I lost my wife Mary in January 2020. At the time I didn’t know how I’d move forward. My journey continues, on a road paved by acceptance.
January 2020 was when my beloved wife, friend, soulmate, and rock of 33 years, Mary, passed away after a brave fight against cancer.
After Mary’s death, I was truly humbled by the number of clients and friends who asked how I was doing, sent sympathy cards, and prayed for my family. I felt I had an entire community that was concerned, supportive, and sincere in grieving alongside me.
You may already know I have three grown children – now aged 30, 28, and 19. Two of them live in the U.S. (NYC and Denver); my baby girl (Yes, I know, I still call her that) lives at home with me while she goes to school.
After Mary’s death – and to this day – my kids were my main concern. I encouraged all three to attend grief therapy, and all three did. After 30 months, I can honestly say that therapy went far to help them deal with their loss and move forward.
After Mary died, I didn’t expect my relationships with my friends to change. But when some stopped calling or visiting, I was surprised and – yes – angry.
A few months ago, I hosted a birthday party to honour and celebrate what would’ve been Mary’s 60th birthday. I invited some 50 friends and gave everyone an opportunity to share a personal memory of Mary.
As I listened to the stories, I laughed, cried, and became introspective. Then it hit me. I wasn’t the only person who grieved Mary’s death. Every single person in my house that night experienced their own personal grief connected to losing a friend, cousin, aunt, or daughter. I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t abandoned. The day Mary died (January 15) , I expected the entire country to stop to grieve. It didn’t. At work, I realized that clients had their own issues. Although I was grieving, I had a responsibility to them and had to find a way forward.
Therapy taught me how to separate work and life. At the office, I learned to focus on client issues; at home, I concentrated on my family and my own grief journey.
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