Wendy Saint-Onge

Twenty six days after my husband's 46th birthday he sat in the doctor's office alone expecting to hear that he needed a cortisone injection in his back.  Instead, he was told he was dying of cancer.  Two days later, he told me.  Two hundred and seventy eight days after he told me, he died at home.  

During the time that Ben was sick we began writing a blog.  It started as a way to keep family and friends updated, but ended up being the only thing that kept me sane. I use blogging as a way to purge myself of pain, as a way to connect to others who get it, and as a way to offer help and receive help when I need it.  Mostly, I blog to remember Ben.

How Are You?

I have struggled with this question since the moment Ben received his diagnosis.  Those are usually the first words out of someone’s mouth when they see me, and then a look immediately crosses their face and I suspect they are thinking one of two things:

“God.  That was a stupid question to ask.  Why did I ask her that?  How the Hell do I expect her to be doing?  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I’m so embarrassed.”

 Or …

 “Please don’t answer me honestly.  I was just asking out of habit.  Please, please, just say “ok” and keep going.  Maybe if I keep walking away she won’t really answer.  God, I don’t want to hear her answer … it ‘s probably sad.”

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Meet Wendy and Ben

On April 8, 2015, the strong, steadfast, honourable, mighty, kind, dedicated-to-the-safety-of-the-country, 46 year young Ben Saint-Onge, known as “The Titan,” was told that he had cancer.  A rare and incurable type of cancer that chooses it’s prey without rhyme or reason.  Just bad luck, they say.  You fucking think?


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  • commented on Rattled 2017-07-20 21:17:17 -0700 · Flag
    Oh Stephanie … you are in fact dealing with it, just in a different way. It’s the best way you can, and Mike would understand.

  • commented on A Widow Summer~ 2017-07-20 21:10:17 -0700 · Flag
    I love that you loudly and fully declare you will never say goodbye. I also love that you live in colour. And I hope you bring your one woman show somewhere near me :)

  • commented on Life Getting in the Way 2017-07-18 12:58:07 -0700
    Mike … you made me smile when I read this post. I’ve been keeping my own blog for two years, and sometimes now I find myself thinking, “Wait … nothing bad, depressing, sad or otherwise happened this week.” Weeks like that may be a bit more pleasant to live, but don’t make for lengthy blog posts. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has some relatively normal weeks … they help counter balance the ones where some horrid memories come raging in like a tidal wave and knock me on my ass for a few days. In the meantime, the most significant thing that has happened for me so far this week is trying to calm my annoyance at the rodents that have made their way into the engine area of my car. :)

    I hope that Megan’s approaching birthday is manageable for you. Those are tough milestones.

  • commented on How Are You 2017-07-18 13:41:18 -0700
    Carol … I’m so sorry to hear that you felt invisible. I think that’s probably one of the really great reasons to hook in with people who have walked the same path as you. I don’t believe that most people really intend to ignore the bereaved, I truly think they just do not comprehend how the pain lasts. This kind of pain and loss is nothing that can be explained to someone who hasn’t experienced, don’t you think?

    I think people generally feel that it would be good for the bereaved to “get over it” because they think it’s better for the person grieving. They think it would be better to “move on”, and they have no way of understanding that you will never get over it and you will never move on. You will work through it, you will move forward, but the loss will always be a huge part of your life.

    I have also met some people who have experienced this loss themselves, and their own way of coping really is to not discuss it and to try not to think about it. That’s ok too, except it gives the rest of the world this warped idea that people get over their loss. Maybe it contributes to this crazy illusion that people have that says we should grieve for a month, accept the situation and move on. Personally, that’s not really my style. I’m coping, I’m living, I’m even having some fun, but if I had to stifle my grief I think I’d just die.

    Anyway … I am terribly sorry for your loss. I think you should take every little moment you need to grieve exactly the way you need to. xo

  • commented on It Took Me Ten Years 2017-07-14 17:22:11 -0700
    Getting rid of a lot of “stuff” was easy for me, but his t-shirts? Never. I take them out and smell them, sometimes sleep with them, and then put them back. I’m too scared that they’ll lose his smell, so I satisfy myself with snuggling with them instead of wearing them.

  • commented on Meet Wendy and Ben 2017-07-13 20:11:41 -0700
    Joseph … I’m so sorry for your loss. That is so fresh for you. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly figure it out. Baby steps. Sending love your way. I hope you have tons of support.

  • commented on Oh, the Shame! On THEM~ 2016-12-14 15:16:11 -0800
    You wrote the words I so often say in my head … “You have no idea. So fuck off.” Thanks for that

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