“The only source of knowledge is experience.” ~ Albert Einstein
You see, knowledge is power. It is the greatest gift we can receive through our own experiences and as time goes on it turns into wisdom that we can share with others that have had similar experiences on their journey of self-healing and self-discovery in this physical existence. It is so important for us to take the challenges of life to live and to to learn. Life is an education.
On March 2nd 2004, I lost my husband to cancer. He was the bread winner, the father to our 4 children and an exceptionally gifted and talented man. I looked after the children whilst he made money for us to survive and live comfortably. My life was based around the home, cleaning, cooking and raising 4 children.
In May 1999, I received a phone call later in the day to inform me that Rob had crashed his bike and that they were on their way to Knox private hospital. He received the all clear but the x-ray showed up a small lump in his stomach which needed further investigation. We followed through with a series of investigations and the diagnosis made was that he had a benign tumour called a leiomyoma.
Late January 2002, Rob started experiencing pain in his stomach. The result put us both in shock. It was totally surreal and we were finding it hard to grasp the concept of what we were being told. The results were grim. Rob had a rare form of tumour called a Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumour. It was so rare that the results needed to be sent off to Sydney to a specialist lab to make the grim diagnosis. The prognosis was terminal.
In March 2002, Rob started chemotherapy. The cancer was quite wide spread. They removed other tumours that were visible. As always Rob remained optimistic, but in January 2003 we were hit with the news that the disease was spreading. In September of that year all I could feel was anger, hurt and the injustice that had been served foremost to my husband and then to our family.
By November of this same year, I was starting to see a change in Rob. He was getting weaker, losing weight and finding it harder to go into work. My background is in nursing. So I had the knowledge to know what was happening to him on a physiological as well as physical basis. Within this time frame, I found myself grieving uncontrollably.
A month before his death, we hired a house boat and the whole family went to Echuca for the weekend His younger brother and 2 kids came, my in-laws my parents and his best friend all made the journey. It was hard but emotional and enjoyable all the same. After the weekend away, we were awoken to the sad news that the brother who had just been away with us. The tragedy of it all was that they knew their eldest son was dying from a disease he had no control over and their middle son lost his life to a substance he should never have been using.
In the days leading up to the funeral, Rob had to go back into hospital. I still remember the sadness of having to pick him up and dress him in the hospital to take him to his brother’s funeral. A week later Rob went back into hospital. There was nothing anyone could do for him. Rob, still at this point could not see what was to face him. He did not believe death was an option.
After a lengthy conversation with his oncologist, I asked him to please inform Rob of the inevitable. He entered Rob’s room and at this point he was surrounded by my parents and his younger brother. His dr, in the most realistic way possible, explained to Rob he was going to die and that he should go home if that was where he wanted to be.
Forty eight hours before he died, around 2 am he asked me to cuddle him. For the first time he told me he knew he was going to die. He said that this did not scare him but what hurt him the most was that he had to leave his family. At this point I discussed the arrangements I had made for him. I told him he would be buried next to his brother and we agreed that we only wanted a celebrant to do the service as neither of us believed in God.
Rob died on Tuesday 2nd march, 2004 at 6am. It was peaceful. All our family and his closest friend sat vigil. About a minute before he died he opened his eyes and I told him I loved him. His reply to me was “I Love You Too”. These were his last words. We watched the sun rise after having called the dr to certify his death and also called the funeral home. I woke our children so they could say their final goodbyes. This was heart breaking.
I have a saying which I use quite often, something I picked up through my readings. ‘For every crisis there is a gift’. Sometimes these gifts aren’t apparent straight away. In this instance, I had to go through the grieving process as well as my children. I had to live the physical and mental pain and learn how to rise above it. What became evident was that Rob’s passing unlocked a door. It opened up a realm I had no idea existed or believed in.
I started feeling things, hearing things. I started taking notice of what was going on around me and found myself talking to people I felt I could trust and others who I knew had some knowing of what I was experiencing. Things starting happening quickly and I found myself leaning toward the spiritual, holistic side that was being shown to me. Throughout this process I was introduced to my guides and the biggest thing for me, crystals. This path was opened up and thrown at me in a good way and a fast pace. It has helped me heal many aspects of my life and help me through the grief.
It took me 2 years to get over the hurt and anger of my husband leaving me but what I realised was that it wasn’t his fault. Deep down I knew this but it was all part of the grieving process I had to endure to make me the person I am today. What I found as I started to feel comfortable with myself and remove the fears of being alone and being a single mum to 4 beautiful children is that Rob taught me courage and strength. He showed me that in life you never give up. You fight for what you believe in.
I cannot lie to you and tell you that life is easy, it’s not. You work at what is in front of you and you persist. Children are resilient but at the same time their grief is very real and each of them grieves at different times and in different ways. I don’t believe that grief necessarily goes. What I believe is that for every hurdle you cross you learn to deal with it in a specific way. And if or when that grief issue arises again, you can deal with it on a totally different level and look at it in a different light. It does get easier. All that we encompass in life is part of our journey. We are here to learn and to teach from it.
To let you know we started a malpractice litigation against the dr in question of Rob’s initial diagnosis. It has taken six years but well worth the wait. I agreed on a settlement on the 3rd of September 2009.
In love, light and vibration
I dedicate this to my beautiful husband Rob and to my mum who I miss greatly. You are my owl. I love you.