It’s been a year and a half since my wife passed away after a long battle with breast cancer, but I’m only recently beginning to realize the fullness of what I’ve lost. Whoever said that the stages of grief come in an orderly progression was wrong. Grieving is not a neat and systematic process at all. It’s totally haphazard. It was much like my training for the Half Moon Bay International Marathon.
Some days were good. Some days were not. To run was a struggle, but I tried hard to put a run in as often as I could. My skimpy training reflected my own attempt to create a picture of me doing something to move on with my life with my loss.
|With a rose in hand, approaching the
finish line at the Half Moon Bay
International Marathon on
Sept. 23, 2012 in California.
My run was for my wife. It was also for all the people I prayed for and those who asked for it on their behalf. As much as I remembered my loss during the run, I also recognized the caring, giving, and the affirmation I received from the other runners, volunteers, and organizers I met in the race.
Grieving, like running is not easy. Grieving is not fun, unlike running. But grieving and running, in the right direction, can be both nurturing. There is joy and enlightenment that eventually grow out of them. It doesn't matter if the training was a mess, or if the grieving was disorderly. What matters is that you are at the starting line (again) to face an opportunity to grow, to change, and to be a better person than you were before.
Some excerpts taken from Widower: When Men Are Left Alone by Scott Campbell and Phyllis R. Silverman