Tonight as I lie in bed and reflect on my journey of the last three months I realised that my journey with grief had started at least two years earlier.
Yolanda, my wife of almost nineteen years had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Wegener’s Granulamatosis in 2016.
I remember very clearly how my initial searches on this auto immune disease showed a life expectancy of 2 to 5 years. To say I was shocked and devastated would be an understatement. When Yolanda and I went for our first consultation with a highly recommended rheumatologist, Dr B Christians, we left feeling a lot more hopeful that we could live with or even overcome this disease. Yolanda’s mindset was positive that if we approached this with a two pronged approach, namely conventional medicine and nutritionally, then we could at least keep this awful disease from taking control. We lived in hope. Yolanda’s treatment started and early indications were that we were on a winning track, after all we had the best doctors and hospital on our side.
2016 rolled into 2017 with Yolanda still taking a mountain load of daily medicine and follow up visits to the hospital with a few stays in hospital over this time. She lived with constant pain however very rarely complained. In November of 2017 everything went up a gear. Yolanda had been diagnosed with lymphoma. Her Wegener’s had opened the door of opportunity for this cancer to enter our lives. We however started this journey with hope and belief that we would emerge as having beaten this cancer, after all the doctors had said to us if there is one cancer you would want to get it is this one as it is the most treatable. Yolanda started a very intense course of chemo treatment. I can truly say that the chemo knocked her for a six. She would emerge weaker after each round. We however remained positive and believed that we would still emerge at the end of this very dark tunnel.
It was at this time that I became very angry with the world, how could this be happening to Yolanda and us. Fortunately I started to see a psychologist, this proved to be a wise move as I had no idea what the journey was about to look like.
2018 started with such hope and dreams, little did we realise that they were about to be smashed upon the blacksmiths anvil of life. Yolanda got sick and passed away very quickly. In fact the last week of her life here on earth was a nightmare. Each time I spoke to a doctor the news got worse. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse I was reminded that I have no control over my or others close to me destiny.
Yolanda passed away on Sunday 14th January 2018.
Our journey up until this point in some strange and wonderful way had prepared us, that is my two daughters and myself, for the next part of our journey through a dark valley.
We miss Yolanda dearly, we cry together. We support one another. Most of all we know that even though she is not with us physically that she remains in our hearts.
My aim of this blog is to document my journey of grief and in so doing hope to able to help others who enter this dark valley called grief.