cancer · caregiver · colon cancer · greaving · newlyweds · widow · young widow

The funeral, affermation, and a delightful peace.

I did it. I made it to the funeral. I had my speech written and I hid while everyone was showing up so that no one would tell me how sorry they were for me or cry when they hugged me or what ever else they feel like doing.  I knew the funeral would be really hard because wether or not I wanted to be hugged/touched/shake hands/be Pat on the back…. I knew I would be. I also didn’t want to have a zillion conversations about how sad everyone was for me… Or how wonderful Brett was…. I just didn’t want to hear it… I didn’t want to be triggered before I gave my eulogy. For the most part it worked. I made it through… My truck was to not make eye contact with anyone while I was speaking (which I know is a no-no in public speaking, but who are we kidding here… I don’t need to impress anyone). After his service the family walked into the room across the hall and then one my one people started flooding in. It reminded me of our beautiful wedding day, everyone was there for me… To see me… To talk to me… To tell me I was beautiful and that my eulogy was stunning.  I’m glad I rested for a week before we did anything… My mom watched my baby for me so I could have 5 days of quiet where I had company only when I wanted it and the other half of the time I watched prison break. 
The thing I wasn’t really expecting is that I felt free. And I have been feeling free. For ONCE… My husband can not get any worse. He finally can not get any worse. No more bad news, no more scans, no more pokes, no more meds, no more neausea, no more resting… He is free. I remembered for months trying to remember what my husband looked like before he was sick… Mental pictures not actual pictures, and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t remember what he looked like when we were dating. But once he died… I could. The same morning actually! I felt like I could see him in regular clothes at a regular weight and happy as I have ever seen him. It was almost as if he forgot what feeling good felt like and after he passed and was healed he expirenced it for the first time in months and he was just beaming!

The funeral felt a little like our wedding… In fact I kept saging… “Yea.. at the wedding… I mean funeral… I don’t know why I said wedding… That was weird.” And then my dad ended up doing the same thing! He accidentally called it the wedding 2x in one day?! But for some reason it still felt like that to me. Everyone we both knew and loved came. The last time we saw everyone together like that was at our wedding. And the last time I hugged and spoke to that many people was at my wedding. Only this time our conversation was different.

After hearing stories about how Brett was when he was younger and how competitive he was the more I realized how long he had actually been sick. But with that came a peace. I got to take care of a man who was deeply loved by his community at his weakest. No one saw him struggle the way I did, that was something special just for me. When he was first diagnosed he talked about how if he did die how he would be giving me everything he has ever had, his house, his car, his family, his siblings, and his only son. He said he was giving me all of him and everything he had accomplished or that made him successful was going to be passed down to Tucker and I. I remember watching his face when he said that, he was crying but he was also extremely confident and proud of the life he lived.

I married a man who days after being diagnosed (at 29) loving declared that all he was and would ever be was freely given to me. He didn’t once make dieing of cancer about him. Not once. Not even in the beginning.

Something about all that makes me feel peaceful about his passing. He so willingly and lovingly gave me his everything. I don’t feel like a victim, in fact I mostly feel special that he chose me out of everyone he ever knew… He chose to marry me.


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