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I don't even know how to start what I am thinking. I don't come here often any more. I try to stick to the Just For Fun forum. Somehow that seems safer. Still there are times like today when something hits me. I'm not completely sure what started it but I am thinking it may have been Randy saying that he went back to the chemo building. I try to block those memories out along with so many others. Randy I am proud of you and please don't think I am blaming you for my rambling thoughts today.

I went back to the place where Johnny had chemo just a couple of weeks after his death. Part of the reason was to test myself. To see if I was capable of functioning normally. The main reason was to drop some papers off. Not to them I didn't dare but I left them laying in the bathroom hoping that some of the patients would find them. Even at that early stage of my grief I knew that that attitude toward lung cancer had played a major roll in his death.

I had written a paper about how that attitude needed to be changed. I wanted people to know how important keeping hope alive is and I wanted it to get back to those people there especially that nurse that I had trusted so much. The one who I will always know started the process that cost me the love of my life. It was pure torment going in there. I felt like I was wearing a suit of lead and when I got back to my car I had to sit there and cry for a very long time. I was so alone and there was no where to turn.

Johnny's grandson was born just 15 days after his death. A child that he had looked forward to so much, the child that he wanted to share with me because he loved me and my own grandchildren were so far away. Because Valerie had a C section that was giving her serious problems she had to go to her doctor. Johnny Ray was working so I piled her and all 3 of the children into my car and drove her to her appointment.

I had no idea when we left her home that her doctor's office was next to the hospital where Johnny had died less than 3 weeks before. While she was inside I sat in that parking lot with the two oldest children and looked up at the window to the room he had been in. Every memory from that last weekend bombarded me. If ever anyone could describe a situation as a living hell, that was one.

Later when the children needed to use the bathroom I took them inside. On the way out I saw the oncology department. I knew that the same doctors who had treated him so poorly were there. If not for the children I would have probably ended up spending that Christmas in jail. I wanted so much to go in there and demand answers, answers to questions that at that time were only half formed in my tormented mind.

So now here I am going on 9 years sense those heartbreaking days in 2002. Most of the time I do very well. I tend to keep busy. I tell myself it is because I like to do things and that is partially true but deep down I know that when I am not busy doing something, when I let myself think the pain will come and I am right back in that parking lot reliving the nightmare.

I think of Johnny everyday. Sometimes the memories are of those last 5 months we shared. Other times it is the memories of when we first met, when I was but a very young girl and he captured my heart forever with a song and a smile. I should have so many years of memories to go back to but I don't. Fate took us in different directions.

While I was married and living far away thoughts of Johnny would cross my mind and I would push them down inside of me. He was somewhere in the depths of me and his memory had to stay there too. Still somehow I always knew that he loved me. No matter what life threw at me somehow it was the strength of that love that helped me get through.

Sense his death I don't ever push him down in that place so deep again. I talk to him and I know that he is still with me in so many ways. He is so much a part of me, he is like the blood that flows in my veins and the air that I breath. He holds my heart with every beat it makes and he is part of my dreams both when I am awake or sleeping. I know just as I did for all of those years that he is there, that his love for me it there. I never question it and I know that even now that is the strength that gets me through each day.

Still there are times when those memories come calling and I ache to see his smile and hear his voice. I long to feel his touch and see the light in his eyes. My need for him is such an all consuming pain that it becomes a physical pain.

If it were not for all of you despite all of the many good neighbors that I have I would feel just as alone as I did that day in that parking lot after leaving that chemo clinic. Knowing that there are those of you who understand who have felt some of the same things that I feel brings me comfort.

I try not to bring this here too often. I see so many who are so new in their grief and I don't want to dishearten them. I don't want to bring down those of you who are fighting the cancer and live in fear and dread each time a test comes. I try to be considerate of all of you but there are times when I just have to let what is in my heart and mind spill out. I can think of nowhere other that with this " Family" of mine to do that.

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Dont blame you for rambling its good to let it out you know!! It does take a lot to go back to certain places in life after tragedy! part of reason I could never be mad was I knew how bad the cancer had gotten from reading the reports after she died! I still have them in my Box for Deb and probably always will have them! It was hard about a year ago when I first had to take Dad to the center for blood work not cancer related! The gentleman who works the info desk recognized me and offered belated Condolences! He always Addressed Deb and I by name and still does even without looking at an appointment schedule! That was the hardest thing I have done in 5 and a half years!!

Thanks for sharing Lilly!!! Hugs and prayers for you!!

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Thank you for sharing this. I would not worry about frightening those new to grief. Grief is a strange thing, in that we go through times when it is acute, and then times when it recedes, only to become acute again.

Recemtly I had this happen to me. It seemed so strange after all this time. I was driving to Gilda's Club, and memories of my little sister came back to me as I drove by the high school that she attended so very long ago.

She died in 1983 at age 25. She was my best friend. The grief was acute, and lasted a long time. But as many say here, while the grief never goes away, it dims with time.

But about 3 weeks ago, as I passed her old high school, all of a sudden I felt such intense grief that it took my breath away. There were no thoughts or memories that provoked this feeling of loss. Just acute grief. My eyes overflowed with tears, and I just let them go.

It kind of blew me away. I had not felt this is many years.

Grief is a strange thing. But it's okay. Feel the feelings, and go with the flow.


Judy in MI

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I don't think you shouldd ever hesitate to get something out here. This forum gives hope, not by saying,"look everything will be great." It gives hope by saying we all have dark hours and hard times. We aren't alone.

I am sorry (for all of us) that somethings have to be so hard. Somethings are bruttal reminders. But we are all brought together by this pain...

We all, in some wayt shape and form, get it!

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(((Lillian))) and thank you for verbalizing what so many caregivers feel. I know that am supposed to "forgive and forget" but many of us cannot do that, and yet are afraid to say so. Thank you for saying what I cannot.

Every time I drive past the hospital where my husband was treated and died, I avert my eyes to try not to see the room in which he died. (one of these days I may have a car accident from trying to avoid seeing the place :evil: ) My daughter has overcome this, and actually took flowers and a thank you card to the "caregivers" involved, but she only went through the last few days, she did not live with the rest of the previous time and really did not know what had happened. Even when he was in the palliative care unit I had to battle every day with them to see that he at least had some paim-free comfort at the end.

But Nick and Katie are right, in that this is the right place to say those things that we do not feel we can say to others. I saw our family MD today (after 2+ years without my husband) and his comment was that he was glad that I seemed to be "doing fine" ... even he has no idea how I really feel and would not dream to ask, nor would there be any point in telling him as he would just give me another anti-depressant which for me does no good at all. My friends here just choose to ignore it (and I do understand why) and what you can say is very limited unless you want your local friends to hesitate to call or see you.

Thank goodness for this forum, you always know that there are others here who understand and that you are not alone or strange or wierd for having these feelings.

Wishing you courage and strength, and sending you thanks for your honesty.


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