Posted by: Ken Wheatley | December 15, 2009

Three Months

Fortunately, or unfortunately, being focused on the pain and recovery of my surgery has deflected my attention away from the normal intensity this day typically brings. I still looked at the clock and thought of Sheila as usual.

I called The Brighter Side yesterday, the place that Sheila purchased her wig, about an invoice and the process for donating the wig to someone who doesn’t have insurance. I was surprised at the emotional response I received when the woman who answered the phone found out that Sheila had passed away. Being a center that caters to cancer patients I assumed that they hear about the passing of customers all the time. So I was caught off guard when her voice broke and it sounded like she was about to cry. Of course, that immediately touched off my own emotional response. So we were quite the pair on the phone. 🙂

I continue to talk with people who have lost loved ones and the common element is that the pain and sense of loss never fully goes away, it gets dulled over time of course, but it’ll still catch you off guard at unexpected moments.

Perhaps for coping reasons, I’m coming to terms that as much as I would prefer to have Sheila in my life and everything as it was before January ’08, the reality is that it’s not going to happen and I need to accept that and start getting out and doing things. I’ve basically been going to work and coming home (before the surgery of course), or hanging out with Steve, Joni, and Gordon. I know that’s not healthy and have taken steps to see more people and do more things.  I’ve got the catalogs out and will start planning trips to Alaska, New Zealand, Australia and some domestic rafting.

I’m anxious to get well enough to get back to the gym and my physical activities. I’ve clearly gotten out of shape this past year and when I look at photos now compared to a year ago, this has all aged me.

I do give thanks, on a daily basis, for the friends and family who have provided consistent love and support throughout this ordeal. That is the salvation that’s helped me through the difficult times.



  1. thinking of you and hoping your days get alittle easier……………in my thoughts and prayers……….mo

  2. Hello Ken,
    get well soon,
    I am thinking of you and sending a big hug from cold old Germany,

  3. Hello Ken
    I was just looking at my favorite picture of Sheila, February 17, 2004 and she looked so full of determination and life. I do wish you the very best during the Holiday and a speedy and healthy recovery.
    Dan Simmons

  4. hang in there, I look forward to a possible meeting when you travel down here to Australia

  5. Hi Dan,
    I keep meaning to write you in particular because Sheila spoke of you over the years, and it’s unfortunate that we didn’t have a chance to meet. She really wanted to come up for your wedding and then when I told her that I had to go to Vancouver for work she definitely wanted to come along and extend the trip so that we could visit with you and your bride. It’s one of many disappointments that she didn’t make it long enough to make the trip last week.

    A few months ago I did come across a letter or email you had written her some time ago (maybe years) about trying to reconnect to some of your old classmates, and I see that she had pulled together some information that I guess she planned on sending, or maybe she had already. I’ll look for it again and see about forwarding it to you.

    I’m not sure what photo you’re referring to, so if possible, can you email it to me? My personal email is:


  6. Hi Maja,
    I’ve been meaning to write just to say hello. So “hello.” 🙂 Hope your winter is tolerable and that you’re not having to do too much travel.

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