1/19/22

Secondary Losses

On June 26, 2021, I lost my beloved wife, Donna, to hereditary cancer. When you lose your soulmate of 40 years, you lose more than just their physical presence, you suffer so many secondary losses -- so many of the shared small things, little memories, and magic moments that made life together so special.

The word bereave comes from the Old English word, befearfian, which means to "deprive, take away, or be robbed." And that is what cancer and death does, it robs the cancer patient and their family of so many of those precious little moments together that are often taken for granted.

Over next few months I will be sharing some thoughts and simple drawings from my grief sketchbook that my beloved wife and I will never share together again. Mark Twain said, “To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” Maybe you can relate, or maybe it will just give you pause to reflect on your own life and how precious the ordinary moments of life are.

But I think BrenĂ© Brown said it best:  "We chase extraordinary moments instead of being grateful for ordinary moments until hard shit happens. And then in the face of really hard stuff -- illness, death, loss -- the only thing we're begging for is a normal moment."