Losing someone special or something that you care a great deal about is very painful, yet it’s something that everyone has to deal with and process in their own way and in their own time. I lost 2 very special people, within a few months of each other and I’ve been thinking all day about which one I should write about and how to approach this post. But as I sat down to write, I realized the greatest loss I have had in my life is losing the last 5 years to an illness.
When you lose a person, there’s a grieving process and the pain and sadness ease up after a period of time, but what happens when you lose your life to an illness and I don’t mean death, I mean having to figure out a way to live a purposeful and happy life, while you lost your previous life. Grief associated with an ongoing illness isn’t as finite as losing a loved one. The event happens and doesn’t go away. How can time heal all wounds when your life is a daily permanent reminder of that loss and it is never ending.
Five years ago, I was in a great place, living a great life, not perfect but great. I had entered a new relationship which was very special to me, I had a terrific job, where I was fairly compensated and I had freedom and unlimited choices. I was happy and optimistic about my future.
It was a very cold February night as I went to sleep, thinking about the fun I was going to have at tomorrow’s Super Bowl Party and hoping that the numbers I picked in the office pool were going to net me the big win of the night. I fell asleep quickly that Saturday night and when I awoke on Sunday morning, nothing was the same.
I couldn’t move, couldn’t get my legs to support my weight and I just lie there wondering what was going on. After a while, my legs stopped shaking and I was able to make my way to the kitchen and brew a pot of coffee, thinking that would help me get on with my day.
Unfortunately, 2 cups of coffee later, I was in no better shape and had to go back to bed, where I spent the better part of the following week. Everyone kept telling me I must have picked up a nasty virus and that I’d be back to normal in no time, but I knew something was very wrong and that a week in bed was not going to cure this ailment.
When you have a chronic condition, you are forever walking down a imaginary line that separates the past from the future. I think back to what I used to be able to do and think about the things I’ve had to give up and the time that I lost. When I look forward, I can’t really picture what my future will bring, as I’m entering unchartered territory.