Cancer Death of a Spouse Grief

Where Are You When I Need You?

Written by Shelley Brandon

We’re moving…again. I know the process for this, I’ve done it 10 times already. This time is different. This time I’m moving from Michigan to South Carolina. I’ve changed states before but not alone, or mostly alone. I’ve got my youngest son who is 14 and more interested in hanging out with his friends than helping me, although he does help when I get frustrated (aka make him). He’s a good kid and he really is a good helper most of the time, just not in this.

I’ve got my older son and daughter-in-law on the other end of the move so I’m not really alone, I’m just feeling more than a bit overwhelmed. I need to have weekly garage sales but the weeks are slipping away and I can’t get organized to do it. I need to get the house on the market but I’m just not sure it’s ready. Still too much to do to get it ready. And the weeks are slipping away. Most of the packing is done but not all of it. I need to find a new house in SC but it’s kind of difficult to do from this far away. And the weeks are slipping away.

All of this turmoil makes me very unsettled, very stressed. I miss my husband. I miss having that shoulder to lean on. I miss his Take Charge personality (I’m a bit of an introvert). I miss his wisdom. I miss his calming presence. I miss everything about him. This adventure only intensifies that grief. And our 21st wedding anniversary would have been next week. Grief multiplied. I miss my life before his death. I miss being his wife.

Everything makes me cry these days. Every soppy commercial, every scene of separation no matter what kind in every movie or tv show that I watch. Good thing I don’t have time for watching much right now.


I’m excited about the move. I’m looking forward to it being over. It’s just the process of getting there that has my nerves standing on end. And the weeks are slipping away. They’re slipping away too fast and not fast enough. I need my husband to lean on right now. I need him here with me. I resent again that he’s not. I’m angry at the stupid cancer that stole him from me. I need him. But it’s just me.

Personal pity party time is over now… Time to paint.

About the author

Shelley Brandon

My bio is rather complex and like most people’s starts at birth, or maybe before. I was adopted as an infant by very special and very loving parents. Pretty normal and average childhood with two younger brothers. Married at 22, motherhood at 25, divorced single parent at 29. Blessed at 31 with a new chance at love and the family I’d always wanted. Eight months later two of my sons lost their mother to pneumonia. Our blended family was tossed by the waves of grief from the beginning. The waves became a tsunami when my wonderful husband died 14 years later. Grief has been my shadow for nearly 20 years now, but life is still good when you’re standing in the light.


  • Shelley, please remember you are not really alone.
    Your husband’s love and spirit is and will always be with you. He reaches out to you in various ways, your favorite songs on the radio, the birds eagerly awaiting their eggs to hatch, his warmth on your body while you are sleeping, and other signs to let you know that he is with you in spirit cheering you on, giving you strength to forge ahead as he knows firsthand how incredibly strong you are to have made it through so many of life’s challenges.

    My hope is that you will find your inner strength, let your faith and trust in the Lord as He will help guide, lean on friends when they offer help to you, make a list of things that need to be completed, set small realistic goals and focus on a few things at a time instead of all 100 things at once.
    It may be that your son’s procrastination or unwillingness to help you may really be his way of expressing himself as he will be leaving his friends, school, sports teams, and everything that he feels grounded in. He will need to start over and find new friends and interests. He may be expressing his feelings in different ways than you may think. Yes, the same goes for you, but he won’t see it the same. Most of all, you both have lost a lot through the years and have had to rebuild new lives. Give it time, take things step by step and know that you both can and will make it through. You are not alone.

    Best regards and wishes for your new journey,


    • Thank you for your kind words Shelly. I do know all of those wonderful ways that he is still with me. It’s just times like this one when I need his tangible earthly physical presence to help me do this. I know that everything will work out in the way God intends for it to happen. I know that I’m capable of dealing with a bus load of stress when I need to be. Learned that lesson the hard way seven years ago when he had cancer. I know that I can do all things through Christ. Today though, I just want someone to do it for me. ?