Finding Silver Linings in Life, Even After Suffering a Loss
Despite her grief, columnist Jaime Christmas is determined to live life to the fullest
It’s been over four months since I lost my husband, Aubrey, to hereditary ATTR amyloidosis. The vacuum he’s left behind in the lives of our four children and me may not be immediately apparent, but one only needs to dig a little deeper to see how much we miss him.
Often, people who know us start conversations by asking how we are. I quite frankly struggle to respond. Do they want to know the ugly truth, or should I be mindful and just say the standard, “I’m doing OK”? No matter what I say, I know people are asking out of genuine concern for my welfare.
The loss of a loved one, be it a spouse, parent, or child, will always resonate, regardless of how much time has passed. You never entirely forget; all it takes is one memory to send you back to where it aches. The sadness may lessen, but the yearning for that person never disappears.
Like a large ponderosa pine tree that’s been cut down, the trunk reveals rings that tell a tale of what the tree endured as it grew and stood the test of time. We all carry a pattern of our life; the challenge is to create beauty out of it.
Coping with my grief
Scottish writer Henry Drummond said, “Do not grudge the hand that is moulding the still too shapeless image within you. It is growing more beautiful, though you see it not; and every touch of temptation may add to its perfection.” Sublimely put, and an apt description of how I view my situation.
If I come across slightly blasé in how I’m dealing with Aubrey’s death, it’s due to my determination to live the way he’d want me to. Throughout his sickness, Aubrey fought against letting the disease rob us of enjoying life to the fullest. As limiting as his health was, we looked for ways to enjoy each other within the confines of our situation. He always tried to put family first, and as his wife, I could see that he tried very hard to ensure I stayed lively and content. It was an unbelievable feat for him to achieve, but he was never one to give up easily.
Now that he’s no longer here, I refuse to allow myself to wallow in anguish or sorrow because that’s not what he’d want for me. Letting myself fall into shambles would be an injustice to his memory.
So as I move forward and form new rings in my tree of life, I will strive for contentment and joy. I will find purpose in my loss, and soon enough, whenever I think of Aubrey, it will conjure up gratitude that, for a time, I journeyed with a fantastic person.
He’s gone but will forever live within me.
Note: FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of FAP News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to familial amyloid polyneuropathy.