Learn How to Embrace Pain and Change Your Life
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Short and Sweet Summary: Love and Pain have coexisted since the dawn of time. You’ll change your life when you learn how to embrace pain instead of running from it.
“DO NOT IGNORE ME,” it shouts through the door. “I will keep coming back until you acknowledge me.”
Pain is right. It keeps coming back. Returning at odd times and under unrelated circumstances. Always unannounced. Banging on my door.
At first, I barricade the door. I won’t let it in. I don’t want to confront Pain. But it keeps coming back like it said it would. Pain keeps its word. Eventually, I open the door and let it in because Love told me to. Love’s explicit instructions are to invite Pain in and sit with it for a while.
Pain is the price I pay for its profound and deep experience, Love reminds me. Love gave me the gift of a husband who showed me what it’s like to be perfectly loved. We adored each other in ways some people never get a chance to experience. Fully, unconditionally and with every crack and crevice of our souls.
Until he died.
Love tells me Pain is banging on my door because I have nowhere left to hide. It’s time to accept Pain. Acknowledge it. Love says I can’t keep moving around Pain. I must move through it.
So, Love tells me to let Pain state its case. And listen. Really listen. Love tells me it can’t be its best self if I don’t let Pain have a say, too. They work together, Love and Pain. Without one I can’t appreciate the other. That’s what they both tell me.
When Pain knocks again I open the door because Love told me to. But my knees buckle and the echo of my pounding heart pierces my eardrum. I try to slam the door, but Pain knows the tricks. It blocks the door with its foot and pries it open anyway. I’ve been patient, Pain says. But you must see me now.
Pain sits down. I scratch the sweat beads from my neck and dig at my bleeding hangnail to avoid eye contact. Pain whispers that I have to feel it in all of its forms in order to feel Love again. One can’t know the depths of Love without it. Pain lifts my chin and dabs a tissue at the never-ending cascade of tears. Let it all out, it says. Everything will be OK, Pain says. I’m not your enemy. I’m here to help.
I look into Pain’s eyes. They are wet with tears, too. Pain cries with me. I squeeze its hand. I don’t like you very much, I say. Pain nods.
It feels like a massive boulder crushing my heart and restricting my breath, but Pain and I often sit together in the dark recesses of my soul where Love used to live. Pain leaves whenever it decides I’ve had enough. When my puffy eyes can no longer see and my scratchy throat can no longer speak, Pain stops. We both know this is not the last visit and we agree to meet again. We’ve come to an understanding that if we accept each other the next visit won’t be as heavy.
Now, whenever Pain knocks, I invite it in and we cry together. Sometimes deep, pulsing, vomit-inducing sobs. Sometimes lighter, cleansing tears. Pain tells me I’m doing a good job of working through my grief. Pain tells me to continue crying and to feel it, encompass it, on the same level I feel Love. It’s the only way.
You will thank me one day, Pain says.
Love and Pain Coexist
Love also tells me I’m doing a good job of working through my grief. It sees the work I’m doing with Pain and smiles. They both want what’s best for me and they convince me I will survive. Pain says if I don’t ignore it I will feel Love again. Love says it’s my job to accept everything, even Pain, with an open mind and an open heart. Even things I don’t understand. Don’t close your heart, Love says. Love tells me it will be back. Love reminds me it will return when the time is right.
I tell Love I don’t believe what it says. Because I can’t ever love again the way I loved my husband. And Love tells me I shouldn’t have to. Love wouldn’t want that for me. There is more than one way to feel Love, it says. Love gave me a gift with my husband’s devotion. A profound gift it doesn’t pass out freely. But Love tells me I’m capable of feeling it again because I’m doing the work and learning my lessons.
Love says it will bring another gift to me. Not a better gift. That’s impossible. Just a different gift. Love will come back again and bring things I never even expected. Love promises.
But I have to invite Pain in first. And, I have to accept it. Move through it. Otherwise, I will never fully appreciate what Love has to offer. Love won’t show up again until I’ve done my work with Pain.
When I hear the knock, I open the door and invite Pain in.
We cry together.
And I survive.
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Hi, I’m just in awe of what you’ve put together considering your entire situation. I just got done “ugly crying” after reading your story. Tomorrow will be 7 months that I too, lost my husband to GBM. I’m sitting here tonight going through my inbox and happened to start reading Window411……..I am a curious type of person so I had to click on the long story and it just crushed me. Flooded my mind with the God awful, traumatic, soul crushing moments that happened to my husband and I. 13 months and 10 days he lived from the day they found the tumor after suffering a seizure at his work. In keeping my promises to him I took on in home hospice all by myself and I TRULY mean by myself. 12/24/19 I had a hospital bed brought in, several traumatic things happened within the 1st 24 hours that I had to scream, cry and BEG for any hospice person to come to my home ASAP & help him (he had blockage). They stayed and hour……..Christmas day he was out of pain but things were starting to happen that was bringing the end closer. I was so very alone. After that, it was just me………drugging him to death. I had no clue what so ever what hospice meant. When I met with them, they never, ever explain what that box of drugs was for and that I would be the one giving it to him. He died 12/28/19 at 2:41am. During his battle I never, ever left his side. He never even went in the MRI alone, I went in and held is leg so he knew I was there. Every single chemo, radiation, immunotherapy…..every thing. I quit my job to be his full time care taker. It was just us, that was how it always was with us and how we wanted our ending to be. He asked that he not fully understand that he was dying when the time came, that he be sedated and that he would pass at home. I did it and it almost killed me but I did it. I held his hand till Jesus came and took his hand in his. I saw all the pain leave him and the sweet relief of it being over. The last night we spent in bed together, he pointed to his is scar and said God is going to give me a bigger and better brain. He said I don’t want to leave you. But we knew we had no say in the matter. He told his co worker that visited him that he fought longer and harder then he would have liked but only did it for me. The things we do for the ones we love heart & soul. I just can’t believe it’s all happened, just like that……in a flash they have GBM and another flash they are gone while they are still alive and then they die. No one really gets how very different a GBM battle & then death is. I am so very sorry for your loss and for your boys. I am a very strong willed and glass 1/2 full kind of a gal. So I’m trying my best to stay glass 1/2 full but it’s a freaking struggle. Your site is the best site I’ve found so far. I don’t want to be a widow that is miserable, sad, scared and stops living. I’m 50 years old. I want to experience different & new things in life. That is what my husband wanted for me and he made it very clear I am to be happy. For now, I need to heal. Widow fog has hit me very hard. The pit of grief visits me more often then I’d like. But my will to live has started to visit me once again. I have glimmers of joy and hear myself laughing. There is HOPE. I have had 2 dreams where he has walked, talked, laughed and looked incredible handsome once again. That brought me such sweet peace. I never want my pain to end, I just want to learn to make space for it as you say and learn to live with it. My pain is a beautiful reminder of the unconditional love my husband gave me for 20 years. It’s just he and I still. We will make our way on this new journey until it’s my turn to be called home to heaven and back in his arms. Thank you for sharing your story, for putting all this information together, your ways of making this “lighter” and for giving me hope. Your amazing!!!
Terri, our stories sound so similar. I remember the anxiety of the Hospice nurse leaving me to handle eveything myself. I remember holding his hand while he took his last breath. I remember feeling like I’d never be OK again. And then glimmers of hope started to surface. I had dreams of my husband too and he was at peace and put me at peace. So good! The one thing we have as living, breathing humans is free will. You get to choose how to tell and feel and react to your story. I love that you have hope. It DOES get better with time. I know this. But I hung on tightly to hope and prayer to get there. This is what I know NOW: The love will sustain you, the pain will teach you, and hope will keep you moving forward. Keep loving, feeling and hoping. Keep on keeping on ❤.
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