Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Trigger Point

Monday, August 11, 2014
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I never really thought how hard it was going to be. Tom and I had been planning our exit plan from being parents to enjoying just our selves together since the day we married. We both were married before each other. I had a young daughter and he had two small sons. So, for us, we decided to have our own kids right away to make everything seem normal and very much what a family should be. But in the dark, it was our time to make plans for only us when our youngest left for college. We planned the vacations that would no longer necessitate the logistics of where to deposit five children or the dog that I was suckered into feeling solely responsible in caring for.

It all changed the day that we were delivered the “terminal news”. I spent a while understanding that our plans of “we and us” would be “me and I”. I felt cheated. I went into autopilot being the best mom I could be in allowing my children to feel as if life was normal and their dad was not dying a little bit more each day. I stopped thinking about me, and my own needs, because I was needed as a wife and later caregiver, to a mom, sister, daughter, friend, volunteer…you name it, I was it. I was never just me, by myself, all alone.

Well, the little darlings are growing up. The decade I spent dealing with Tom’s illness to when Tom died that fateful 28 months ago are about to culminate in, the trigger point.

She tells me daily how many days it is until she leaves for college. I am so happy for her that her life is beginning. I am so proud of how my children have grown up. The problem is, I am trying to figure out what I am going to do because my job is done, so to speak. It is now just me and I cannot hide behind anyone else. I have no day to day responsibilities to any of them and have only to think about my plans. My trigger point is ironically, the day that would have been my 22nd wedding anniversary to Tom. I will leave my youngest 1900 miles away from me and begin the fateful trip home to a very empty house.

I know that as I board that airplane home, I will be lost in the thoughts from the dark that we would have been traveling together and enjoying our time together alone, finally. We barely had that alone time in our early years as young newlyweds because we began our life together with the ready made family. So now my trigger point is allowing me the chance to travel but I have no one to share those adventures.

My next chapter begins, if I like it or not, and wherever that may be.


Hey Sheri...loved the post. I know how you feel, now it's time to find yourself and do what makes you happy. But what does that even mean anymore?

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