“My Voice” by Dianne Tufo

Dianne Tufo - 'Co-Survivor'

It’s been three months only three months and every day I relive that last week ,those last moments. I can see Mike clear as day holding my hand looking at me me telling him it is okay, no more pain, no more cancer, it’s okay to go to sleep. That the boys and I would be okay, not to be afraid. Yes, you can say I was lying to sooth him maybe to help me. Mike’s death was very unexpected we really didn’t think it would be time yet. Cancer is so silent. I  go over in my head, did we do everything? Did we miss something? Yes, I have guilt over this, which eats me up in my down time. How could I not?

Two years ago, we heard the words, “You have Cancer”. I can’t picture the person I was before those words anymore. I can’t picture myself the person I was before Mike passed away. Even after a passing, Cancer is still very heavy in our house and so many people don’t understand this. I don’t know how to talk to some people and many people don’t know how to talk to me. For 13 years, I was part of Mike-n-Dianne. It rolled off our tongues. I have encountered some amazing new people and have my stable supports from day one who are very helpful who let me know that no one can push me through this grief and anyone saying that I should start getting over this for the kids, that don’t let the grief cloud what you had, you’re young and you will remarry are not the type of people that I need in my life. Just like life, in any circumstance there is no rule book or time clock with this.

No one knows my pain, our children’s pain on an everyday basis. I wish it on no one. I know that Mike would want me to keep the boys going in their school works, scouts and church and I have. I get up every day for the kids. I focus as it should be on them. I work at keeping this family together to continue to have OUR voice be heard over Mike’s type of Cancer. I will never give up on the cause.I am not the first widow or the first to be thrown into single parent life. I will fail many times but it is what I do now that will define me. There will come a day where the broken feeling in my heart wont be as painful, that I wont dread every first day of the month, that I wont count to the anniversary of his diagnosis those are things that will come in time. Just not now. Time has stood still and I have been hit by that bus. I did go back to read Mike’s words and watch his video and as difficult as it was to see him and read those words I felt myself smiling he was/is an amazing man and fought one hell of a fight. I fell for him all over again with his words.

We have started grieving classes. The boys express through art, music and talking about Mike. I felt it was important to give the children a venue other then myself to express how they are feeling we are blessed with these four boys; they are amazing. Life has always been a roller coaster but I hope to slow the ride down a bit to help us get through this time and truly time is all that this is going to need.

I Survive every day for the boys, I Survive every day for Mike…. I will continue to Survive for all of my family and friends who will catch me when I fall, to stand me up to keep moving forward ….. I am a Survivor…..