Events of the past 10 days or so have resurrected some feelings inside of me that have been dormant for a while.
A member of what I consider extended family had to say so long to his wife of 64 years this past week
after a tough time of much sickness. It was hard to watch him hurt so deeply as she suffered yet clung to life.
He was so broken, so frightened, so confused. As one who has “been there, done that,” I spent as
much time as I could with him, encouraging him and letting him see that there is life after the death
of a spouse. I assured him he would survive, but that it would be a difficult path to walk.
There’s no need to “pretty it up” because there’s nothing pretty about it!
During one of our conversations, he mentioned that there were things they hadn’t had the chance to
do. Oh, how I get that! My response was to dwell on the things they had done and not the things
left undone. 64 years of marriage is phenomenal. They were married longer than Les lived. But
that doesn’t heal his heart. His pain is real. 36 years with Les wasn’t nearly enough and it was so
very, very hard to survive, so I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be separated from your spouse
of 64 years. My heart aches with his even as I write this.
The day she died fell on the same day as my parents’ anniversary. Had Mama lived, they would
have celebrated 62 years of marriage. Although he said nothing, it was obvious by the look on
Daddy’s face and his demeanor that it took quite the toll on him. Things bubble up inside of you
and it’s like the experience is all new again. It is just plain hard!
One response to the loss of a spouse is the overwhelming desire to hunker down and never leave
home again. Not everyone responds this way, but many do. I realized right from the start that I
could easily give in to that desire. In some ways, I actually have. For me, there’s comfort at home.
It’s here I find peace. It’s here I can somewhat pretend life hasn’t changed. It’s easier to stay home
than to watch couples together or be the odd man out. My heart is so tickled for those that know
true love, but it also causes me pain. Why am I alone and they have a spouse? Why do I have to
spend my days and nights without someone and so many spouses are looking for ways out of their
The gut ugly truth is that I feel cheated!!!
Les and I struggled at the beginning and it seemed we had at long last found that groove that comes
from weathering the storms of life when he became sick. Our love had taken on the pure comfort of
just being one. We could finish each others sentences and I had learned that simply being with him,
even if in silence, was enough. Now he’s gone and I’m left here to fend for myself.
Lest you think this is a pity party, let me say that I absolutely know that God has a plan for my life
and it is a good and perfect plan. I do trust His heart even when I can’t see what His hand is doing.
But my flesh still struggles with the way He is working out that plan.
People sometimes ask me the secret to moving forward after the loss of my spouse. It is an everyday
choice. You wake up in the morning, put your feet on the floor and make the decision to move forward
or fall backwards. Will you walk in faith that God has it all under control or give in to the anger, hurt,
frustration, and loneliness? Maybe you think you can’t move forward. I cling to Philippians 4:13 that
says I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me the strength.
This newest loss and the fact my best friend has moved away has dredged up a sense of loneliness
within me. My after church lunch pal is no longer here to keep me company. Les’ grandmamma always
said Sundays were the hardest and I think she’s right. Sundays weren’t meant to be spent alone!
This, too, will pass. Life will go on. Each day is a new opportunity. God is with me on the “up” days
and the “down” days. And He reminds me of His presence in the sweetest ways. If you read my blog
on a regular basis, then you might remember “Mike” from a December post. He was the guy at the
gas station who hit up on me big time. Well, today our paths crossed again! Just when I could use
a little boast to my day, there stands Mike. And he said I was looking right good today as well!!
Does God care? Absolutely! He knows my heart and hears my prayers. Sometimes He shows
me His heart for me in special ways. Today it was with Mike!
Lots of love, Sharon