my Jeff’s obituary and story time 🙂❤️ - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer

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my Jeff’s obituary and story time 🙂❤️

Pancake_Lefse profile image

ranfranzandvinefh.com/obitu...

I have a little story about the obit …

As most of you know, I’m Jeff’s ex-wife. When Jeff was diagnosed, we hadn’t been a couple for almost 20 years. I have always loved him though. He gave me 2 amazing children, but also, he was an amazing person.

It took me far too many years to understand that Jeff and I spoke vastly different love languages. Had I understood all those years ago, perhaps we would have worked harder at our marriage.

We remained close after our divorce, but as our children got older and coparenting was needed less and less, we drifted apart somewhat

When Jeff got sick, it was never a question for me if I’d be involved or not. My circumstances allowed me the time and my heart knew it was where I needed to be.

It sometimes embarrassed me to receive “special recognition” over being so involved. I have always felt any of us would do what I did for the people we love. It was an honor to be by his side, to fight with him, celebrate the small victories, cope with the many disappointments, and to be here when he just couldn’t fight anymore. It was not only an honor, it was a privilege. I don’t deserve some award for that … that’s just how love works.

So I helped write the obituary to post on the funeral home page. They aren't doing an obituary for the newspaper, just the funeral home website and as I'm "the writer", Jeff’s family asked if I'd compose a brief something.

The lady from the funeral home actually sent a draft and all I really did was tweak what she already had. I didn’t add a whole lot more as I thought what she had written sufficed.

She mentioned that Jeff and I had been married and from that union we had children.

But, when it got to the part, "Jeff is survived by ..." the draft only mentioned his children, parents, sister. (Channing, Drake (children), Richard, Marie (parents), and Kim (sister)

I really had no idea what to put for myself or if I should add my name at all. Although Jeff’s parents and sister made me feel welcomed/included, I fretted over how they may feel about my name being listed as I’m not technically family.

They expressed numerous times how much they, extended family, and out of state friends appreciated the detailed updates on Jeff. I have been complimented repeatedly on my writing style and the effort I put into keeping everyone informed, but really, it was “no big deal”. All I did was retell our experiences. It just seemed like the right thing to do and the words easily flowed as I only described actual events. I had no idea I had such a huge following! So many people relied on me and I had no clue anyone was even reading. I updated as I wanted my children to have a place where they could go back and review their dad’s courageous fight. For reference, for those reading that weren’t members of the support forums, I also kept Jeff’s go fund me updated.

Anyway … I wasn’t sure if I should list myself in the survived by part. What if the family didn’t feel like I really belonged in that portion. Ugh. I really struggled with the decision and finally, I decided to include my name and I settled on, "best friend, Stephanie Williams"

I read the finished piece out loud to Channing, Marie, and Kim for their approvals. Dick (Jeff's dad, aka Richard) wasn't in the room, so I let him read it when he returned.

When he finished, I could tell he wasn't pleased about something.

I promptly said, "we can change or add anything you want ..."

He took a deep breath and what I *heard* was, "best friend, Stephanie Williams is NOT appropriate... "

Almost dutifully, I said, "oh, ok ... I can take that part out!!”

I immediately felt bad and felt like I had made a huge mistake by adding my name. Although, I myself struggled knowing if it was “right” to list myself or not, when Dick said it wasn’t appropriate, it surprisingly hurt my feelings that he agreed, I had to hold back my tears that I did not want anyone to see. (EVERYONE was in the room with us)

Dick went on, and what HE SAID (not what I originally THOUGHT I heard) is, "best friend is not ADEQUATE. You were more than that.” Dick had never said it wasn’t appropriate, I was so stressed about adding my own name and prepared to take it out, my brain just heard the wrong thing.

Upon his actual words registering with me, I was so taken off guard I immediately started to cry. No holding those tears back, but that was ok. I was crying out of love and gratitude, not embarrassment.

Kim turned and said, "he loved you …"

*more tears* from me … I was flooded with emotions.

I asked what they wanted me to change it to ... Marie said “ex wife” didn't sound right … she suggested “mother of his children” and we all laughed when she added, “that was no easy task”, but “mother of his children” just wasn't sounding right either.

I then explained when I wrote about Jeff that:

* husband wasn't true

* ex husband wasn't acceptable

* friend wasn't enough …

I always referred to him as "my Jeff".

It took me awhile to decide on what I should say in reference to me. The final version reads: “his love, Stephanie Williams".

55 Replies

@#$%^&*!!!

Damn hormones made me cry when I read this.

Alturia profile image
Alturia in reply to Carlosbach

Me too,

CAMPSOUPS profile image
CAMPSOUPS in reply to Carlosbach

Me 3.Stephanie always seems to answer the questions ruminating in the my mind without being asked.

SeosamhM profile image
SeosamhM in reply to Carlosbach

Ain't got no hormones, Carlos, and I still cried!... ;)

Well done Sephanie, well done.

Perfect!

Your special!

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing with us your gift of so great a love -- your love for Jeff. Reading your words moves me to tears and also shames me because, at times, I lose my patience with my husband (59 yrs married) in our on-going struggle with his 8 years of PCa. You are an exceptional exemplar to me.

Please accept my deep sympathy as well as gratitude for your gift of sharing here.

SeosamhM profile image
SeosamhM in reply to Lyubov

59 years married?!! Madam, you are beyond any reproach! ;) What a story!

in reply to Lyubov

Please don't beat yourself up. Those of us closest and doing so much to support and care for our loved ones all know it can be a difficult at times! Only 52 married years here!

Beautifully written

I cried too! Families created and held together by acts of love.

Wonderful words, carefully and lovingly thought out. Thank you.

We all need an advocate, whether if one has cancer or not. God Bless you

Crying again.

Forget labels! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Stephanie = Love… I spent a yr in mn ..- 40 below but good walleye pike .. wild hockey ! , a calm loving man , no anger shown , surrounded by love in the end . No man could ask for more this this? I have faith in you Stephanie leading your family forward from this tragically young departure …. Bless you all, in mourning! 😔🙏🕊🕊🕊🕊❤️

Bless you Stephanie, beautiful!

Such love gives hope to the world! 💔💔💔💔👏👏👏👏😔

That was beautiful.

Your words again bring me to tears. "His love" is the perfect description of who you are. The best description of love that I have ever heard is "willing the good of the other". I've read that kind of love in your stories. In both you and Jeff. I hope knowing you made him smile and laugh,helped him navigate this awful disease, knowing that his family loves you and all of us here share your grief and are grateful for all of the stories and information you've shared helps you through your mourning process. I hope it helps to know you brought joy and have helped many others. I can't imagine the leap from caregiving to them being gone. Frightening knowing I'll face it soon. Thank you Stephanie for sharing your story.

Simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing. If I had seen this yesterday, I would have stopped in to honor Jeff’s life, as I am in Rochester. You are such an inspiration to all of us.

❤️❤️❤️

In tribute to your love for Jeff

Sonnet 43 Elisabeth Barrett Browning as read by Helen Mirren

youtube.com/watch?v=Ko5v18f...

Spyder54 profile image
Spyder54 in reply to Tommyemily

@TommyEmily: Classic !

Thank you for sharing. 'His Love' is the perfect description. Very sorry for your loss. Take care.

Perfect perfect perfect. Thanks for sharing. We all feel your pain and your love.

Schwah

Love and hugs, Kate

People like you are very special

"...husband wasn't true; ex husband wasn't acceptable; friend wasn't enough …I always referred to him as "my Jeff"..."...

Beautiful and simple...and there you have it, S: This world is so wrapped up in stereotyped roles and titles until our human responsibilities become buried and unable to be properly recognized, performed, and celebrated. I am moved that you took up those responsibilities for Jeff, your children, and yourself.

Unsurprisingly, the old interjection of "bravo/brava" derives from the word "brave"... So: Bravo, Jeff. Brava, Stephanie. - Joe M.

How does one express something so rarely found? How do you explain something others cannot know, or have never known? How do you describe the force, the energy, the existence of something so many wish for, but barely understand...

Your words are like the hammer that swings, but when they register, is the clash of the hammer striking an anvil! It hits home, and makes itself known... Time and again, blow after blow! A sharp and sudden announcement, a beacon, calling attention... Something that cannot be ignored.

You two, Jeff and Stephanie, have the purest of what all would hope to experience, of even for a moment. We as a species are unique in how we can love, how we share, express and display our love for one another. We laugh, we cry, we blush... So many expressions. But true love, that in which the entire body, brain, and all that we are... Surrender's to someone... Is what you and Jeff will always have.

I am forever humbled by your sharing a small window into your world. And I'm the better for it. I can't express the appreciation any more than letting you know the tears falling from my eyes as I read your post once again, and write this small thanks, in the hope you understand how precious it is, what you've done. Not just for Jeff, but everyone else who has been touched by his and your story! History has passed down some stories of love, stories similar, but they all have nothing on the two of you, and pale in your shadow. Love may even be too cheap a word, to bestow upon what you two will always share! Truly...

May God bless Jeff and you as well Stephanie, it's a wish, but apparently something that has already happened!

❤️

That was all that was needed and delivered in terms of endearment hearts of hearts to your family and solace grounds

Beautiful. So wonderful you were there for him. Caregivers are special people.

Very nice, perfect .

Wow you are a good writer. Nice story

Tears in my eyes......

Perfect.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. In a world too full of nastiness, it was a pleasure to read it.

As beautiful as your love for Jeff.

You have a wonderful capacity for graceful self disclosure. It uplifts us all. Thank you.

“His Love, Stephanie Williams”. Perfection❤️Our best to you and your extended Familia.

Now go live your life. It has been on hold these past 18 months. Everyone knows you did everything you could. Most importantly show Jeff and your children Love and support. So genuine.

Love is eternal,

Mike and Barbara

Perfect. Jeff was truly blessed to have you in his life. Your children, yourself and Jeff's wider family are in my prayers.

Stephanie and Jeffrey, rhymes...

j-o-h-n Thursday 07/07/2022 1:56 PM DST

This brings me to tears also. How lucky was Jeff? You are one in a billion.

Simply beautiful.

It is unfortunate that the term "soulmate" registers as an idealized romantic notion of young love and not as the solid reality of a relationship strengthened by suffering, deepened by soulfulness, defined by a shared understanding of forever, and uniquely branded on two hearts that share the bond. There is no real description for it in this world of flesh and blood, but it will endure as long as the stars shine in the universe. Your Jeff will always be there for you and even death cannot separate or define you.

CAMPSOUPS profile image
CAMPSOUPS in reply to Jvaughan0

That's interesting. My wife and I still call each other our soulmate after 46 years together.

Love love love ❤️

Damn it, Stephanie, you keep wrecking my tear ducts!

"Love sought is good, but given unsought is better." (Shakespeare's Twelfth Night )

Incredibly touching. You are a beautiful soul, Stephanie. Anyone in your orbit is lucky.

Stephanie, you and your Jeff existed in your own self-described universe. I think you always will. You have every single bit of my respect and admiration. Blessings on your and your children.

❤️

Beautifully done once again.We should all be so lucky to have a love like yours in our lives.

May he RIP.

Perfectly stated. Thinking of you!

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