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In Sept of 1994 I lost my first and only wife of 47 years. All of them were fantastic years and we had a great marriage. She died after a two year struggle with cancer. A lot of pain and lot of suffering. I cared for her in my home with the great help of Hospice. She died in my arms. I continued to work through this time up until the last 3 weeks but had awesome help from a daughter and daughter in law and many friends. After her death I was back on the job within 2 weeks or less and felt that I was strong and could handle the whole situation without any problem. I had the peace that she was a strong believer in Christ so her destination was assured, and I likewise had a strong faith and trusting God all the way that He would see me throug. It worked. Then at what I believe was God's plan I married a friend of ours who we knew through the church for many years. She had lost her husband a couple of years before before by a heart attack. We were married in 1996 and had an awesome marriage from day one. Two years ago she developed cancer which is normally treated and you can survive for several years. She was treated and it went in to remission than it came back and this time they did Chemo. She had negative affects each of three treatments with the last one infecting her lungs...we discontinued the Chemo and she died from the damage of the infection April 2 of this year. Again she was at home battling the infection and on oxygen for 8 months. We only called in Hospice 1 week before she died and again like the first one she died with me holding her. This time I have not handled the loss well at all, had some medication that has help to a degree, but this week I started counsel with the Hospice director of Berevement and I thank God I gave in to this. In our first visit she determined that I probably had not really dealt with the loss of my first wife and now I am grieving over the loss of two wives. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel but it is really difficult at the present time...It is good just to now write this out to whom ever and I know that some times we just have to speak the truth to start dealing with the truth....and not just hold it all inside....so that is what I have done tonight and I thank you for reading this.

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My dear friend,

It took great strength, determination and courage for you to “give in” and acknowledge your need for help in dealing with both these losses, and I want to honor you for that.

Sometimes we have a misguided notion of courage; we label as brave the soldier who is the first to march into battle, and we think of courage as the capacity to be strong and silent when we’re in pain, or as the ability to handle sorrow and woundedness all by ourselves without ever seeking outside help or intervention.

But real courage is the willingness to take a risk, to face something very difficult without running away from it, to embrace our pain and learn to cope with it. You said it so well: Sometimes we just have to speak the truth in order to begin dealing with it. As you are discovering now, my friend, the truth will set you free.

Thank you for posting your message of courage in this forum, which inspires all of us. We are honored by your presence.

Wishing you peace and healing,

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