We Welcome Elaine Williams this morning, who is here to discuss her recently published book.
Why did you write A Journey Well Take: Life After Loss?
I wrote it initially for myself, but then realized that other women needed to read it. It's not just my experience but it's something many will go through. I wanted others to realize that even though their grief is unique, there are untold similarities in the universal process. None of us are alone. Once you suffer such a loss, your life changes. Not only in the obvious ways, but also emotionally and sometimes financially.
You were a caretaker for your husband during his illness?
Yes, with the esophagus cancer he couldn't eat and he was on heavy narcotics for pain control. Even though I wrote down everything, in the early days I was terrified of giving him an overdose. Once we signed up with hospice, they worked on his pain protocol constantly. I had always thought of hospice for end-of-life situations, but my sister-in-law, a nurse, told me pain control was their forte. Unfortunately, most regular doctors don’t know too much about long-term pain control.
You stated in A Journey Well Taken; Life After Loss, you were devastated by the loss of your husband of twenty years. Are you still feeling that devastation, four years later?
Some days it's still there, but not the total well of emptiness I carried for almost three years. I am cognizant of what my children and I have lost, what our lives could have been, but I’m no longer drained by the loss. My life is taking different directions. I have learned to love my life.
Do your kids talk about their dad?
Yes, we all do. My youngest boys are still home and we reminisce at times about funny incidences or remembrances involving their dad. My oldest, because he moved away, didn't have as much interaction in this manner, but I feel this really helped us, not being afraid to remember.
Do you think people in general understand the grief process?
Not entirely. Many times people think a year is the cut-off for grieving and you should be feeling better. A year is nothing in the grieving process. Some days you think you’re okay, then one day you’re driving along and you start crying. In grief, emotions seesaw without rhyme or reason. There is no right way to do it, and it’s in each individual’s time. You can’t hurry the process, but you can know that life does heal and become joyful again. If you allow life to come back to you, you will be blessed in unexpected and joyous ways.
Elaine, we appreciate your honest responses to some difficult questions. Now, Readers, please click on "Comments" below - ask your questions and share your own experiences with others.