As July 11th approaches I find myself having one emotional moment after another. Why? July 11th would have been mine and Eric’s sixth wedding anniversary. These are the hard dates to get through – the dates that belong to you. Wedding anniversary, birthdays, kids’ birthdays – these are the dates we celebrated in a big way. Now, for me, these dates do bring up happy memories with lots of tears.
Right now, as I try to hide my tears from my kids, I cry everywhere – in secret, in public, outside and inside. I have found myself crying in some of the craziest places as well as some common places.
When grieving the waves of emotion cannot be stopped or slowed down. When the moment hits I am crying rivers, sometimes creeks or streams and on the hard days oceans. I learned quickly to keep tissues close by: in my purse, desk drawer, next to the bed, on the end tables both in the living room and on the front porch, the closets, my She Shed, the car, my bathroom….if there is a spot and I can fit a box of tissues in it I will.
Tears will come when I am waiting on a train, stop light, stop sign, on a waitress to take my order, movie theater or in the parent pickup line. I have found myself sitting on the floor in the laundry room, my closet, a whisper room (where no one can hear you), my office, the bathroom and while taking a shower. When the moments hits, when a trigger is pulled or when a memory comes out of nowhere the tears fall.
When my husband passed, I had ugly crying moments where I screamed for God to wake me up from this nightmare. I would pull the covers over my head or bury my face into my pillow – and just scream “NOOOOOO. How am I supposed to do this alone!” or “I can’t do this alone”. Those days were the tough days. I felt completely alone, ignored, and broken.
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me: Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning.” Psalm 22:1
I mentioned in a prior post where my husband visited me in a dream to let me know he was okay. I remember a time I was sitting on my bed and my kids were at school. It was just me in the house. I started crying and screaming asking “why him”. I buried my face into the pillow and continued to scream and cry. I do not know how long I was there on the bed crying but as I sat there with my face still buried into the pillow, I felt this calm come over me and I stopped crying. I did not make myself stop crying it was as if I did not have any tears left. The entire house went silent. This calmness continued to come over me and then it felt as if something was being wrapped around me or I was being covered up with something. I was experiencing a warm feeling and a heaviness like being gently hugged. Even though my face was still buried into my pillow I felt a sense of peace. I did not fight this feeling I embraced it. I did not think it was Eric with me; I knew it was God. Scripture tells us two things in grieving:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they would be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
“He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
Right after Eric passed, I questioned whether God heard me pray or heard me when I was lamenting. But, this day and this time, I knew He did because He was with me comforting me and bandaging my broken heart. He heard me the entire time. I am not alone. As a matter of fact, scripture also tells us that,
“you must not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, they will not doubt cry to me, and I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will burn, and I will kill you with the sword; then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.” Exodus 22:22-24
Scripture continues to tell us,
“God in his holy dwelling is a father of the fatherless and a champion of widows.” Psalm 68:5.
I will always grieve for my husband. He is forever my always. I am still learning how to live this life without him and learning how to be both mommy and daddy to my kids. I still have days of uncontrollable tears; I still miss him to the point that my heart hurts and I continue to ask why. I must accept that God does not have to tell me why. But what I must do is trust Him and have faith in His plan for me,
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you home and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
He will not leave me or forsake me. What a powerful sentence. To know that He is constantly by my side especially in my moments of grief this is what gets me through my moments. I am still taking it one moment at a time and I continue to do the next right thing, but I am not doing it alone. He takes each step with me