Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Sharking

Date: 
Monday, April 15, 2013
Posted By: 
Eden Maheras

Today, we welcome Eden Maheras who is a new regular writer for the CYWC blog.  Read more about her below!

My name is Eden and I lost my husband JP unexpectedly on February 15, 2012.  The day after Valentine’s Day, his heart gave out, and by the time I arrived at the hospital, it was clear that he was not going to survive.  At the age of 32, with a 7-month-old baby boy, I said goodbye to my true love, my best friend, and our hopes and dreams for the rest of the perfect little life we had planned out for ourselves.  

Over the next couple months, I sold our home and much of our furniture, donated many of his and our belongings, applied and was accepted to a grad school program, began to deal with the legal mess that accompanies a death with no will in Illinois (there’s a rant for another day), and started planning for my parents to move to Chicago to help me care for my son, Max, while I got my MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  I have a wonderful support system consisting of the best friends and family in the world.  They have gotten me through this in one piece.  But even with all that love and support, I have a lot on my plate: dealing with widowhood, being a mom to a toddler, a full-time student, and caring for a dog with a degenerative neurological disorder that is causing her back legs to become paralyzed. 

One of my coping mechanisms has been to stay in constant motion.  I call it “sharking” in reference to the fact that sharks have to be in constant motion to stay alive.  I was not always someone who needed to be doing something.  In fact, I was a champion loafer and master procrastinator.  JP, on the other hand, was always working on a project.  Sometimes I think there are parts of him that I internalized after I lost him.  Like being decisive, taking control, and Getting Things Done.   

For example, right now I am in the middle of finals at school, which means I have two presentations to give this week, a final case study, a final exam, a group proposal and group presentation, and our Assessment Center, where we perform various exercises to demonstrate what we’ve learned in the program so far.  On top of that, I’m working on a consulting project for another department within my school, and am about to start a full-time internship.  Not to mention managing my dog’s therapy, my own physical therapy for a hip issue (oh, did I mention that I do CrossFit pretty much every day of the week?  I guess all the heavy lifting caught up with me), classes with my son, and trying to keep up with domestic responsibilities.  And somehow I have a pretty active social life, too.  I truly have become accustomed to operating on very little sleep. 

Sometimes I worry that I’m not devoting enough time to grieving for JP.  I try to make time and space for the tears and sorrow when they come.  But there is a part of me that thinks sharking is part of my way of honoring his memory.  He had a very demanding work life, but he didn’t take it easy on the weekends.  His memory makes me want to make the most of every minute; we have too few on this earth.  So whether I am reading the same book over and over to Max, or writing a paper, paying bills, and scheduling various appointments simultaneously, feeling like I am filling every moment with something worthwhile, that is going to, in some way, make Max’s life better, and that would make JP proud (or make him laugh)…that is what helps me deal with my grief.  And I know that he is looking down on me, and is my biggest fan.  There is not a minute that goes by that doesn’t carry with it the heaviness of sorrow and loss.  But I am moving, and moving forward - for Max, for myself, and for JP. 

Comments

Nicely done, Eden. Brave, honest, and open. And you know what they say about courage... it's not the absence of fear... it's just doing it anyway.... (But you knew that already.)

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