It’s coming. Grief so heavy we can hardly breathe. It is right around the corner for the kids and me. We have been grieving for the past 20 months in little ways, but the grief we have yet to experience will be all-consuming and suffocating. On one of my runs a week or so ago, I was listening to my praise music and praying over my precious family and I was overcome with grief. It washes over me at the oddest of times, really.
The only way to describe it is “impenetrable”…..and the worst hasn’t even hit me yet.
Please understand that I am well aware our little unit of three will not be the only ones grieving for my husband. He has parents and brothers and nieces and nephews who will mourn him. He has in-laws who love him as their very own son and sibling. He has work colleagues and great friendships. And to each of you I say, " I acknowledge your grief will be real. I know that you will be hurting and you will miss him too." I will not pretend to know the ins and outs of your grief.
I cannot even begin to understand what this grief will be like for our children. I have never lost a parent, and when I do it certainly will not be at such a young and tender age, with so many life experiences ahead of me. Likewise, they cannot begin to comprehend my grief. We will be walking this road side by side…..but in our individual ways.
I will be the one who pulls into the garage at least twice a day to see the empty parking space where his truck belongs.
I will be the one to tuck our children in at night and pray with them, knowing this was their special “talk-time” ritual with their daddy.
I will be the one who crawls into bed alone (sometimes frightened) each night with no hand to hold or partner to pray with. And I will wake up alone each morning.
It will be the three of us who set the table and try to make conversation at dinner while we are acutely aware of who is missing from their chair.
I will view his clothes in our closet multiple times each day.
I will be the one who won’t hear “I love you” daily again from the lips of the one I love.
It will be me who cleans out his bathroom drawers.
We will check the mail and find his name for months and maybe even years to come.
I will be the sole driver on vacations. (This has primarily been his pleasure for the past nearly 19 years.)
We will change every light bulb and air filter, roll the trash to the curb each Sunday evening, and make general home improvements; all while using his tools from his tool box.
It will be me who never gets a sick day because work must be done and kids must be chauffeured.
I will sit at school plays and sporting events alone, cheering on our children. They will perform and see only me acknowledging their accomplishments. Their dad is one of their biggest fans. I hope (but have not found Scriptural assurance) that he will be given windows from heaven to peer down from time to time and observe us glorifying God through good sportsmanship and hard work. Those moments would make him so proud.
I will attend couples Sunday school classes and sit through marriage bible studies alone…as a widow.
Tim will be missing from every moment of our day and we will KNOW it because the reminders will be oppressive, not that our hearts would let us forget anyway.
I will be the one who attends movies alone with no one to rest their hand on my knee.
There will be no one to tell me I look pretty when I get ready to go somewhere. No dad to hug each child as they walk out the door.
There will be no more sweet surprise cards or notes to encourage me from my “boyfriend”.
No one will wash the dishes after I am exhausted from cooking.
No one will help cycle laundry late at night or tug on the fitted sheet corners opposite me to get them snug.
And this list is just what comes to mind when I contemplate trying to go through a day without my Tim to share life with. I truly have no idea how horrific it will actually be.
Our daily life will be interrupted
moment by moment,
everywhere we turn
and with everything we see.Unless you have experienced the death of your best friend and lover, you won’t know my specific pain. And unless you have lost a parent while in junior high, you can’t truly comprehend the journey our children's hearts and minds will be on (and even then the individuality of the situations will be different). So please…..
PLEASE, I am begging you….
…when the time comes, give the kids and me time to grieve.
Don’t place us in a box and limit our grief process to what you think a proper time frame should be. Don’t expect us to heal as quickly as you do or to return to “life as normal” soon, because we will need time to process our new “normal”, and it will take a while to sort through the gut-punches of everyday life without the man we each love most on this earth.
The grief will be impenetrable. The good news about impenetrable grief is that God is with us in our grief. He doesn’t need to penetrate the barrier. His Holy Spirit lives within each one of us (praise God) and He will guide us and bring healing to us……in His time.