It’s nearly nine months, and next month bodes to be particularly harsh as our wedding anniversary and her birthday both occur within 4 days of each other.
Today, I was reading some other grief travelers story on Facebook and the internet. This prompted me to think back and then to focus on this journey that I am on.
Two days after Terry passed, I wrote this in my journal.
“I keep replaying it in my mind
It seems like it is etched forever in my mind. Those moments when you were leaving.
I see you falling; and hearing that “thunk”.
I see me going to bed and checking on you.
I see me being woken up by your breathing.
I see me doing CPR.
I see the medics working on you to save you.
I see you lying in that hospital bed
I see the kids, Bob, and Ann gathering; we are praying for you.
I see the doctor talking to us.
I see them taking the life support off.
I see you passing on to be with Jesus.
I will see you forever.
I miss my honey. Please be with me!
God, please don’t let me forget these moments. And God, bring into my mind the 45 years of awesomeness that was our marriage. Amen.”
Before that night I had no clue what was in store, and what this new chapter in my life would have for me.
Today, nearly nine months since kissing her goodbye, I can take a step back/look back and see more of the picture than I could then.
It has been (and remains to be) a hard path to walk. But, I can say with confidence that there have been many times that God has carried me down and up and over and through this path.
We have all heard about “the Lambs Book of Life” and whether our name is in it. Well, I now believe that there is more than just a list in that book. You see, God, himself, writes the chapters of each of our “books of life”. As in any book, chapters must end and a new chapter is started. Well, on December 24, 2016, the chapter in my book of having my honey by my side ended. A new chapter began. She is still a main figure in my book, and she will forever be in every future chapter of my life. But, this new chapter that God has written is using the experiences of the previous chapters and joining those experience with a whole new set of opportunities and experiences. This is His chapter for next phase of my life. And, like everything of God, He is knows more than anyone what is best. I recently heard a speaker state that “I went on a missions trip to build a church and ended up building an aqua duct . That is just like God and our understanding. God understands better than most.
As I step back, today, I look back and see that He has made a way for me to enter this new chapter by giving me tools, experiences, gifts, skills, and a new vision.
He gave me the gift of friends. Friends that were there at 3:30 in the morning in the ER to bless Terry, to comfort me, and to hold me when I couldn’t do it myself.
He gave me the gift of journaling. These blog posts are a result of being able to privately journal and share my thoughts with God on my computer. Now, they become memories for me to remember where I have been and where I can go.
He gave me the gift of my family. I was so blessed that my two kids and my oldest grand daughter were there when we said goodbye. We have always been a close family. During that time when she went home, our family was together and in unity. I was equally blessed when so many family and friends were there to celebrate her life, and over 45 family members helped me say my final good bye from the Edmonds-Kingston ferry.
He gave me the gift of my church. Enough can’t be said about the church, my small groups, the Grief Share people, and other believers (far and wide) that lift me up in prayer; even to this day.
He gives me (daily) the gift of music. Even right now, Positive Life Radio is playing and helping me in more ways than I can count.
He gives me the joy of my grands. Each and every one of them are special to me. Each and every one of them make me smile. A moment with them is like poring an eternity of joy into my spirit.
He gives me the gift of others that have suffered their own loss. As many know, I am a geek. I have found so many others on the Internet (blogs, Face book and others) that also are walking through this new chapter in their life. I read these every day. I take comfort. We may not know each other personally, we have a shared experience that we can cry for each other. I personally pray for each and every one of them as I read them. Maybe some day we can meet and cry together.
If you are on this same path, perhaps you are just starting, or have been wandering, listen to this:
- Grief is normal, and it is unique to you and you alone. Don’t let anyone tell you different.
- You will feel like you are losing your mind; this, too, is normal. It’s OK.
Talk. Talk to God – cry out to Him, yell at Him, pray to Him. It’s OK. He can take it. Remember, He is a grieving Father, too.
- Hold strong, but don’t worry about being weak. You are not. This grief thing will make you feel that way. But, remember, the pain you are feeling is pain that comes from the love you have for your loss.
- Be authentic. There is no need to put on a front. Cry, yell, scream, lay in bed. Talk to someone when you feel like it. Don’t talk when you just need some “me time”.
- Take some “me time”. Since Terry passed I have set out on several journeys of “me time”. Time when I got away with just Terry and God and cried, remembered, loved, sang songs, and just worked on my own “stuff” and nobody else’s.
“It’s not an easy path, but we can make it through.”