You have a choice.

four_leaf.jpgLife is not fair. Some of us get the short end of the stick. Some of us have Tragedy strike us but still see our blessings. Some of us get a perfect life and never any heartache. That's not true at all everyone experiences some kind of loss, it's a matter of opinion who has it worse. 
I have an uncle who has been widowed for 11 years. I see him a couple times a year and every time he pulls me aside to see how I am. I am always very honest with him. Sometimes I'm good. It's easy to smile and laugh. Sometimes I'm sad but I keep it to myself and try to be in the moment. 

Unfortunately he is not the same as me. He is still very bitter and angry. His wife died from cancer. She had been sick for a while and it took her quick. She was the light of his life. He always struggled in life to find his place, with her he was home. And then she was taken away, leaving him alone. 11 years and he still can't sleep with the light off. Her memory almost haunts him. 


When we spoke this last time he said things like, "why us? We are good people and don't deserve this kind of hurt." Why, why, why. My answer was simple. It was the advice my dad gave me shortly after Joey died. I told him, I don't as why. Asking why will drive you mad. There is no answer. At least not in this lifetime. My uncle looked at me like I was crazy. He asked me how I wasn't angry? Again a very simple and honest answer. Being angry will not bring Joey back. It will not fix anything. I choose happiness. I choose peace. Anger and hatred are hard emotions to do everyday. They wear you down, they will rip apart your soul. Peace is so much easier. 
Again, I got a look like I was crazy. The last thing he told me was, "you'll see, 11 years from now the pain will still be there. No matter what." 
All I wanted to say to him was, yes it will be. But it will not defeat me. 
You see we have a choice. We can either let this pain devour us or we can grow and heal. I will not be bitter and angry my whole life. I knew that very early on that I would not let this take my life too. And unfortunately my uncle is the testimony of that. I will not be him. 
You have a choice as well. You can be sad and even mad. But don't stay there. Sit for a while and then get up and move forward. Don't stay in the darkness. Your loved one would never want you to. 
My uncle says he dreams of his wife and she always tells him she can't stay. He doesn't understand why she says this to him. To me is obvious. She wants him to move forward and live. She wants him to expect the truth and find peace in this life. 

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  • Michelle Midgett
    commented 2016-12-20 05:20:27 -0800
    You gave me chills Linda. Thank you so much for the inspiration! You are truly a light.
  • Linda Tevebaugh Keeling
    commented 2016-12-19 19:57:00 -0800
    Michelle….you have put in words what I also believe and what I am trying to show by example to others in choosing to live life…..I got motivated to live my life because my John was denied his ability to live his life past age 56…and how he wanted to live, live , live…and how he lived his life to the fullest with the years he had…..
    I woke up one day and said, “Linda, here you are moping around, living in a dark house…..only going to work because you had to pay your house payment so you can keep a shrine for John……waiting to quit living…..and there was John, struggling to hang on to every breathe….begging to be allowed to live a little longer….and was denied……, how disrespectful can you be, Linda??? Here you have all this life…all these breaths…all these heartbeats….and you are wasting every single one of them.”
    This really shook me to my core, and I made a conscientious choice to join the living again.
    As for the why questions…well, I almost made myself insane with those……I came to realize there were no answers…..not on this side of living…..and the answers really did not matter……nothing explained could make the loss of John ever be “right”.

    So everyday, I make the choice… live life…love life….and to have joy and happiness… is the least I can do for and WITH my John…who will live forever in my heart, and our memories and sharing all the John stories with others I can.

    In the almost 5 years since my precious John died, I changed jobs, started dating, remarried 8 months ago to a widower, relocated to another home and location…..and we both are choosing to live our lives in honor of his Judi and my John.

    I hope and pray your uncle will eventually learn to make the choice of living and not continue with anger and bitterness…..

    And, Michelle…you just keep doing what you are doing…you are doing okay.