Until You Die, Live.

June 28, 2011

Dear World,

I’m pretty sure unless you’re 24, nursed your husband through 14 months of sickness, knowing all along that the cancer would get him eventually and then watched him die…. you have no idea what I’m feeling!

It makes me so cross that people think I should feel a certain way. That I should be crying all day. That I should be miserable.

I made my peace with the fact that I was losing my husband back in December. I started saying goodbye in March. I prayed over him as he slipped away and gave him over to God.

When I think of the countless people who, every single day, have their loved ones ripped from them – through war and accidents and heart attacks, who never have a chance to sort things and make peace and say goodbye… I feel lucky. Everyone has to die. I got the gift of being there when he did.

I’ve also got the gift of being alive. I’ve got the gift of joy. I’ve got the gift of Salvation. And I’m going to live my life.  I’m not going to sit at home and mope. I’m going to hang out with my friends and make new ones and go on adventures.

Stop judging me for being ok. Stop judging me because I’m not grieving in the same way or on the same time scale as you are or “think” you would be. I loved him more than you could ever know. It’s because I love him that I’m going to make the best of the short time we have on this earth.

I’m 24. I’m far too young to die too, to just exist. I’m going to live.


(picture from Howies – sadly it was limited edition and no longer available.)



  1. Great post, Ses. *No-one* has the right to judge you or to tell you how to feel. Your courage, as you and Andy shared your journey, is an example to all of us.

  2. Ses. As you say only you know what you are going through. Personally it gives me a thrill to hear of you carrying on and rebuilding your life. Andy will always be a part of that life but it has to go on. Moping would not bring him back and I am sure is not what he would have wanted for you. You have the knowledge that you will be with him again one day. Try not to be angry with these folk who judge but they do not know where you are at. They are probably worried about you if you are not fitting their perception of grieving, but that is their problem.
    Enjoy your life as much as you can.
    Take Care and may God Bless You.
    Penny Brown

  3. Beautiful post Ses! Continuing to pray for you.

  4. Ses, great post. Now that you have stated what some of us know and understand, I urge you not to feel the need to justify your unique journey of grief to anyone again. It is usually only through experience that people understand. Your journey through this is within yourself, between you, God and of course carving out a different relationship, built primarily on memories, with Andy. Continue to be true to yourself.

  5. Hi Ses,
    You don’t know me but I’ve read every single post you’ve made since the first one on healingwell.com when you were looking for advice re. ostomies. ( I had a temp ileo and that forum was a big help) Thank you so much for sharing your journey and I’m so very sorry that Andy lost his battle. The day you posted that Andy had passed away I cried a lot and was overcome by sadness for days. I admire you for your courage and wish you the very best as you forge ahead.

    I have not posted before now because I could never find the words. The posts from your friends and those you have never met were so eloquent and appropriate; it seemed all the right things had already been said. I love reading your uplifting and honest comments about how you have been coping and what is on your mind now. Again, thank you for sharing this with us.

    I’m sending you this note now after reading that people are judging you for how you appear to be grieving. That sends me around the bend and I feel for you. You are so wise and in my opinion your attitude is to be celebrated. Comparing or judging grief is simply not helpful, in fact it can be very hurtful. I lost my parents in a tragic accident and even now. years later, people tell me I’m “lucky”. Ah, what? How dare they? Lucky I don’t have the “burden” of caring for them in their old age? I would have cherised the opportunity. I didn’t get to say good bye.

    Only you know what’s right for you and, as you said in an earlier post, you will decide how you handle each and every day of your future. I pray that it will be full of life and love and that you will continue to be an inspiration to others. You certainly have been for me.

    God Bless You.
    Connie in Toronto.

  6. I second both the comments above; you are defo an example to all of us.

  7. Ses, i followed the last few days of Andy’s time on Earth through Ravelry and this Blog and the way you have coped blew me away. I recently found myself on my own again (though not through bereavement, so please don’t think I am really likening my situation to yours) and people keep telling me that I’m doing ‘Really well’. What do they know? Everyone is different, so everyone behaves differently. No-one but no-one has any right to tell you how to behave; they shouldn’t even be thinking it – but if they do then they should just keep it to themselves. I never knew Andy and I don’t know you, but from reading your blog I have an idea of what you guys are like and, for what it’s worth, I think you are acting just the way andy would have wanted you to. He knew how you felt about him, you know how you feel about him stil and that is all that matters. You go on and live your life just as you want to live it. Love and God’s Blessing go with you x.

  8. Ses – who are these people who are telling you what you should feel – and why are you even listening to them!?

    I don’t know, because as you say – ive not been in your position, but you can only feel what you feel and If I where in your position I would be mad at anyone who tried to tel me otherwise.

    You do an incredible job of being you, Andy would be proud.


  9. Ses – who are these people who are telling you what you should feel – and why are you even listening to them!?

    I don’t know, because as you say – ive not been in your position, but you can only feel what you feel and If I where in your position I would be mad at anyone who tried to tel me otherwise.

    You do an incredible job of being you, Andy would be proud.

  10. Ses, exactly. You respond to your feelings in your own way. I’m so glad you are the wonderful, loving, faith-filled person you are. You are really an inspiration to others.

  11. Actually you’re a wonderful example for me, how to go through hard times and stay *alive*. How would it be in any way helpful to work yourself down into a depression and as some people seem to prefer it, never come out again? Sometimes it looks like a competition, who mourns the hardest. As if that says anything about how much we loved someone.
    Don’t let those inconsiderate people drag you down.

  12. Please continue on your path. I would hate to think that people would be so judgemental but they are. Please continue. You inspire other. God Bless your path!

  13. I believe this is the only post that I have read of yours and I have to say thank you for it. The loss you went through was great, but the love he gave you was greater and the example you are giving others is a wonderful one. You are a strong woman and have been blessed. Thank you for sharing your experience! Live as you want to, be blessed for the love you have (it’s never gone) and enjoy your time here!

  14. Ses

    You are a beatiful human being. Being a bowel cancer patient myself, I have benefited immensely from your writings. You and Andy have taught us all many great lessons about life. Your journal was so moving and meaningful that I couldn’t help but write about it in my own journal:


    May your spirit continue to shine brightly whilst Andy’s resonates warmly in all those whose life he touched.

    Halifax, Nova Scotia

  15. Ses- I don’t know you personally, but ALL your posts have been such an inspiriation and your love for Andy just shines through all of them. He will be part of your life forever and no one can ever take that away. God bless X

  16. Awesome post, best advert there could be for the hope you have in Jesus, do what you need and want to do, as a very wise chap I was chatting to the other day said, “chuck the shoulds, oughts, musts and have tos out of the window”! x

  17. Dear Ses, I don’t know you personally, but we briefly talked about marriage about a year or so ago, I guess. I am so sorry to hear that your Andy has passed away and is no longer with you. Don’t let other people tell you what to feel and how to feel it! Only you know how you need to deal with this, and you know best! I admire you strength.. you inspire us!

  18. Hi Ses,
    I first read about you and your husband on Ravelry. You seem like an amazing person. Only you can understand what you’ve been through — and are going through right now — and that’s all that matters. So if you feel like loving life and living it well, after facing so much sorrow, good on you! You’re an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  19. Keep doing what you’re doing. You loved Andy, he loved you, that’s what’s important, not other people’s opinions. Living the best life we know how is the best way to glorify God and to celebrate what you and Andy had

  20. You’re such an inspiring person ❤

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