Love, loss and lacrosse

I met George when I was a graduate assistant for the women’s lacrosse team at Wilkes University. Our attraction and admiration for each other began in the master’s program there, and it’s the preface of our love story. I was an assistant coach at Sacred Heart University when we began building our lives together. Then I was hired at Drew University as the head lacrosse coach as we planned our future.

But at Drew my first year I had to passively watch his cancer begin to overpower him. I didn’t know what was happening. I was in denial. And in my second year, he passed away. My third year at Drew I was rebuilding a foundation, but knew my time was limited there. I needed a change, a place to make new memories in a world without him. In my first season at Huntingdon College, I feel like myself again. I feel stronger than I ever have before. Thankful for the adventures I had in my time in the northeast, and grateful for all of those who’ve supported me. The love I shared with George has propelled me forward, and I try my hardest to make him proud. He’s my why. I do what I do because of him.

2 years ago I was forced back to the region where our paths crossed and love began. The thought of going back to Northeast Pennsylvania still turns my stomach. Revisiting Wilkes Barre/Scranton area is my real life hell. Some day I know I’ll appreciate it, but for right now it’s too painful. With the help of a friend, I wrote an essay for the Guardian about the Drew vs Scranton game of 2014. It was torture going back there then, but love carried me through.

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About J.

Fitness professional, fitness & nutrition writer, widowed at 28. Writing about getting through grief through self-care, physical activity, and the ​constant feeling of being uncomfortable.
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