Please keep blogging.

  2. I guess you could say that Mike is in the land down under where women glow and men thunder, I truly believe that our spirit goes on that we are spirtual beings having a human experience so now he’s taking stock of his human experience wherever he may be

  3. HI Robin, My name is Carol and my daughter also had Synovial Sarcoma. She passed away on May 21, just a few days before Mike. I (and my daughter) have read your blog since I saw an article about it in the Calgary Herald last fall. We have also had a blog for the past few years about her adventures with SS. Reading yours was so great, so many things that we identified and sympathized with and I continue to appreciate your words during this new phase.

  4. Hi Robin. Like others, I would like to thank you for keeping this blog going. I only knew Mike as ‘Wes’ and I don’t believe the best actor in the world could fake the sweetness he conveyed. One quick scene that still brings a smile to my face is when someone mentions the best show on TV and he blurts out Quincy , so innocently.
    I lost my wife 7 years ago, she left me with the ultimate present, our 8 year old son. I can honestly say I would not be here today if it wasn’t for him. I still have tough days,but I plug on for his sake. It sounds like you have a good support system and I hope every day gets a little brighter for you.
    Thank you for putting into words what many of us have had to go through. I hope it is also cathartic
    for you .
    Also thank you for sharing your husband with the country, through Corner Gas . The last couple of seasons,plus the reruns, gave me much needed laughs .
    I hope you find peace. They say time heals all wounds , I’m still waiting.
    Best wishes to you and your son. My thoughts are with you both!

  5. I don’t know about time healing wounds but it does scab them over eventually. A bit.
    When I experienced my first deeply felt bereavement, I remember what a shock it was, and then how I realized that everyone I looked at had either experienced a similar loss, or would. “This is just a goddamn vale of tears!” I thought, fully understanding for the first time the truth of that figure of speech.
    The only way it helped me was, not so much coming to see that I was not alone, but that experiencing these kinds of losses is so very very “normal,” much as we hate them.

  6. My dad got a brain tumor at 25 and went through the whole spectrum of cancer treatment in the 80s. He is 20 years cancer free now and I’m at the age where he got his diagnoses. I don’t know why that’s so weird for me or why I’m having a hard time with it but I stumbled across this blog and its comforting. Thank you for being so candid and for showing the best and the worst.

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