Thrown into the Ocean

Well, this week really feels like the week I’m back at work full force. I never really took complete time off; it was just time off of Facebook and the day-to-day operations. It doesn’t just feel like I was thrown into the pool. It feels like the ocean. 


Board meeting, volunteer survey, lots of things that need to be addressed as a result of the aforementioned. 

It feels like everyone has forgotten. My entire life is different than it was just a few months ago. But for everyone else, life is normal. Everything is back to normal. People who are upset are not afraid to tell me so. One volunteer who quit this week told me I was an awful person, when I had been back at work for mere hours. Something that happened when I was away somehow became my fault. But I digress. 

It’s as if I’m expected to be the person I always was; I’m expected to say and do the exact right things. I am expected to have everyone’s answers and solve their problems. I’m expected to jump back into the rescue and make up for months of decline, and recruit new volunteers. People have needs that they are expressing to me. My sister sold her home and is asking for a lot of my suggestions and help in planning her move. My daughter is trying to sort things out in her life. And I don’t have the answers everyone seems to need from me. 

My health is very much up in the air. Nobody asks about it. Nobody talks about Michael. Nobody asks how I’m doing without him.  I can tell they’re tired of my story, tired of my situation, tired of feeling awkward about it, and no more “special” treatment is due me.

While everyone else is ready for Lisa to be back and everyone else expects complete normalcy, logic, and unwavering leadership from me, I’m nowhere near that place. I may never be. But regardless, we keep fighting.  All I can do is what I can do. I will do my best, but it requires more than that. Time will tell. I can’t speak for “them”, but MY vibe is that “they” all think I’ve had enough time. I need to get over it and move on. Life keeps moving and I better keep up. Or something like that. 

Here’s a newsflash. I don’t want to keep up. I want my husband back. I want the life we had. I want to eat dinner with him. I want to sit on the couch and do nothing with him. I don’t want this new reality without him, and I’m not the person I was before I lost him. I have no desire to be part of this post-Michael world. 

Nothing new with my health. I have a neurologist appointment next week and hopefully that will point me in the right direction. The neuro issues I’m having are tough and not improving.  Emotionally, I’m struggling. I saw Michael in Target the other day. He was across the store…I whipped my cart around to try and catch up to him, and ran smack-dab into my estranged son, his pregnant wife, and their children. I feel he was there to be my strength through that encounter. I’m feeling him around a lot lately. I can hear him warning me to keep an eye on myself and keep myself in check, and telling me not to take on more than I can deal with. 

I have to do better at saying no. Not “no”, as much as “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with this. You need to figure it out without me.” I guess I’m just bummed that I have to say it at all. 


~ Lisa 


5 thoughts on “Thrown into the Ocean

  1. Hey Lisa … your post today reminded me of a post that I wrote right after my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer five and a half years ago now. My post was inspired by another post that I had read by another cancer patient. It was so many years ago and I have lost the URL now. It is somewhere in the maze of information and lost links that began when I was first doing my research and searching for answers to all of this, but I tried to identify with what this other brave woman was saying and wanted to share.

    This woman felt like she was laying at the bottom of a swimming pool, with many of her family and friends standing at the edge of the pool. They were yelling and gesturing down to her as to what she needed to do and what she needed to read and what they wanted to do to help her. Obviously, none of this was getting through to her, as the pool was effectively filtering all of the information, both aurally and visually. She could see and hear that there was something going on and that people were trying to help her, but the messages were not getting through.

    I thought that my wife must be feeling exactly like that, and I was feeling that I may have been one of those family members who was standing at the pool’s edge. It became apparent to me that the best thing to do was to lay at the bottom of the pool with her so that I could help her filter what we were seeing and hearing, and we could then deal with and face the next steps in this journey. I don’t think you are alone in this journey. I know it feels like it all the time, but as evidenced by what your friends have said above, you do have others there with you as well.

    A quote from one of the songs of Rascal Flatts … “You think you’re lost. But you’re not lost on your own. You’re not alone.” Just remember, you’re very brave and you’re not alone. Take care …


    1. I LOVE this analogy, it fits exactly! Thanks, Bones. You always have the most thoughtful and insightful comments for me. ❤ And your wife is VERY fortunate that she found someone that would dive right into that pool with her. My Michael would have done the same for me. It's a very special connection. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What Pat said. Really, they’re going to have to figure it out. They are lucky they haven’t had to go through what you are, if they had, they would perhaps understand. Sadly we live in a society that really expects us to handle trauma by just ‘getting on with it’; it just doesn’t work that way. Many hugs and much support for setting the boundaries that you have to set now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry Lisa. Yes, people are expecting you to be the Lisa you were before you lost Michael, because you were the one that made things happen. The statement “the heart of the rescue” makes even more sense now. While the rescue has carried on while you’ve been gone, it seems like it didn’t carry on in “Lisa style”. No, you aren’t the same and you never will be. You have lost a huge part of your life and you are going to be different from now on. I believe as time goes on you will be just as successful, but in a very different way. And these employees, friends and family are going to have to learn to love and respect the “new” Lisa. This is up to them, not you. You are still learning to love and respect the new Lisa, so they need to as well. No more fixing evetything for everybody. Just as you are doing, they too must make this transition. You are in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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