Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Experiencing the Shift

Date: 
Monday, October 23, 2017
Posted By: 
Gerry

Experiencing the Shift

 

I’m experiencing a life change this year ,and it has been shifting my thinking a bit.  I feel like I have experienced a few life changes in the last 9 years:  widowhood, moving, falling in love and creating a new relationship, graduate school, 2 children finishing college.  But this last life change, cancer, has really made me think a little bit and longer over how things really do change with time.  It has also made me think about what I can do to make my life a better one, having survived cancer.

 

I have experienced the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer this year.  All news points to recovery:  it was Stage 1 and treatable.  I experienced the highs and lows of 4 cycles of chemo and 6 ½ weeks of radiation.  I learned a lot about the people who showed their love and support for me in this time of growth and recovery.  I also saw people’s reactions to cancer that surprised and disappointed me.  I have to come to terms with the fact that this particular life change is one that is difficult for many people and will eventually be okay with the fact that it is hard to talk about.  

 

I am also learning that this life is one to be embraced because there is no guarantee of how long my life is going to be.  When you experience death in a partner, you really think about how much time you have had with that person but in some cases, you only realized it after they are gone.  Now I have the benefit of having a life experience where I can appreciate what I have right now, in this moment.  I’ve learned through widowhood that I can’t and really shouldn’t take my love for others and their love for me for granted.  The idea of a bucket list was a cliché for me but now it seems like a good idea to help me chart a course of self-fullfillment.  This experience is slowly becoming one that I would like to learn from, one day at a time.

 

I ‘m thinking about the changes that I can make in my life to make it a more fulfilling one:  time with loved ones, good self-care, strong connections with colleagues and friends, time in nature, travel.  These staples of living a good life have always been there.  But I have a new perspective on them. 

 

I hope that perspective keeps me humble, wise, and with a sense of humor.  I’ll keep needing that for sure!

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