Reply To: Dealing with loss

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It’s taken me 3 years and 248 days to work up the courage to write you this message. 3 years and 248 days ago, not that I’m counting, my husband died. He suffered a blood cancer, ran the risk of a bone marrow transplant, and, unfortunately, lost. We had 2 daughters together, then just 5 and 7. They are 3 years and 248 days older.I read Tuesdays with Morrie when it first came out. Like many, it tugged at my heart strings and raised my consciousness. I didn’t know it would later become a guidebook for my husband’s illness and eventual death.Chip and I met back in Detroit in ’90. He was born and raised in Maumee, OH and Detroit was the treat to the “big city” as he was growing up. I lived in Troy, safely insulated from the “big city,” secretly longing to be a part of the gospel scene down there. Chip ascended as a television editor in LA when he was barely in his 20s, and became a casualty of 80s excess in his 30s. He came back to Detroit to catch his breath and touch his roots. Then we met, the bottom fell out of Detroit and he headed back West just to make a dime. I followed and we laid down new roots in LA. Detroit always beckoned my husband – he never really left it even after living in LA for 30 years.When we started having babies, that’s when Chip pulled the brakes on the gerbil wheel. He created a home office so he could be there to walk his daughters to school and experience the general chaos of having small children. He loved it. The more noise, the better. Tuesdays both girls were at school, so Tuesdays became our day – we went to lunch, walked the beach, stopped for coffee. Someone once asked him why I didn’t use that time to clean the house and his response was “Tuesdays I have a date with my wife.”When he died, my eldest daughter was searching for words to put to her grief. I thought of your book. I offered to take dictation. She wrote a poem. UCLA uses it in their cancer support groups now. After my husband’s funeral my kids and I took a walk. I recall having a trace sense that everything was okay. It was Tuesday and we were at the beach.So, thanks for writing Morrie, Mitch. I guess the past 3 years and 248 days I needed to navigate the dark tunnels of grief. I think I see a light now. Today is Day 1 of new beginnings.

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