May 25, 2012


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 9:33 pm by letterstoelias

“We honor the place that is not light,

the forest in winter, the cold and night.

Yet know that spring and summer will come,

and with the dawn will rise the sun.”

In some ways I think of life as a series of passing through seasons.  In some ways I wish it was.  There would be a little more predictability.  When you start to grow weary of one (or not like it in the first place), you know it will end and soon a new one will begin.  At times it feels too far off, but still – you know it will change.

Even though there are some aspects of certain seasons that aren’t always loved – be it allergies that come with spring, intense heat with summer (of course not usually around here!), dark in the winter – there are usually enough benefits and beauty in each to help us get through.

I feel like I had a greater point to all this and am now just rambling (my neighbours loud music and drumming likely isn’t helping much at the moment . . . .) but I was reading a book to the girls last night that ends with the above little poem I love so much and it got me thinking (as it has each time I’ve read it).

I feel as though I’ve passed through countless seasons in the past number of years – with no predictability whatsoever – and a predominant amount of darkness.

When Elias’ tumour started to take over once again, I started the Caringbridge blog.  I had heard of blogging, but had never followed any and never even considered it a blog initially.  It was the easiest way to get the word out to those interested on how things were going.  We were staying as positive as possible, hoping to motivate people to do the same without death knocking on the door.  We were uplifted and inspired by how many people were following and cheering us on.

After Elias died, it became incredibly difficult to write there, in that space.  A space that had once been filled with so much hope and positive energy.  People had a harder time reading it (and bothered to mention it) because of the change in tone, but of course how exactly was I supposed to keep that going when my life had just ended?  A change in seasons.  Which, led me here.

This was the new place I came.  One where I could let out (most of) my pain and the darkness I felt.  I longed to continue talking to Elias and sharing with him, which is why I started writing as if to him, regardless of who else read it.  I didn’t really think I cared if any one did – but once again I was happy to find a readership to help me through . . . though this time it was from a less expected ‘group’.  Other widow/ers.  I found their blogs, and they found mine – and new hope was formed in the midst of the darkness.

Early on, it was just comforting to know that someone else understood that pain.  The pain that I felt so terribly alone and isolated in.  I hated knowing someone else felt it – but part of the pain was the isolation.  I was not alone.  I met others, months, weeks, years ahead of me and some behind – and I could look to them and see that it was possible to survive.

Even better, was the opportunity to meet them face to face.  Hug them.  Cry with them.  Laugh with them.  Dance with them.  To feel the energy in a room of others who have all known that pain of thinking you could never breathe again, let alone stand – yet here we were walking our ‘new’ lives, together.

A while back I made a tough decision to stop writing ‘letters’ to Elias as each one of my posts.  I still often write some of, and at times all of a post in that way – but it was extremely difficult to make that change.  It’s also one that’s never sat completely comfortably with me.

I’ve expressed before that I now struggle somewhat with this ‘place’.  It was once a lifeline for me.  It (along with those who I found through it) helped carry me through the darkest season of my life.  I still feel that pain, but as my body and mind have adjusted to handle it better, I’ve found it more difficult to find ways to write about it.  I don’t know how many different ways to express it.

Missing Elias is still in every breath I take, and always will be.  Every beat of my heart feels the loss of him.  I long to see/hear/touch him again – even if for just a moment.  My love for him is ever present.  But, none of this is new and I know I will always feel it.  Regardless of what happens in my life.  My girls will always miss him.  They will always have tears for their Daddy, and their lives are forever changed by his absence (just tonight, E is having a difficult time sleeping as I mistakenly chose bedtime to bring up the fact that fathers day is coming and to remind her of her choices when it’s time to start making crafts at school . . . . ).

I’m torn about this space.  I don’t want to stop writing here – but I don’t know how else to express these feelings.  I don’t know how much writing the details of yet another ‘death anniversary’, missed wedding anniversary, birthday, christmas, dance recital, etc, etc, etc, will help.  Tracking all the crazy numbers and stats of time with vs time without (I’ve now parented C more than twice as long on my own as we did together, etc).

And, life isn’t ‘all’ bad, and I want to write these things too – and I have written some of that here.  I think it’s important to do so for those who may come across it in the midst of their darkest period of grief, to see that there can be light.  And yet . . . .

I like writing.  Even though I have almost NO time for it any more (which is the other struggle I have these days).  I’m considering starting a new blog that is more just daily life and observations (likely still with ‘grief bits’ in there, as it is still part me), but I don’t know.  I just feel as though ‘this’ place has changed for me, yet I don’t feel done here either.

Seasons.  Change.  Rambling.  Who knows (but next time I’ll try not to write on a Friday night when the music is thumping through the walls . . . )

I know what he wanted for me.  For us.  I’m trying, every day, to live it.  It’s so hard without him.  But I feel like we’re doing it.

For now, this is what I submitted as a memoriam for the paper this year

If Love could have cured you, you would still be here with us . . . 

Impossible to believe it’s been three years, and impossible to describe just how loved, and missed you are – with every breath, every heart beat, every day.  How lucky were we to have someone so wonderful to love, that it made saying goodbye so hard.  Your smile, energy and life will be forever missed – thankfully your spirit lives on in all of us.  

Always and Forever ~ CL, E & C

P.S.  I Love You



  1. I’ve been following you a long time. I found your site back when you wrote on caringbridge. I think I found the site because I was search about Protocell (Cancell) and Elias’s page came up. My son also has a brain tumor and I liked reading an adult’s perspective. When Elias died, I was heartbroken for you and your girls. Then when you started this blog, I signed up for emails. I remember, especially in the beginning, your writing was so raw, so full of love and emotion, longing and grief. I was almost overwhelmed. Touched. Amazed at the depth of your love. I was brought to tears often. I still am. you write beautifully. I do hope you don’t quit, even if you start a new blog. I hope that I can continue on as you go through changes. I know I haven’t left many comments – and most I did leave were on caringbridge but I have been silently following, learning from you. I I wish for you what Elias wanted for you.

  2. megan said,

    hello sweetheart. I read this old post today – now it makes me think of you (the bits about change and incompleteness and waiting) :

    Such a raw strange in-between place.
    love to you.

  3. Debbie said,

    The in-between place between the seasons is always a little confusing. Hoping you find peace today in your in-between place. Love you!

  4. mel said,

    So beautifully written. I believe a blog can (and in some way must) evolve as we change and grow. I like that you’ve been making small adjustments as you go, and think you could make a big one if you’d like without having to start a new blog. I also like hearing about the happy things you’re doing in life and with the girls.

    In a way, your choosing to live is the ultimate “letter” to Elias – as you witness and experience the wonder of life, you reflect his love and his touch. You don’t even have to be explicit about talking to him. Just live – that is enough and that is everything.

  5. JJ said,

    Thank you for sharing. I understand how you feel…because I am in the same situation right now 😦 I basically started blogging to share things I experience everyday. Then mom died and my life changed. I opened this wordpress account for that space in my heart dedicated to my mom. It helped me cope with my emotions and feelings that I feel I could not share with anyone reading my personal blog ( I especially wrote about that in this entry My mom’s not here now and that will never change. Yet, I know life has to go on and sharing all its joys and sorrows is one way of reaching out to others. That is why I am at a crossroad. I hope this will not cause a hindrance to you and this blog. I loved reading all your entries and I continue to do so. It inspires me by showing how life continues after all and in spite of.

  6. I think that ambiguous “in-between” space is so incredibly common among us widowed bloggers…and probably any blogger, period, regardless of subject–and any widow, regardless of how or where they express their grief. That first 18 months of widowhood was awful for me, the absolutely hardest parts of this journey…but at the same time, I’ve felt infinitely worst in the years past then. And it was so hard to know what to do with those months and years.

    I hope you don’t ever stop writing. I love having it as a more private, less happy-face/public Facebook record of your life, of where you are both in this journey and in life in general. I’ve found for myself that if it’s just the public, day-to-day thoughts, they go on Facebook; photography, someplace, depending on my audience and intentions; …but the grief or else my thoughts on being a single parent? It never found a safe alternate home, so still I wrote on my blog, albeit sporadically and at risk of sounding like I think, feel, and process the same crap month after month, year after year, without change. Which isn’t true–it always shifts and changes; it’s just more subtle now, and harder to work through.

    I was a few months shy of the 3-year mark when I started my blog, because I couldn’t stand the bottleneck inside me of what I told people vs. what I didn’t. Crazy to think of the juxtaposition of when and where my widowed friends are now in their journeys.

    Much love to you, my friend!!

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