Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grief: Rolling With The Punches

Two nights ago I got a phone call from a reporter from the Monterey Herald.  Artie and I used to live in Carmel, CA near Monterey.  It's a long story but the doctor that misdiagnosed him and treated his Stage 4 cancer with Cipro and Gatorade was convicted of forcible sodomy (anal rape) and sentenced to 6 years in prison and to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.  Imagine, finding out the doctor who was your husband's friend for 8 years was not only an alcoholic and a cocaine user but also a serial rapist.  The appellate court is looking at his case and the reporter wanted to know if the Medical Board had ever contacted me (yes) and if the DEA had ever contacted me (no).  His medical license was revoked when he was found guilty.  I was very angry at the medical community for protecting this dangerous man at the expense of his patients.  My husband would have died anyway - his cancer was very aggressive - but we lost any chance we had to fight. 

I didn't realize how strongly this phone call brought back all the feelings from that time.  Watching Artie get sicker and sicker and being powerless to help him because he was stubborn and his doctor kept telling him he was fine.  After six weeks he finally went into the hospital and only lived for six weeks after that.  We were lucky he got to die at home.  Jazz music was always playing and he was surrounded by people he loved.  A lot of laughing.  Then he was dead. 

We all get these punches.  This is a big one but there are so many small ones.  A story you want to share.  Something you want to buy.  A loving couple or if you have lost a child - folks talking about their children.  Usually I am a fighter.  Today I did something different.  I just lay down on the bed for about 7 hours.  I didn't cry or watch TV or listen to anything or even sleep.  I just lay there and rested.  I feel much better now.

At first I felt guilty - there were several things I wanted to do today.  I even cancelled an appointment with my story telling coach.  Then as I continued to not get up the guilt went away.  My body and mind needed stillness and rest.

It's hard to know when to push yourself and when to stay still.  I was going to write that I wasn't sad any more and a tear just dripped out of my right eye!   A little wet message that I will always be sad.

One way to roll with the punches is to come out fighting.  Another way is to just be out for a small count. It's strange how peaceful I feel.  Must have been what my body and mind needed.

There is tomorrow.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a high energy day now that I have allowed my soul to take a rest.

I have been getting lovely messages from people from trance camp.  Another community to be part of - this one from all over the world.  I am lucky to be part of so many different communities. 

I'm feeling excited about going to Seattle on Monday to see my daughter and find out if my grandbaby is a boy or a girl.  Even after today's willing collapse - the work I did at trance camp made me feel much more connected to her - and to life.  I know that is what Artie would want. If it is a boy she is going to name him Oliver, if a girl - Gwendolyn.  Unless she changes her mind!!

Wishing you a peaceful heart and a calm mind.  Sometimes that peace and calm do come.  Sometimes they really do.   xo

1 comment:

  1. I can identify with you..... I'm in the grieving process and it's the hardest thing I've ever done. It drains every part of your soul. I'm stuck in between the denial stage and the acceptance stage!! Sometimes I don;t feel it's possible to get through the pain, the emptiness. My dad passed 6 months ago from cancer. I cry all the time. I wonder if I'll ever truly heal? I will never be the same....Grief changes us dramatically! Hope to hear back from you.