Life After Death


Life After Death

It has been almost four years since John’s death, and I am still trying to reconstruct my life. Putting all of the pieces back together doesn’t seem to be working. That’s probably because the pieces aren’t the same as they were four years ago. It seems that as soon as I think that I have them all in together and in place, one of those pieces, or players in this game of life, changes, or simply doesn’t fit any longer.

Not that this is a bad thing. Just a confusing one. My world seems to be shifting around under me just as I think I have it all together. Obviously (or at least, obviously to me), my world is not as I had imagined it would be five years ago. In some ways, I am certain it is better than I had thought it would be. In others, it seems unimaginably different. Five years ago, I had my future all mapped out. Literally. I actually had a list of things that I had compiled of all of the things that I wanted us to accomplish, all of the places I wanted us to travel, and all of the things that I wanted for our family to experience.

Now, I try to make a list, and I come up empty handed. Not because I don’t want to experience all that my life has to offer. Maybe it is because there are no limits. There is a world of possibility out there…and that just seems a bit overwhelming at the moment. I don’t even want to attempt to guess what life has in store for me next. I am trying to develop some patience so that I can simply experience it!

Anyone that knows me well, knows that patience is not one of my virtues. I am a planner. A list maker. A bit “anal retentive” (is there another word for that characteristic? If so…please advise). Sitting around waiting for life to happen doesn’t suit me well. So here I am. Trying to be patient while my natural instinct is to get it all figured out. I suppose I don’t even have that option now. I am trying to just sit back and enjoy the ride…


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  1. Hi Catherine,

    I’m writing to encourage you (I hope). I can empathize with what you wrote, as I’ve been “stuck” in a very strange “twilight zone” mode for over three years, since losing my wife to mental illness. I want to clarify – my wife didn’t die. I simply lost her, and she lives with her sister in Texas now. I fought for her for 5 years, and in the end there was simply nothing I could do. I did not divorce her, and never would have.

    I too am a “list maker.” (By the way, you might use “A-type” personality instead of anal-retentive 🙂 ) I had goals, and they were well on their way when my wife “lost it.” Sorry, I don’t know how else to put it. In the process, I lost everything that I had spent years achieving, and my life’s goals were destroyed.

    I spent almost two years in a “major hole” before climbing out and “starting over.” The problem is, I haven’t really started over – I’m “stuck.” The motivation, inspiration, determinedness…all fizzled away. Right now, I’m “living to work,” and that’s not me nor what I believe in. But it’s a rut that it seems I don’t have the energy to jump or climb out of.

    I had been “hit” before in my life, and had always recovered and improved after the fact. That isn’t really happening this time – it’s like I acquired a “numbness.” I know there’s a “way out,” but finding it is eluding me. I can’t seem to find that “straw” to grasp.

    So, you’re not alone, if I’m reading your words correctly. I understand that “feeling” you are experiencing. I do believe there is hope (both for you and for me). In my case, I believe I need to take a deep breath and climb back on the horse, pick a direction, and ride…even if I did break my neck the last time it tossed me off.

    In closing, I want to commend you for sticking by your husband. Many people wouldn’t stick by their spouse in similar circumstances. And if I might say, it appears as if your beauty is more than skin deep 🙂

    God bless you,

  2. Dear Catherine, thank you for writing Checking out.
    My husband (78) died of a brain tumor on Oct 2, 2011 alone in a VA complex because his personality changed so much he ran away from home and lived with his biological daughters in CT and CA. His actions and behavior, plus those vindictive actions of his daughters, almost destroyed the business we had built over 27 years of marriage. His tumor was in the left temporal lobe. No one warned us of the personality changes from the surgery. His daughters tried to destroy my life, our business and my family.
    My son Evan (38), my husband’s stepson, died Jan 20, 2012 at home and we had a wonderful supportive funeral for him. My family and my son’s in-laws were extremely supportive of my son. His was a diffuse astrocytoma with the biggest piece in the left frontal lobe. Fortunately my son was himself until the end. He fought the brain cancer for 8 years as it changed from grade 2 to grade 4. The wednesday before his death, my son Evan was building a catwalk in the local community theater. His tumor caused a massive stroke on Friday morning and he died quickly but painfully.

  3. Joan

    I too lost my husband 4 years ago, but he did not die. Like Tim, by husband is mentally ill, so he is still living, but not with us. In May 2008 I insisted that he move out, for the sake of myself and our 4 children. Then each time he tried to move back home I had to gently insist that “our home” was no longer “his home”. It was very painful for me but I needed to be firm to protect our children. I had to file for legal seperation to protect our finances; eventually his parents intervened and they helped him file for divorce. Again, it was “messy” because now I was the bad guy (according to his family who are in denial).
    I sympathize with you for you lost someone dear to you and there is nothing you could do to stop it. I feel the same way; the mind of the man I married no longer exists. He is dead. How does someone go on?

  4. Dear Catherine,

    I would like to read this book of yours “Life After Death”. Please let me know if it got published and whether it can be bought from AMAZON.COM.

    Rohan Sarker
    Software Engineer, Telecom Specialist & HR
    Skype: arati_genius

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