This paper serves two purposes. Primarily I hope to write it well and get good
marks for it in class, but it also serves to help me in finishing my grief work.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross stated in 1969 in her book "On Death and Dying" that there
are five primary stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.
I believe that she is only half right. As a widow myself, i have indeed experienced all
these stages, but every possible human emotion is experienced with the loss of a spouse
to its extreme and infinite depths, with no time limit or specific end.
When one takes their vows in marriage they most certainly believe it will be a
life long bliss. Indeed some couples do grow old together and recall their lives rocking
on the front porch in retirement waiting for the natural course of events to carry them to
the hereafter. But sometimes death strikes all too soon; like the cancer that claimed my
In the spring of 2006 we shared the news that some back pain and minor digestive
problems were not symptoms of a benign hernia, but esophageal cancer. I remember
when the doctor read from the lab reports, he had tears in his eyes and suddenly it
seemed as if the oxygen was sucked out of the room. I had a lump in my throat and it
was hard to breath as he went over our options for chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
I remember that while I was shocked, I didn't shed a tear; because as a medical
professional I knew that there were effective treatment regimens out there and some
people do beat cancer. They discover it, treat it, and survive. My husband at the age of
54 and a father of two boys aged 6 and 10 would not be one of them. There are a lot of
"firsts" after one has lost a spouse: the first time you come home to an empty house, the
first time you go to a movie alone, the first birthday you celebrate without him, the first...