Why I Am Writing This Blog

February 19, 2011

I take it upon myself to write this blog in memory of a most wonderful person, and with the hope that it will help others make it through their loss.

Ted was everything to me and wore many faces through our relationship. He was friend, lover, defender, provider, safety net, carpenter, mechanic, electrician, house cleaner, window washer, yard man, computer geek, entertainer, nurse, comforter, warm arms, snow shoveler, source of knowledge on a seemingly endless range of topics, foot warmer, weatherman, maintenance man, bill payer, keeper of special dates, dinner date, interesting conversationalist, challenging chess and backgammon partner, sensitive to my changing female moods, and the keeper of my heart.

He filled our house with his presence and it was transformed from an ordinary building into a warm and inviting home, a sanctuary from the craziness of the rest of the world. His very presence brought a smile to my face and his loss has left a monstrous and bottomless hole that sometimes seems to suck the life from me. I fight constantly to keep from falling endlessly into it.

Originally this was supposed to be a blog about my horse in training. I didn’t think I was ready for this, or strong enough. But, somewhere along the way, the best laid plans are waylaid by unforeseen turns in the road, and when I sat down and started writing this is what came out.

Of course, very few of those reading this blog have ever met me or my husband. It doesn’t matter. I think loss is much the same across the board and many of you who have been through the loss of someone close to you – friend, partner, family member, spouse or child – will understand why I am doing this. Hopefully you will join me and relate your stories in the comments section.

My husband was a wonderful person with so much more he wanted to do with his life. Instead he was dragged through his last two years willy-nilly with little choice of direction. Forgive me if, at times, I sound bitter or angry. I cry often and since I live alone now I don’t try to keep the sobs silent. I let them rattle the windows and echo off the walls of the house that no longer feels warm, but is empty and cold without his presence.

It may take me some time to get through the story because this is not just a rendition of what happened after we heard about the cancer, it is also the story of two lives that intertwined through over 35 years. It is a story of love that grew through time, laughter, tears, pride, anger, sadness, disappointment, triumph and joy. It is a story of great loss followed by dark clouds of depression, anger and confusion interspersed with occasional bits of color that open the door for hope.

I promise you now that the story will be told in its entirety, and that I will be adding to this blog at least twice per week. It is important to me that I do this. I believe it will be a comfort to tell the story, and I hope that readers will understand the hospital procedures and effects of cancer treatments better when hearing it from the family’s perspective, rather than the doctor’s.

If you’re reading this blog because you’ve lost someone close to you and you feel alone, trust me, you are far from being alone. I hope that in some small way reading this will make you realize that life goes on – sometimes in spite of our wishes – and that there are still many reasons to carry on. Please feel free to comment, either on what you see here or on your personal experiences with loss. Also, I would like each and every one of you who have been through a similar experience to know that I am deeply and sincerely sorry for your loss.


32 Responses to “Why I Am Writing This Blog”

  1. Hemangini said

    Reading your about me was inspiring. I am truly sorry for your loss but I am grateful for your gain from living the life that you lived. πŸ™‚ It gifted us with a beautiful blogger friend. I am sorry I am lost for words. Keep writing and having fun πŸ™‚ Take care dear.

    • kayuk said

      Thank you!

      Since starting this blog I have had to take long breaks for different reasons. My intent was to go through our story and to detail the trip we made through the medical system. Since that start, I have met others who have been through the same surgeries. Of those I have personally met who have endured this treatment, none survived a full year. This is not to say there is no hope, but to point out that every day together is a gift to be cherished.

      A few years ago I met another wonderful man. I didn’t know how wonderful until recently, but the groundwork was being laid. I have also begun courses to get a toe into the medical system myself. By this time next year I should be a few months from graduation, and have a partner to share the rest of my life.

      From the depths of depression has come a new day of love and mountains of hope for the future.

      • Hemangini said

        wow that’s inspiring really. Great story you have lived as your life. I think one grows from their experiences. A chance on a new man, a graduation underway.. You are the GIRL!! You are growing so well it’s an inspiration. I am glad I followed your blog.

        Lots of Love
        Hema πŸ˜€

        • kayuk said

          Thank you Hema! Now, with boyfriend, full time course, job, work/study program and a second course in “How to transition to a new career and get a great job” I just have to find the time to write!

          And, now that my life has turned around, I’m looking forward to finishing the story!

    • kayuk said

      Thank you! The world didn’t look so good to me for a while, but now things are getting so good I’m almost frightened. But, I’m grateful for every moment and for every second chance I get. I’m also grateful that others find it inspiring. It started out with such a different intent, but as I’ve changed so has the direction this is taking.

      I really appreciate your input. Have a great weekend and be safe! Kayuk

      • Hemangini said

        It’s a gift to be able to share your life with others Kayuk πŸ™‚ and I feel on your blog you are doing it and inspiring many people along the way. It’s supposed to be scary I think, I get scared many times too, especially as things are getting better. Is it for real? Will it stay? So many questions come to mind.

        You also have a wonderful weekend dear. See you. πŸ™‚

        Ps. What is the meaning of your name? It’s rare name!

        • kayuk said

          Those are my exact feelings! In the past I was confident that my life was laid out before me and whatever I planned would come to pass. Then I went through a time when I felt that nothing I planned would ever work out so I wasn’t terribly disappointed when it didn’t. Now, my life has turned to happier times and I feel that things are going in a truly positive direction and it scares me. Sometimes the future hangs on the thinnest thread. Do I try to weave it myself? Or do I let the fates, nature, and God weave? Or is it a combination of all, including me working like a mad woman to make it happen? And what if all my work is pushing in the wrong direction?

          I guess we mere humans are not supposed to know until the end. It either works…or it doesn’t.

          LOL! It’s an old Ukrainian family name. Originally it had more letters, but the Ukrainian alphabet is not the same as the English alphabet so some letters were left out. When the family came over and landed in Ellis Island the immigrant official just spelled the name phonetically using the English alphabet. So, in fact, it’s a made up name just over 100 years old. I was never told if there was a meaning for the original name, but probably there was and it may have been lost in time. You have brought up an interesting question, I’ll have to look into it.

          • Hemangini said

            I totally agree with you… We are mere humans and the best is to let it happen and let go of the illusion of control… I think that the most wonderful things happen to you when you stop trying to control everything and just be…. Let yourself breath. πŸ™‚

            Haha is that so? still a name more then 100 years old is something awesome! I would definitely wait till you find out the meaning. πŸ™‚ All the best and have fun finding it πŸ™‚

            Have a pleasant evening dear Kayuk. Take care.

  2. My partner was my best friend for 40 years. He too seemed to be capable of pretty much everything. Cancer took him 16 years ago. I too hope I am doing him proud… that’s what his last note asked me to do.

  3. What a day to find this post! Tomorrow I will attend the Memorial service of a dear loved one. Her mother and father were amazing people and both died less than three weeks apart, less than two years ago. Their daughter died of a massive stroke last Monday, week, and I have been so shaken by her passing that I simply cannot take everything in. I know this is not un-normal, that delayed sorrow is a way of dealing with traumatic events. I know, and yet it is beyond comprehension.

    The two of us had been in regular communications concerning another first cousin that was fighting a loosing battle with Melanoma. Freakishly, our cousin died the very day that this other beautiful soul suffered her stroke.

    As I write this, I can’t think but that an angel has directed me here. My father-in-law is terminally ill with cancer. A year ago he had a kidney removed due to a large tumor growth. The doctors felt confident that he would recover, completely. They were sure the cancer growth was contained in that one kidney. I love this man. He’s been a light in my life, steady and unwavering.

    I understand that death comes to us all, but unless you have walked the path beside a dear loved one, and seen their battles first hand, I think you are a bit insulated from the rawest edges and deep wounds of pain that can break your heart and wound your soul. It takes loosing the best of the world around us to awake us as to how very precious life is.

    I hope and pray that every day your pain eases, that you hold hope of a life, while a bit broken, is still filled with overwhelming beauty and grace. Thank you so much for writing about your sorrow and allowing us the opportunity to write about ours. Your generosity is boundless and greatly appreciated.

    • kayuk said

      I am so sorry to hear of the many losses you have had over such a short time. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been. Although, in my case I believe I was so numbed after the loss of my husband that other losses coming quickly may have been shadowed in that overwhelming lethargy of the brain and emotions.

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my blog. Knowing that it has an impact, profound or even small, on the readers means the world to me. It makes it worthwhile to relive the pain of memories.

      I am moving on, but I will never forget and he will always be a part of me.

  4. Cecilia said

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I came over to say hello, and I was so moved by this honest and heartfelt post. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot begin to imagine losing someone so close who had been such a huge part of your life. I hope that you have been able to find some healing and comfort in your writing. My father suffers from an esophageal condition – the exact name escapes me – but he feels chronically uncomfortable because his esophageal muscles have weakened, making eating and swallowing very uncomfortable. I think he has that risk of cancer and he fears it.

    • kayuk said

      Thanks so much for your very kind comments. I lost my husband a little over five years ago and I’ve recently decided that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life completely alone and sad. That doesn’t change my memories, it only means that instead of walking backwards through life and wishing for what was, I’ve decided to turn around and look forward to new adventures.
      I’m very sorry to hear about your father. I’m not familiar with the condition, but I know that acid reflux and consumption of enormous amounts of coke, rather than drinking water or juice, had a large part in irritating the esophogus and causing the changes in Ted’s esophagus which led to the cancer. Your father’s doctor can do tests on his esphpagus that will show if he has had changes that may lead to this type of cancer. Also, there is medication to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach if that is causing him a problem. A cousin of my sister-in-law, also a heavy coke drinker, has recently been diagnosed with Phase II esophageal cancer. She starts treatment this week.
      I wish your father all the best, and hope that he never has to worry about treatments.

  5. What a beautiful tribute! Once again, thank you so much for visiting my site. I will be one of your new followers!

  6. I am still new to following your blog. So, in the spirit of getting to know you better – tag, you’re it! http://rachieadventures.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/fun-and-games-of-dinosaurs-lounge-singers-and-sock-puppets/

  7. That was just beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  8. Carol Lynn Roberts said

    Wow ! I live in Laurie at the lake of the ozarks and was just looking up eminence as I’m housesitting for the winter and the owners headed put west where I originally came from. They have property in eminence and love their acres here and there and of course horses. But what I didn’t expect was the story of esophigical cancer. My father, a radiologist died 4 years ago dec. 29 of the disease. He was as you said, from diagnosis to death, lit up like a Christmas tree. That’s what the radiologist at Ellis fischel said in Columbia. He was 87. We took care of him everyday as even though at the time and really just 3 months before his death we also took care of my mom, a nurse who started Alzheimer’s 3 years before dads death. I don’t even know why I’m writing but your life……I could relate to and I know dad had to know of the real truth but kept it from us even though the deal long thing lasted a few years and we did everything we could to accommodate the changes of food/diet as we watched changes in him. I don’t even know your last blog date. I just stumbled upon this and it’s just funny it’s Christmas night. I hope you found some joy and peace. My heart was warmed with your life. Thank you. Besos

    • kayuk said

      Thank you for sharing your experience on this blog.
      I was sitting here thinking about how long it has been since I could work on it and wondering why I was still awake at this time of the night when I was notified of your comment.
      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Mi
      Lost both my lovely mother-in-law and my father-in-law to senile dementia a few years before my husband was diagnosed with cancer.
      All the best to you.

      It has reminded me of how important it is to keep the blog active.

  9. Mark Valcour said

    I believe I’ve been having WordPress ‘user’ issues when trying to post my comments for this segment earlier (once from home – that didn’t ‘post’, and one from the school that only shows via my ‘user’ name)… So, I’ll try for a third time, now that I vaguely know what I’m doing!…
    I really hope this blog helps you keep that “door for hope” open. I believe you are “doing Ted proud” – and yourself as well!… The more we learn about life, the better off our lives will be. So, I’m hoping to learn a lot!…

  10. m33s66vr said

    I’m sure hoping that this blog helps you keep “that door for hope” open. You’re really “doing Ted proud” – and yourself as well!
    The more we learn, and teach each other about life, the better our lives will be. So, I’m hoping to learn a lot!…

    • kayuk said

      Dear Mark, my friend, I never answered this on the blog because whatever was causing the glitch in your wordpress commenting also prevented me receiving notice of your comments. In any case, we Skyped and regularly and discussed so many things.

      Thank you for being a solid friend for the years since Ted has been gone; for always finding time to talk; for helping in every way you could; for your visits through the years to drag me off to Disney World and Lego Land; for the photos you sent; and for just being the kindest, most caring person even when I was at my most awful.

      You followed Ted in January and my shock could not have been greater. Where ever you are now I hope that you are enjoying all the good things you deserve because you, my friend, were one of the true good guys.

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