September 17, 2011


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:27 am by letterstoelias

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” -Leo F. Buscaglia

One of the things I have a hard time with these days, is feeling like so much of our lives, my life, right now, is wasted.

I’d never been one to have much self confidence.  Struggled most of my life with fairly low self esteem.  It drove Elias crazy.  He, of course, wanted me to see myself the way he saw me.  Always.

And, there were times when he was here it was easier.  I could feel just how much he loved me and what I meant to him.  Looking at myself reflected in his eyes made a big difference.  But it was still difficult to believe it for myself much of the time.

When I became a mom, there was another shift.  I grew in confidence.  I loved the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, knowing what my body and mind were capable of, and then raising these tiny little pieces of the two of us.  Completely dependent upon me for every aspect of life.  Like seeing my heart beating outside of my body.  Unconditional love.  Of course it’s by no means easy and there were, are, and will be countless times I doubt myself as a mother – but it has brought a new level of care and respect for myself.

When Elias was sick – when caring for him . . . I don’t know that I paid much attention to it at the time, but looking back I do so with a new sense of confidence in myself.  And since he died, having survived the last 2+yrs without him, it has grown still.  It’s not to say that I enjoyed any of it (I gather that’s understood?), but I take pride in what I dealt with and the way I dealt with it (for the most part).

I can’t even begin to explain how much this messes with my head.  To know that it took him getting cancer and dying for me to finally be able to see in me what he saw all along.  To finally be able to look inside myself and appreciate what I see.

It’s hard to accept liking what you’ve become in the wake of the the loss of someone you loved more than life itself.

I know it’s not because ‘he’ is gone.  I understand that it’s based on now knowing just how capable I am, after having to handle what I’ve been given.  I understand that this experience has taught me how to love deeper.  To enjoy what I have.  To let a lot more of the little stuff slide.  I like to think parts of this were with me all along.  I believe they were.  Why they couldn’t have been fully realized without losing Elias, I don’t know that I’ll ever understand.

Spending time last year in dance class, eating healthy (for the most part), pilates at home – my body has responded well too (though I’ve slacked a fair bit this summer . . . . ).  I’m strong.  Fit.  Regaining my flexibility.  I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in in years.  Only now I appreciate that more too.  The ability to look into the mirror and like what you see looking back is powerful.

But, it all feels like a waste.  He’s not here to see that.  To celebrate it with me.  No one is.

(I suppose that almost makes my point moot if I’m talking about ‘self’ appreciation and complaining that someone ‘else’ isn’t here . . . but maybe someone will understand my late night rambling.  It’s not that I’m trying to rest my value on what someone else thinks of me – it’s about having someone else to appreciate it with me.)

I also have these amazing kids.  They are beyond loving, sweet, joyful, funny, smart – you name it.  And he’s not here to see that either.  No one is.  Of course I have my parents, close friends and family – but it’s just not the same as sharing it with another parent.  Someone who is as invested in their lives as I am.  Someone to celebrate it with day in and day out.  I’m glad I’m here for it, but it feels like part of their amazing energy is wasted.  I can almost see it floating around.  Waiting.

Sure, in all of this – both with the girls and myself – I can see Elias smiling.  I can feel his pride.  I know he is happy.  But it still feels like a waste with no one ‘here’ to appreciate it.  I believe that what I have been through, the person I am now, and what I value in life would make me a better partner.  A better wife.  Yet Elias is gone, and I’m alone.

I try to accept that it is ‘enough’ to appreciate myself and my girls on my own.  That is what really matters anyhow.  Those moments are there.  But I can’t stop thinking, “wouldn’t it be nice”.

I know tomorrow (today) I’ll be proud of myself too.  Running my first 5K.  Helping raise money towards an amazing cause.  Running with Elias in my heart.  Hoping that one day the girls will understand some of what I’ve done and how hard I’ve worked to honour them and their dad, and myself.  (and if interested, there’s still time to donate!  I just hope the rain holds off and there are no cougars out (there’ve been a few sightings around here lately)!

* * * * *

My Love,

What I wouldn’t give . . .


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Right there with ya, babe. That whole notion of becoming a better person after what we’ve been through always chafes me in the wrong way, because I feel (probably irrationally, I’m sure) that I’m a lesser version of myself than I was before Charley died. It’s because of generally all stupid, inconsequential stuff, but it still doesn’t feel good, and I can’t turn it off in my brain. And it’s not like I was a bad person before, who had so many lessons to learn; I was perfectly fine before, dammit.

    Sending you big, big hugs, my friend!


  2. Greggies Widow said,

    Well said Chelsea. I get and understand what you are saying. I can relate to self confidence issues.

    Sending a huge hug. Good luck in the am.

    And you know what?

    Elias is SO PROUD OF YOU! ; )

  3. Debbie said,

    Great job on completing the run with your Dad! I know Elias was watching over you and cheering you on! I sure can relate to all you’ve written about, which really doesn’t surprise me 🙂 I long to see myself as Austin saw me and I really wish he could see all the positive things that I’ve been able to accomplish for the boys and I since he died. But I have a feeling that it’s because he’s been with me every step of the way that I’ve had the courage and the strength to do what I have. I know we’d give up all we’ve become to have them back but I know they wouldn’t be surprised to see who we’ve become. Maybe it’s their last gift to us. Love to you Chels. Talk to you soon.

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