Have you ever placed yourself in the position of reliving what has caused your greatest stress or heartbreak?
As I was driving home today I took a path through the hills around Portland that I believe is one of the most beautiful drives in the city. The drive however was one that I took with Jack on the day that he contracted the infection that ultimately caused his death. As I drove all I could think about was “what if.” What if he hadn’t gone on that photo trip. What if he hadn’t knocked his friend’s tripod into the Willamette River? What if he hadn’t been exposed to the pollutants in the river? Would he still be alive today? Probably. But he’s not. All of those questions just make me feel really bad. And they don’t matter. I can’t change what happened but I do have to live with it.
As I felt myself going to the depths of my despair I caught myself and remembered that:
1) Jack’s passion was photography and I loved the person he was when he was living out his dreams.
2) Accidents happen but like everything else there is a reason
3) Jack was the friend that everyone wanted and he’d do anything to help his friends. So he lived… and he died because of his passion. And therein is a life lived.
We don’t have to like what happens. We don’t have to hide our feelings about it. We don’t have to even rise above it. But in my darkest moments I remind myself that I can choose to be inspired by my husband’s life or I can let his death be mine too.
We make our choices and some days they will help us and sometimes they will hurt. If we can just realize what we are doing to ourselves we can then know we can choose differently… when we’re ready.
With love, Cheryl