I feel like I also have a terminal illness – it’s called grief

My name is Leesa Sheridan and I said goodbye to my beautiful husband Steve, in September last year. He was 49 years old.

Steve was diagnosed with Melanoma in June 2015, then after surgery we hoped we were clear forever, but a year to the date it came back with avengance, it had spread to his lungs, liver and brain.

Grief starts when given a terminal diagnoses as you mentally try to contemplate the horror of facing a life without the love of your life beside you. I had just 3 short months to do this.

Nothing however can prepare you for the horrific depth of sadness, shock and emptiness that swamps you. I explain it as a 24 hour nightmare that only intensifies when you open your eyes.

To be a widow at the age of 48 sends me into shock each time I am forced to say “I am widowed”.  It seems only a term used by the elderly, but that is not the reality of life.

I now face a very different life to the fun, exciting one Steve and I had planned together. I realise that the support one man alone gave me, I now need a whole team of people to give me. Little Haven have definitely been a part of this team. They allowed me to grant Steve’s last wish, to die in the comfort and love of our home.

I feel I also have now been diagnosed with a terminal illness- it is called grief, for which there is no cure, but no death either. Living with it now has to be part of my daily life and Little Haven is there to support me in my grief.

Steve loved life and he fought so hard to stay here that I feel it would be disrespectful to him if I do not respect the blessing of life and to aim for more laughs in my life than tears. He was such a happy, positive man. The song he wanted for his funeral was, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” so I know, I need to keep his song playing.

After just passing Steve’s first anniversary I can honestly say that the fog is lifting. I can now face my days knowing this is how it has to be,  but what most people don’t see now is the tears that I still shed daily, internal or external, or the big empty hole that lies constantly within me, that I know, while I walk this earth will remain within me.

Because, Steve and I never wanted to stop holding hands,

                      We never wanted to say goodbye.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful,  heart breaking story Leesa. Sharing your very real experience helps raise community awareness and empathy to just how hard, not just emotionally but physically too, grief is. Sending you lots of love.  xx

    Posted in : Bereavement