Thursday, November 12, 2009

Amazingly, I survived...

I know. I have been remiss in writing. I think often about what I want to write and begin to formulate a post in my brain. But time is an ever elusive beast these days and the posts in my mind tend to become irrelevant or tired by the time I decide to actually commit them to written word.

So, instead I have decided to just sit down and see what rambles out. I have no conscious idea of where I will go with it today. But bloody hell, I never end up writing what I originally intended anyways!

Life for the most part is good. Alec is doing remarkably well. He has his shit days, as we all do. But he is no longer quite so fearful of losing me. I no longer have to be within view at all times. He plays. He laughs. He tumbles. He bounces. He is remarkably like a “normal” little boy. A little boy who doesn’t have a care in the world. A little boy who did not watch his dad slowly die.

If you stop sometimes you can see the darker, deeper affects of his loss. He seems to understand things on an emotional and cognitive level far beyond his years. He worries that people are unhappy. That people are sad. That someone might get sick. He talks about Cancer and I think he sometimes has a more profound understanding of it than many adults.

You can also see other tread marks on his life as he rebelliously shuns growing up. He wants to be taken care of. Safe. Secure. Dressing is a battle. Potty time is a battle. As it very well may be with many children. And in true Skye form, I may be over-analyzing the hell out of the very simple and common behavior of a toddler boy. But I know too that he feels small and helpless and just wants to be held and protected from the scary world out there. I can relate. I have the very same moments myself.

Often he goes about life, laughing and being silly. And then sometimes out of the blue he will come up and say something that tears your heart out. Recently he came up to me and said, “You know what would be cool?” And when I asked what, he said, “If the doctors were able to someday get the rest of the Cancer out of daddies head and he could come back. That would be so cool.” Yeah DoodleBug, that would be. And damn, if it were only that easy. When I explained that daddy would never be able to come back. That the Doctors tried so very hard, but they were just unable to get all the Cancer out and Daddy died. Alec responded, “I know. But it would be so nice if he did someday. I miss him.” Shit. Shit. Shit. And those are the moments that he sounds so much older than four. Like an old man trapped in a little body. And then he looks up, his eyes bright and smiling. And the moment washes past us like a leaf caught up in a stream.

Life moves on. We move on.

I think of David often. In many respects a part of him will always be inside me. I will carry him with me wherever I go for the remainder of my days on this rock. His love. His strength. His fierce determination. His playful spirit. His laughter.

Sometimes it weighs me down and my heart aches. Other times it buoys me up and strengthens me. But it is there. Always a part of me. I am Skye. I was once David’s wife. I was his Wildflower. His best friend. His Lover.

Now I am a widow. But really, I am so much more than that simplistic title implies. My identity is constantly changing, as am I. No, I am no longer someone’s wife. But I am still Skye. Not the Skye of 16 years ago when we first met. And not even the Skye of 16 months ago, the night David died. But I like her. I think she is one brave fucking warrior. She is strong. And she still cries. Amazingly she is still able to be silly. To laugh. To dance. To dream. To place her heart in another’s hands. To love.

Sometimes I feel guilty that I like the person I have become. In many ways it was David’s last imparting gift to me. And I know that I would not be who I am today. Not only with David’s love; but with the loss of him as well. The last few years helped define me in a way I do not think anything else could have. It crystallized a lot of things within me. My passion. My love of life. My need to eek every damn, precious, silly, fun moment out of life.

I learned a lot about myself. My strengths. My weaknesses. My fears.
I learned to conquer some of them and picked up a few new ones on my journey. But I have since found that although one can never live a completely fearless life. One cannot let fear control them and the decisions they make. Just tuck your head down and barrel forward, I say. Because like it or not. Life is gonna happen. The good moments and the ones that threaten to tear your soul apart. And there is no use trying to side step that fucker. Because if it is meant to happen, it is going to happen whether you stand tall and let it wash over you, or curl into a ball.

Sometimes I liken myself to a sword. It kind of sounds silly and trite, but it fits. I have been annealed by the flames. Coming through the fire, stronger and sharper than ever. It did not break me and I will forever be stronger because of it. It is not that I am ok that David died. Far from it. And I am not trying to find meaning in his death. He died. There is nothing I can ever do to change that reality. But with his death, I have been able to finally find myself. Truly. And to actually like the woman who stands before me in the mirror. And through all the heartache, pain and darkness…somehow something beautiful has emerged. Hope survives. Love survives. Amazingly, I survived...


At November 13, 2009 7:54 AM, Blogger Star said...

I like the sword analogy. I often think that Roger's death was his last parting gift was well. It was the last thing he could give to me to make me who I was. I recently found some old chat logs and reading my old "voice" was scary. I didn't recognize myself and I cringed when I saw what I wrote.

I am a better person now. I do not like the way it happened at all either but I am a better person.

At November 13, 2009 8:26 AM, Blogger Skye said...

Thanks Star. I think of you often and the similar roads that we travel. Like we are walking along together, although the miles separate our journeys.

I agree. It is strange sometimes to look back at the person you were and realize that they are almost unrecognizable. Like you are looking at someone else and in reality…you are. It reflects how very far we have all come and how we have chosen to let these experiences shape us. We decided to bloom instead of letting the storms drown us. Which at times could have been so very easy…

At November 20, 2009 2:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank you so much for your writings Skye.

I can relate to some of your situation, as my husband died of a brain tumour as well. It's tough trying to explain to a 4yr old (who asks) how Daddy got the cancer in his brain . . . and the other day she asked me, 'Are you SURE there isn't anything we can do to bring Daddy back??'

I appreciate your words so much - your rawness and honesty - an incredible balance of hope alongside the acknowledgement of just how crappy this whole ride is. Though you don't post as often any longer, I always look forward to what you have to say, and as you said a while back - you haven't been writing as much because are living your life - and that is fantastic. I am waiting for to move beyond 'existing'. You help make it feel possible.

Thanks again,

At November 28, 2009 8:38 AM, Anonymous Roads said...

Well done, Skye. Not just for writing this -- I agree with every word you say -- but for enduring, persisting and surviving.

In those early days and weeks and months, it seemed unimaginable and unfathomable that we could survive this experience, and even looking back across a span of years, it still seems quite remarkable that we could, and that we did. Because I'm still not sure how we ever did it.

That's where this sense of inner strength and a certain kind of unlikely vulnerability arises, in recognising that you had to face what life threw at you, and you emerged somehow to fight another day.

As you only hint at, it's not a flawless or invincible state you reach. In some ways, you're still prone to being knocked sideways by an ill wind or just by the certainty of a bad day occurring every now and then. But, for the most part at least, you learn to cope with those and that is its own kind of triumph as well.

I'm not surprised to read about Alec's questioning. 4 years old was exactly the age when I heard those questions, too. It breaks you apart to hear them, since the pain of your child's loss is one that is almost more impossible to bear even than your own.

And yet, as you imply, an appreciation of these things and of all that's important can add so much to a young life and to the strong and calm, assured person that Alec will become.

Well done for now, and just keep going. Spirits up.

At January 14, 2010 9:48 AM, Anonymous Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

Happy New Year! I am working on improving my blogroll- Cancer Blogs - at Being Cancer Network. One of the things I want to do is to expand the 700 blog entries. Please let me know your specific cancer diagnosis - the medical term. Also the year you were diagnosed and anything else you think is relevant for the listing, like a book you have written or if you had a transplant.. Please include the name of your blog in the email so I can put the information in the correct listing.

This has been a very popular (over 7500 visits) and valuable resource for folks. It allows people to view what others with a similar diagnoses have gone through. And it brings additional attention and traffic to survivor’s blogs. It is helping to build a strong, vibrant community of survivors.

Please see my January 10 post - New Year’s New Face - for additional changes in the website. WIshing you a happy and healthy new year.

Dennis Pyritz, RN

At November 23, 2010 12:06 PM, Blogger Andrea Renee said...

Hi – I’m Andrea from the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation ( We are interested in adding your blog to the blog roll on the resource page of our website. Please email me at to let me know the best way to contact you so we can discuss the possibility of adding your blog. Thank you so much!

At September 15, 2011 11:18 AM, Blogger DAVID HAAS said...

I have a question about your blog. Please email me!

At September 15, 2011 1:37 PM, Blogger DAVID HAAS said...

I have a question about your blog. Please email me!

At November 14, 2011 2:17 AM, Blogger findinglifeinadeath said...

Your post reminded me of another one about labels and grief which might just be an interested read for you: It takes courage to acknowledge that the new you might be something stronger, steely than before.

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