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GriefChristmas Through Grief-Filled Eyes
All the lights, music, laughter, and good cheer of the season felt like a distant memory never to be recaptured on that first Christmas without my husband. Could this holiday ever delight me again as it had before my loss? Was Christmas ruined forever?
December 9, 2021
GriefEntering the Second Year
I took a break from blogging my journey as I approached the first anniversary of Curt's passing and entered the second year of my grief journey. Before I share more, let me say that everyone's grief journey is not the same. I think a lot has to do with personality, the depth of the relationship you lost, and how vital that person was to your happiness in this life. So, my story might be very different from your story.
October 21, 2021
GriefMy Birthday, Another First
Unlike most people, I looked forward to turning sixty. I longed for it. I would be that much closer to retirement. Curt and I had such plans. We even hoped to co-author a book. But God, in His wisdom, called Curt home, and I had to face my 59th year alone. So, as my birthday approached, I dreaded the date. Curt wasn't here to celebrate this milestone with me. It now felt anti-climatic.
August 19, 2021
GriefLessons Learned in the Dark
I've heard it said that there's such a thing as widow brain. Have you ever heard of it? The symptoms are forgetfulness, extreme sadness, brain fog, irritability, fatigue or exhaustion, numbness, and nausea. I've had them all at some point since the end of September. When driving home from the grocery store a few months ago, I went right through a four-way stop sign. That's never happened to me. Never. It wasn't until I heard the blast of someone's horn that I realized what I'd done. It wasn't a close call or anything like that. But it could have been. I have thanked God over and over again for helping me not to have injured someone. After that incident, I looked up widow brain, something a friend had mentioned.
August 2, 2021
GriefWe Aren't Done Yet
Losing my husband has caused me to review my life. This week, I thought back to when I first received the call to ministry. I was twelve years old when I had a strong impression—probably my first time to realize the Lord was speaking to me—that I would be a pastor's wife.
July 21, 2021
GriefA Band-Aid for Grief
It's been over nine months now, and quite frankly, I'm tired of grieving and hurting. It's tempting to try to hide from the pain by filling my time with other things, mind-numbing things, anything to take my mind off of my loss. There are so many ways a person can avoid dealing with their heartache, but sooner or later, it all comes tumbling back again. You can't hide forever.
July 8, 2021
GriefDreams for the Future
I pulled weeds yesterday evening from a flower bed that I used to admire without having to labor in it. Of the two of us, Curt was the gardener. Working in the garden was therapeutic for him, especially after a stressful week. While I did the housework inside, Curt worked in the yard. When he finished, he'd call me to look at it. I was always impressed because he did such a praise-worthy job, and I was glad I didn't have to do it. Countless times, I admired the garden from the windows of my house throughout the spring, summer, and even fall.
June 17, 2021
GriefWe Aren't Home Yet
Isn't it crazy how quickly time flies? I can hardly believe it's been over a month since I last posted a new blog post. In April, I was offered a writing assignment with a tight deadline. Almost all my waking hours were spent on that in May. But I've missed talking to my readers and hearing from you. I will admit that being super busy did help to distract me from my grief, but at times it still broke through. Because when you miss your spouse or someone else who used to be a part of your everyday life and enjoyment of living, the pain of that loss bursts through every barrier you might try to put up. In my personal experience, I'm better off accepting the pain when it comes, feeling it intensely, telling God about it, allowing God to comfort me, and crying my eyes out. If I do that, the heaviness lifts, and I'm able to move forward with my life—until the next wave of loss hits me.
June 8, 2021
GriefGrieving With Hope
In a previous blog post, I shared that joy was finally returning. But I realized it's not the joy I once knew. No matter the beauty or enjoyment of the moment, there is always an undercurrent of sadness—a void. Deep joy seems impossible since I lost Curt. I can smile and laugh. I can enjoy so much of life. But if the grandkids do something adorable or reach a new milestone, I long to look into Curt's eyes and share a moment of pride and pleasure. When I'm with my family, and we laugh together about something, I miss hearing Curt's laughter joining ours. It's like I'm living life in a haze of sadness. Everything would be more fun if Curt were here.
April 28, 2021
GriefIt's Not the End
My children and I stood together as the nurse bent over Curt. She lifted her head, her gaze met ours, "He's gone." Just two simple words. But the impact was indescribable. A life well-lived that filled our world, directed our lives, embraced, provided, comforted, and loved us so well—Gone. Snuffed out. Many nights, those two words echoed in my mind as I tried to fall asleep.
April 14, 2021
GriefSometimes We Wait
Whenever I heard Romans 8:28 quoted, I believed the Apostle Paul was referring to life here on earth. But now that I've lost my husband, I'm forced to take a closer look at this verse. I know God's Word is true, but how can this verse apply to my life when I've lost the irreplaceable? If a parent loses a child, how can this verse still apply to their lives? Even if they gained ten more children, not one of them could replace what was lost. We read in the book of Job about the terrible loss Job experienced. I'm glad God restored his losses, but I imagine Job could never feel the depth of joy he had before. In the deepest part, there must have remained longing and emotional scars. His children, who he had once raised, loved, and enjoyed, were not returned to him in this life.
March 31, 2021
GriefTwo Shall Become One
We became one flesh through marriage in September 1987. Then, wrenched apart through death in September 2020. Is it any wonder I feel as though I've received an amputation? No longer a whole person, half of me is missing. That's how I felt as I sat alone at the gate waiting for my first flight as a widow. Curt wasn't there to listen for the call to board. I had to look out for myself. He was no longer there for me to talk to or reminisce with. I looked at all those around me. Everyone a stranger. It was no different than all the times Curt and I traveled, except we had each other. Come what may, we were together. Whenever our eyes met in a crowded airport, a warmth of familiarity and intimacy enveloped us. Now I stood alone. . .and, oh, the loneliness.
March 24, 2021
Of the many diverse emotions of grief, sadness has been my constant for months, and unreality likes to visit often. But, as I mentioned in my last blog, I've recently had days where I almost feel normal. Strangely, as soon as I realize I'm having a good day, the tears return. It seems wrong to have a good day when Curt is still missing from my life? He deserves at least a year of constant tears. I know how ridiculous that statement is, but knowing it in my head is not the same as feeling it in my heart.
March 17, 2021
I stood looking at a framed picture I have of Curt that sits in my family room. Sometimes I talk to him as I look at his photo. It helps me process my grief. Today, I told him that if the Lord should tarry, I will grow old while he will remain the same. Curt was six years older than me, but now he's in a place where time doesn't age him. If the Lord should tarry, I'm so thankful that I will be changed before Curt sees me. Ha! 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NASB said, "Behold, I am telling you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed." Woohoo! My aging body will be changed.
March 10, 2021
GriefA Bitter Cup
I went for a walk with a friend a couple of days ago. Once we parted, I walked the short distance home alone. It was then I realized that the last time I strode on that particular sidewalk, I was pushing Curt in his wheelchair. My heart squeezed tight—so many firsts. Every day, I plod along with homesickness and longing that nothing on this earth can fill. A bitter cup was placed on my lips, and I was forced to drink it. Half of me wishes I had died with Curt on September 25th. But then I think of my children and grandchildren, God's calling on my life, and I know my work isn't complete. There are lives I must touch and prayers I must pray. So I join my voice to the Apostle Paul's and say, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sakes." (Philippians 1:21-23 NASB)
March 3, 2021
When Curt began his battle with cancer last summer, he posted on Facebook about the greater reality. Here are his words from that post:A couple days ago in the morning while waiting for the results from the nuclear scan, I was reminded of my own sermon on the greater reality (faith). In 2 Kings 6, there's a story about Elisha and his servant. They were surrounded by an enemy army. This army was their reality. Elisha was calm. The servant was a nervous wreck. The difference was that the servant could only focus on the reality, but Elisha was aware of the greater reality.Elisha prayed, "Lord, open his eyes to see that there are more with us than there are with them."On the mountain tops were what Elisha saw: chariots of fire!
February 24, 2021
I'm twenty weeks into this grief journey now. There are moments when I still feel as though this didn't happen. Perhaps, I'm stuck inside of a nightmare. Maybe I'll wake up and find Curt is with me. He never had cancer at all. But then reality sinks in, and I experience my loss all over again. How is it possible that this happened to us?
February 10, 2021
GriefDeath Takes More Than A Person
When I wrote my first novel, I had several family members cheering me on, but no one as much as my husband. And I don’t think there was anyone prouder about my accomplishment. Almost immediately, Curt began asking me about my next story. He closely listened as I laid out the plot. His words of affirmation strengthened my fingers to fly over the keyboard on my laptop.
February 3, 2021