Introducing Greg Waters’ blog
No need to introduce myself. Who I am is not important. Where I have been, am now, and how I got here…that is all anyone might be interested in!
There is no ‘ego’ in grief; at least this this is one ‘purity’ about it!
I am, what I call myself… an ‘er’ (widower). Yes, it was often a sound I made within my own head when I tried to get a sensible word. How do any of us make ‘sense’ of this life after losing someone we loved more than life? More than our very self?
This is our commonality, our terrible reality! Widows do it better, I think. We ‘er’s suffer too much in silence, in our heads. This blog is for us, you guys in particular, plus all who may have an interest in the plight of others widowed, so I shan’t be sexist, this blog is FOR ALL OF US GRIEVING!
I hope to be able to make a regular contribution to this forum, this medium, this group. Please share this (if you deem it appropriate) with any men in particular who know or are learning about loss.
My intentions with this is to give people an insight into my experience and my three childrens’ exposure, remarkable recoveries (never fully of course) and responses to losing their mum, our Deb.
Here is an outline:
- Deb’s disease: diagnosis, treatment, pain, suffering, living, and dying
- My response
- My children and their stories
- My in-laws – Deb’s family
- Our lives and living with grief
- Still being a man
- Seeking life, a new life! Sink or swim against the strong current
- Finding that life
I will not be putting any of this into chronological order; it will seem like too much of a personal story. This is all about all of us, I don’t want to make this about me!
These ‘elements’ of what I have experienced, utilized, accessed, drawn from, and just good old fashioned felt will be included…
- Personal pain – Feeling it, treating it, living through it and with it
- Family pain and communication around it
- Finding some bits of comfort (a practical guide guys!)
- External forces that are not helpful – RESILIENCE!
- Being honest with yourself – What does that mean? How? Why?
- Dealing with life! Work, money, day to day stuff, relationships, further hardship, depression and anxiety, PTSD, and general health – physical and mental
- Making your way through the tunnel towards the light
My first blog (ever!) an insight into one man and his three children’s life experience around dealing with, and ultimately, losing an incredibly special human being…
Blog entry # 1
Our Deb’s disease: diagnosis, treatment, pain, suffering, living and dying
As I put in my introduction, we all have a story! None more significant than our own.
Before I begin, I would like to make the point that because we are all still on earth to live, breath and articulate our life, none of it compares to what our lost loves (I shall be referring to our deceased a lot with these words – hope that sits OK with most of you) have had to go through: to no longer be here with us, their family and their friends.
We all remember our lost loves. We remember our Deb regularly.
Deborah Mooney woke up one morning with a ‘hot spot’ on her left breast. We went to the doctor together, she went for a breast screen on her own. Deb was a very modest and private woman. It was a Friday. We both endured ‘the weekend from hell’ waiting until the appointment for the results on the Monday.
Our worst fears were confirmed… breast cancer.
A biopsy happened within days; full mastectomy surgery within that same week. This was an extremely aggressive type of breast cancer. Everything went as well as it could have – thank goodness we had private health back then (in many ways!)
The news got worse though around a diagnosis and prognosis, 80% of the lymph nodes were stripped from under her arm.
Things did not augur well at all. We, Deb in particular, went into overdrive to research everything that could be used as a treatment. I saw my job as one that needed me to ‘keep the family wheels turning’: working extra hours to help pay for all sorts of treatments.
Some of it I fear was to hide from the horrible reality.
Alternative medicines were used along with the chemo, radio and I don’t wish to try and recall what else.
When too much was never going to be enough!
What I dealt with on a very personal level during the 27 months of treatment, was having a strong sense and fear that the cancer would kill her. Deb asked me, countless times: “What do you reckon Greg?” My reply was consistent (at least!): “I really don’t know honey”.
Terrible to have to basically lie to the one I love. It was a ‘kind lie’, if there can be such a thing. I still battle with this, as I am a very honest person. Have sorted it in my own mind and soul though.
The lead up to Deb’s death was horrendous. I wanted to keep her at home until the end.
In the last week of Deb’s life she was no longer herself, lucid she kind of was, but certainly not Deb.
This was scaring the kids who were 9 and under. I had to tell them, one at a time, that mum was going to die soon. It was a Friday night, Deb died the following Sunday very early in the morning in Ringwood Private having only spent one night there. Our children said goodbye on our front verandah, when she and I took the patient transfer.
The worst time in our lives.