Running through grief

Thursday, March 9, 2017 4:45 PM

As we travel along this journey we call life, we do not have to look far beyond our community of family and friends to recognize how fragile and fleeting it can be.

While we spend most of our lives working to become successful, fulfilled and happy, what really keeps us connected to others is our vulnerability and, ultimately, how we choose to embrace that and share it with others.

I have been blessed with a wonderful family and an amazing circle of friends who can comfortably share their joy and sadness honestly and openly, all the while being supportive of one another.

Every one of us will experience difficult times in life that will test us over and over again without defeating us. How we elect to manage and cope during those times is critical for our health and well-being.

For me, one of the greatest stress relievers has been running. Not so much the competitive, all-out to win kind, although there is a time and place for that. The running I’m referring to is the cathartic, wind-in-your-face running that makes you feel vibrant and alive.

Over the past two years, I watched my husband of 36 years battle a very aggressive form of cancer that finally took his life in February. As his partner and primary caregiver during that time, I battled along with him feeling helpless much of the time, as I watched him suffer through treatments that slowly robbed him of all the things he loved in life.

I am a fixer, but I couldn’t fix him and it was extremely difficult and stressful for me to deal with that emotionally. Having a positive way to deal with that stress became one of the necessary things that I had to do for myself. In order for me to be there for Scott, I had to take care of myself.

During these stressful times, it was easy to want to escape to a happy place that would take the pain away even if only temporarily. I feel lucky to be able to find my escape through physical activity; there is something about being outside and moving briskly through that space that energizes me and somehow melts away the layers of pain and sorrow, even if only for a few hours.

Durango has been good to me over the past 35 years, connecting me with like-minded people who share my passion for the outdoors. These friends, many of whom I met through running, have added so much fulfillment to my life both physically and psychologically and continue to help me remain hopeful for the future.

Whatever your passion may be, I wish for all the world to embrace this life that we have been given on a daily basis. Love each other openly and with vulnerability, and find an activity or cause that keeps you going and makes you feel truly alive and vital.

There are times when life can be difficult, but, no matter what it throws at us, it is so worth living!

Reach Marjorie Brinton at