Category: Cancer

Somehow the Same Old New Things

Somehow the Same Old New Things
Normally, I’m pretty unfiltered, but I filter a lot these days. I don’t know what parts of my newly widowed life people can handle and what parts they can’t. I’m so used to compartmentalizing that it comes easily, but the fact is, my life is complicated and I’m a little frayed around the edges. It... Read more »

On Grief and Vertigo

On Grief and Vertigo
For the last six weeks, I’ve had vertigo. There are reasons for it, some self-inflicted, some accidental. Vaccine reactions. Ear surgery. New and increased prescriptions in my glasses. Migraines. More vaccine reactions. Swelling from having the stitches removed from my ears. Medication side effects. It’s not typically a mystery. Regardless of the cause, each step... Read more »

Grieving Love with Intention

I took this picture the night before Mike’s 34th birthday. He fell asleep holding my hand. It’s two months today that Mike has been gone. Dead. Insert euphemism of choice here. Sometimes it feels like it’s been forever. And sometimes a card comes in the mail from somebody I don’t know and I pull my... Read more »
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A Eulogy for My Husband, Michael Thomas Grover

A Eulogy for My Husband, Michael Thomas Grover
Everything I needed to know about Mike, I learned on our first date. He took the train from Evanston for dinner at my apartment, a tiny studio on the worst corner in the worst neighborhood he’d ever set foot in. We’d been talking online for months, exchanging long letters about everything and nothing. We wrote... Read more »

The End

The End
Just after midnight on Sunday morning, my husband died. I’m struggling to say that word, “died.” It seems harsh. Too brutal. There are so many euphemisms, “passed,” “departed,” “transitioned.” They all try to hide the horror we all seem to have at the idea of death. But Mike wouldn’t have wanted that. He wasn’t afraid... Read more »

Waiting for the End

Waiting for the End
I have, over the last fourteen years, had many feelings about Mike’s inevitable death. Terror, anger, confusion, grief… What I never expected was to spend his last weeks overcome with gratitude. I have lost count of the things I am grateful for, and all of them come down to what I know about glioblastoma and... Read more »
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Our Last New Year's Eve

Our Last New Year's Eve
My relationship with December 31 has never exactly been pleasant. The first New Year’s Eve I can really remember commemorating was at my best friend’s house. She and I sat up for hours through the night as she sobbed on her kitchen floor, begging me to convert to Christianity because she didn’t want to die... Read more »

On Mike Ending Treatment

On Mike Ending Treatment
This letter took me weeks of drafting, rewriting, waiting on changes from Mike, waiting on any kind of confirmation from appointments and scans… This is the most difficult thing I have ever written, and the thing I may be proudest of having gotten right. I am sharing it here because I think there is something... Read more »

The Grover Annual Holiday Letter

The Grover Annual Holiday Letter
To our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and assorted well-wishers, Last year at this time we were looking forward to what we believed was the end of a difficult trial for the Grover family. Mike was on the mend, focused on transitioning back to work. Lea was preparing for surgery that was expected to end many... Read more »
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When All You Have Is Time

When All You Have Is Time
Imagine a wave… I am twenty, and a behemoth of a man has entered my apartment. He is tentative, awkward. Not at all smooth, not suave, not confident, but smiling bravely. I can see I terrify him, although he outweighs me by a hundred pounds, although he’s a foot taller. He tries not to offend... Read more »