Two Months Ago
This entry is reprinted from blogspot on January 5th 2011
Two months ago Jesus came through the door of heaven and carried Jim home to heaven. That sacred moment began a new journey for all of us.
And now it feels like my full-time job is grieving my husband. I think about Jim ALL THE TIME!!!!! The last time I thought about Jim this much we were just dating! Though in love and always working on our marriage and family, I am sure that over the last 30 years I did not think about him every minute. Now, I think about him every time I make a decision. I replay many conversations and events over and over in my mind.
Everything else happens in a fog. (I remember one New Year’s Eve years ago when it was really foggy; my friend Pam and I couldn’t see well as we were driving and we hit a Rose Parade float! This is that same sensation.) Of course, I am already regretting things I have said and done, things I have forgotten to say and do during this thick foggy weather of the soul. Just when I think I have my act together, making a list and actually accomplishing something on it, I realize that I am still numb and overwhelmed by the dark clouds that surround me. Sometimes the fog seems to lift and I can see a few yards in front of me but most of the time it is zero visibility. I do look forward to when the fog turns into a mist and then dissipates entirely, but until then I know God is holding tightly to my hand.
There are other difficult things I am navigating including –
It is hard to be gracious and accept help when you are an independent and competent person. I often don’t recognize myself these days. Little things overwhelm me. Grief has transformed me into a remote, unconfident, lonely, brainless person. I am humbled by the outpouring of love and prayers and acts of service from friends who love us and loved Jim. I know I can never repay you, but you were not expecting that anyway. I am grateful for your patience and persistence in walking with us when we seem to want to walk alone. We don’t. This illogical and wild roller coaster of grief is much easier to ride with friends that we can cling to on the big drops and who encourage us to throw our hands in the air and scream. We are blessed by the way you keep watching out for us.
It is hard to let my kids be fatherless; I try hard to just be Clayton and Emily’s mom and not fill Jim’s shoes, the role of their dad, in their lives. God wants to give them what they need. He promises to be a father to the fatherless. And I have a new respect for single parents.
It is hard to juggle the practical demands of everyday living when all I want to do is be still and hold my sorrow. It is impossible to wrap my mind around the idea that I have had to trade my lifepartner for such a companion as grief.
It is hard to realize that there is not a formula for living through the loss of someone you love. In spite of all the things I studied in college about “stages” of grief, I now know from experience that the theory is way too linear. Rather, grief is as personal as it is universal. It is more of a labyrinth. A friend who began unwrapping her sorrow several years ago wisely warned me:
Each “gift” of sorrow is unique and each person is unique in the way they open their gifts. The world seems to want us to open them fast, get on with our grieving and be done with it. I think that would make them less uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. As for me, I stashed my gift deep in a closet until I had made sure my kids had unwrapped their gifts first. Then I painstakingly and lovingly sat down with my gift and slowly opened it. The point is, that may not seem right to you and each person is entitled to unwrap this gift the way they want! Also, be aware that this gift has a tendency to re-gift itself at the strangest of times when you least expect it!
That is all I have to say for now. I am posting on this site until I get the kinks worked out, since I am having trouble with the other blog. Thank you for listening to my wandering thoughts once again.
Ps. 34:18 – God is close to the brokenhearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.