So many have written to me lately… between emails and cards, I feel surrounded by so many sharing in my, in our grief.
It has been hard to think about writing for a while. As long as hope is challenged, and hope overcomes, there is something positive to say. But how do I write about grief? Does grief negate my ultimate hope? No – it does not. Yet hope shudders under the wracking sobs as I realize with each new day and each new night, Rich is no longer here for me. And while I know he is alive with his Lord… right now I so miss him. To share things with, to talk to, to just sit with… and sometimes we even cried together. Praying together…
At our wedding we sang the words of Psalm 139:11-17. At his funeral, when I sang “Who Am I,” I read those words again, with particular emphasis on these:
In your book were written ALL the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.
As I sit here crying, I also realize that God knew what would happen when He, in His goodness brought Rich and I together. We barely had three years together; hardly enough time to get to know each other. And clamoring at my ears, dogging my footsteps, are the mundanities of every day life which cannot be avoided. Cleaning, shopping, relating to people on an every day basis. Working through my grief and praying desperately for God to give me wisdom for how I can be a blessing to our girls and the rest of the family. I need to get back to work… both to generate income for our family as well as to just keep my mind focused on other things.
Instead, I am having to complete paperwork, check documents, and then catch myself going through old letters that Rich once wrote to me. And realizing anew why I fell in love with him. He was all I ever wanted in a man – He loved God and he loved me. And all I can tell you is that I was never disappointed with the man I was blessed to be married to. It seemed like life was so much easier to face when we did it together, trusting our Lord together as well.
It seems like our society does not know how to handle grief well. Grief must be limited to particular containers: immediate sorrow, a funeral, a graveside service – but not when sitting in a restaurant ordering something your loved one would have ordered, just to remember; not when shopping in a store, remembering how many times you called to get an opinion on that sale or this, or walked an aisle together and saw something you just knew the girls would like – lets get this for them. Not when talking with people, and for no reason at all, a phrase reminds you of someone and you just want to weep.
I am told that it will all pass with time. Of course it does. I grieved the loss of my parents, and while I still have moments when I miss them, the sharpness of their loss has dulled to an occasional muscle throb when the weather is just right. But this loss? This grief? It amazes me that even now, I find that my husband had words of wisdom to help me through this too. He just didn’t know that they would be for me.
Scattered throughout his letters are things he was learning as he grieved the loss of his first wife. Scattered through his desk, notes and papers from the Widowed Persons Support group offering information, thoughts, ideas that were particularly meaningful to him.
As for other mundanities, I really wanted to share his funeral with you but am having trouble uploading the sound files to the Internet. Once I do, you’ll be able to listen to the things others had to share… I did sing at his funeral and that too was recorded.
I will keep writing, I know you want to know how things are going… and I will make every effort to be honest in what I share. Now, as the tears are drying, I will try to focus and get some work done.
In HIS Grace….