Author Topic: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times  (Read 3056 times)

Guaruj

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"My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« on: January 06, 2016, 04:38:33 PM »
I saw a blog post today with the title My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow:

Quote
When my husband died from cancer last March at age 37, I was so grief-stricken I could barely sleep. One afternoon, I visited his grave ? in a field high in the Santa Cruz Mountains, overlooking the Pacific Ocean ? and lay on top of it. I slept more soundly than I had in weeks. It wasn?t the vista that calmed my restless body; it was Paul, just there, under the earth. His body was so easy to conjure ? limbs that had linked with mine at night, soft hands that I had grasped during the birth of our daughter, eyes that had remained piercing even as cancer thinned his face ? and yet, impossible to hold. I lay on the grass instead, my cheek against the ground.

Many people here already know how important it was (and still is) for me to visit Catherine's grave often. I honestly believe that it helped me get through the early months when I avoided social contact. While I never took a nap there, I have occasionally read a book. A lot of what of I read in this blog post sounded very familiar to me.

This post comes from a NY Times blog called The End. It features end-of-life essays from a different author each week.

donswife

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2016, 05:45:42 PM »
thanks for sharing this
so many true feelings expressed
My everything

canadiangirl

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2016, 07:35:40 PM »
I love this, thanks for posting.  It's good to have her perspective, and I totally agree with it.  I don't have a gravesite to visit but I can imagine the comfort.   

A while ago, I posted a beautiful tribute from the author's dying husband to his baby. It's under the Quote thread but here it is again. 

"Yet one thing cannot be robbed of her futurity: my daughter, Cady. I hope I?ll live long enough that she has some memory of me. Words have a longevity I do not. I had thought I could leave her a series of letters -- but what would they really say? I don?t know what this girl will be like when she is 15; I don?t even know if she?ll take to the nickname we?ve given her. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past.

That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man?s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/20/paul-kalanithi-dying-neurosurgeons-exquisite-message-to-daughter_n_6905234.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

Wynne

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2016, 08:16:19 PM »
Lovely Guaruj?.  I haven't visited Ronnie's grave that often, but it gives me great comfort and peace knowing that I will be there with him when my time comes.  I know now exactly where I'll be, surrounded by my family, on a lovely hilltop, right next to my Ronnie.

Also I love the beautiful quote you put up canadiangirl.  My children have certainly been a huge blessing for me, but I hadn't considered what they might mean to Ronnie.  Even though he passed suddenly in an accident, I'm sure he appreciates their time in his life.  Now they have become his legacy on earth.
Courage, dear heart   ~C.S. Lewis

stormywx

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2016, 08:30:56 PM »
Thanks for posting this. I can relate to alot of it too..my husbands name was Paul, he died of cancer, I slept in his hospice bed with him and was the only one there, holding him when he died..

soloact

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2016, 09:01:54 PM »
Thank you.

linda5

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2016, 09:19:49 PM »
Beautiful.

Bear Shannon

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2016, 10:57:21 PM »
I would drink my morning coffee from Dunkin Donuts daily (weather permitting) while visiting Laurie until we moved a thousand miles south in 2009.
Peace ~ Bear

Laurie RIP (Married 1980 .. Widowed 2005)

"Grief can destroy you -- or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it."
~ Odd Thomas (Dean Kootnz)

Gabzmom

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2016, 12:18:28 AM »
A lot of what is written in that article resonate with me as does the quote posted by Canadiangirl.  Rob loved his girl and I think she brought him so much joy.  He was wrapped around her finger and to her, he hung the moon.

Prior to Rob's passing, I had difficulty going to funeral homes or cemeteries.  Since his passing, my visits to his gravesite bring me comfort.  He is among comrades at the national cemetery.  We visited weekly initially.  The time between visits has increased.  Life gets crazy and hectic and somehow I realized that he would be okay with getting things done and not setting things aside to go to his grave.  But we do still go. 

It was a quiet Christmas. DD and I decided there was no better gift than a trip to the city with the dogs.  Seattle is friendly to pets and they stayed happily in the hotel.  We had a nice dinner.  We walked about.  We drove to the cemetery and brought the dogs.  They love to go and they seem to know that we are at a special place when we drive through the gates.

Thank you for posting.
"I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry." ~Cat Stevens

TooSoon

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2016, 07:11:56 AM »
I had just ordered his book last night and then saw this op-ed this morning.  It is all so eerily familiar - ten years, little girl, hospice bed, that one last trip we took.  There is something deeply profound in a terminal diagnosis.  Everything becomes crystal clear when you know without doubt - or hope - what the end of the story will be.  It has been hard since he died not to have that sort of definition and clarity.  I know that might sound odd but it is true in my case.  Sigh. 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 10:34:48 AM by TooSoon »

Guaruj

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2016, 10:30:18 AM »
I had just ordered his book last night and then saw this op-ed this morning.

...and I read the op-ed yesterday and saw his book reviewed this morning. :) I didn't read his book or its review myself.

TooSoon

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 01:33:39 PM »
My husband had brain cancer, the very cancer this brave man specialized in and the literature connection resonates so strongly with me.  Cannot wait to get my hands on the book. 

http://www.wnyc.org/story/when-breath-becomes-air/
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 01:36:14 PM by TooSoon »

Amor

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Re: "My Marriage Didn?t End When I Became a Widow" in the NY Times
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 01:58:26 PM »
this is a very good article.  I hope it helps others too.
Amor