A friend of mine spoke a powerful truth into my life recently.
We were chatting and catching up but I wasn’t being fully honest with her. She knew I wasn’t spilling the full truth and called me out on it which is a great thing. A true friend will call your bluff every time you try to fake it.
I’m not good at being fake sadly and I finally sighed and admitted I was not feeling myself. Truthfully, I’ve not felt like myself in months. After my husband's cancer diagnosis, treatments, and hospital stay ended the dust started to settle. Our weeks were full of sterile doctor's offices, endless questions and side effects, and the fear of the unknown.
Then the adrenaline wore off and seeped out of my body like it always does after traumatic experiences and I was left feeling weak and vulnerable. It almost felt like being a completely wrung-out sponge. And a whole lot of sadness. Life seemed to go back to “normal” but I still feel stuck.
I continued to reason with my friend and over-explain myself as we all tend to do by making excuses as to why I should get over it and move forward.
“It’s all good. I’m fine. I’m thankful he’s doing better as it could have been worse.”
“I shouldn’t still be sad about it all because we’re through it and it’s all going to be okay.”
Until finally she told me what I needed to hear.
She confidently said she was sure I was slightly depressed and feeling vulnerable after that traumatic experience. “You’re grieving the loss of the safe and regular family life you had,” she calmly explained.
Then she went on to say how it was OKAY to be both thankful + sad. Joyful + anxious. We can be all of the above when we are grieving a loss.
And it made me feel a little less crazy.
Why do we only associate loss with death?
I’ve always thought about it that way. Grief/loss = death only.
When we lose something important to us we experience grief.
I’ve spent a lot of time, well into the early morning hours, Googling “loss” and “grief” after cancer. My fingers furiously type as I attempt to make myself understand how I feel.
My findings surprised me.
We can experience grief after a physical loss of a loved one.
We can experience grief after family life changes such as divorce.
We can experience grief after the loss of our health.
We can experience grief after the loss of any type or kind.
And it’s normal.
You may be experiencing grief over a loss. No matter what your loss looks like; it is still a loss and causes a lot of emotional stress. It’s okay to admit it and keep working on overcoming it.
God is faithful to take our pain and make it into something spectacular.
I’m thankful my husband is doing great and I fully believe God has healed him.
I’m also sad that it happened to the love of my life and dealing with the anxiety of life after cancer and realizing how fragile our health is.
I’m happy and sometimes I’m sad at the same time.
And it’s okay if you’re too, friend.