So life just continued. I guess that was the most surprising thing if anything, was that life continued as normal. At work I couldn’t do all the meetings so I had some colleagues help out. That part actually helped, we wanted some routine because you didn’t want to dwell. It was that sense of normalcy that got us through it.
You still have bad minutes, bad hours, even bad days. You just can't live there. You can't stay there. Everyone should allow themselves ... I think people feel bad allowing themselves to have bad days. If there's a day you need to just lay in bed all day or lock yourself in your room and play your music or block everybody out it's okay but then tomorrow you can't do that.
He wrote a couple pieces, which are a part of his incredible book, When Breath Becomes Air. I read a couple of them. He was talking about what it was to live with cancer, to live with terminal cancer. He was writing about processing his emotions. It was so impactful for me to realize people continue to live.
It feels like it goes faster and faster. It's like you're trying to plug a hole that's leaking more and more and more but all you can do is try to plug the hole ... People have different ways of coping and it’s easy to feel guilty about the time you take to cope with the stuff you're dealing with because you're not spending that time living life to the fullest.
Grief is much broader in terms of dealing with loss, including when there's an idea of loss. Maybe that loss is going to happen in 20 years or something like that. That can be a thing. That was really helpful just to think about … the better you deal with it, the better you're able to provide for other people.
I was someone where I put fear in the driver's seat most of my life. And one of the things I'm learning on this path, with stage four, is relegating fear to the backseat.
I used to run away from the darkness. I used to run away from the fear, and the only thing I was doing at that point was letting it grow bigger and bigger and bigger. And what I've learned is sometimes I just need to sit with it and just talk myself through it.
I started seeing other men that were going through that. That I think also was another added layer of, 'I'm not alone in this,' … That helped. I think that's what kind of helped me shift from that thinking of, 'Oh my god. How is this possible?' to, 'Okay. There's things that you can do to help this. Not only yourself, but to help others.