I sat stunned into silence when a statement was made to me that would mark my life forever. My late husband, Brad, and I were at An Oasis Of Healing, an all natural cancer treatment facility. Brad was receiving his myofascial massage and was telling his therapist how I was on him all the time, about not drinking enough fluids, to drinking too much coffee. I really thought his therapist was going to take my side, but, he looked at me point blank, smiled and softly said, “This is his journey, not yours.”
Brad is my late husband who lost his battle with cancer on August 10, 2014. I felt my own life depended on him living, as every breath I took was for him. He was my everything. As simple as that. I tried to do everything in my power to keep him alive. I worked myself to exhaustion, caring for his every need. I really thought it was in my control. That if I gave it my everything, he would live. When those words were spoken to me, I was annoyed at first, then I felt a huge weight fall off my shoulders. At that moment, I felt relief.
When Brad died, I wanted to die too. I was incredibly depressed and felt so lost. I was abandoned by people I loved, for reasons I still cannot comprehend. Despite my anger with God and the shift in my beliefs, I could feel Him pulling me up by the arm and saying, “This is not what I have meant for you. I made you stronger than this!” It took awhile, maybe too soon for the onlookers, but eventually, I grappled my way out of that deep pit.
WHERE I AM TODAY
It’s been over three years now, though I still grieve, the pain is not so acute. I marvel how God has designed our minds to have the ability to bury deep sorrow in the recesses of our hearts. To allow us to move forward and enjoy life again. Yes, there are times when something can trigger a memory and I can’t catch my breath. I sometimes allow myself to indulge in the memory and cry bittersweet tears, but for the most part, I feel joy. I feel joy that I got to be an important part of Brad’s life journey. The love we shared and the memories are all tucked safely in my heart.
“This is his journey, not yours.”
Those words keep coming back to me when I have guilt of the happiness I feel today. I’m in love again with a wonderful man, Jeremy. I’m stronger than ever because of what I’ve been through. I make no apologies for harnessing the strength because my husband died. It is the strength I need to complete my own life’s journey.
Brad’s journey is now complete and I’m still travelling mine. I will give it all that I have, and all that I am. I will make mistakes and perhaps will have more sorrows to come. Certainly there will be more joy. I will continue to harness the strength I gain from each difficult path. And for that, I still make no apologies.