11 Years of Widowhood
Today, eleven years ago, the world of our family imploded with a single call from the sheriff’s office saying that my husband had passed away. In that moment, I felt like the ground beneath our family shifted violently and I cried out in extreme pain, wondering where God was. I felt utterly shattered and lost. How could this tragedy be part of His plan in our lives and how could my girls and I ever survive that day, let alone all the days that would follow?
But we did.
By the grace of God, we did. By the help of a tribe of friends and family over the course of more than a decade, we are not only surviving but thriving.
If I could say something to my grieving self (or to anyone experiencing loss) on that heart-wrenching, ground-zero day, knowing what I know now, it would be this, “Hold on. Grief will try to kill you, but don’t let it. Take it one moment at a time. God has a plan. Even if your are heartbroken and livid in loss, hold on. It seems impossible, but, with time and faith, life will be good again. Grief will transform you, if you let it, into your most purposeful self. Love will last. Laughter will return. Memories will be sweet again. There will be sadness, but there will be so much beauty too. God is faithful and truly able to give real hope for real grief.”
This eleventh anniversary is a bit harder than I imagined because we are also starting to move residences tomorrow.
One of the life lessons I have learned on this journey is to let the grief come, don’t resist it, let it pass through me, honor the beautiful gifts given by those we have loved, and let the love come out in tears and laughter. Grief is doing a work in my life.
Lean in and Live this Beautiful, Messy, Glorious Life.
At a Good Friday sermon, I heard something profound. The pastor said, “Your can live your life in Protection from Disappointment or Preparation of Resurrection.”
Live in fear of potential pain, or live fearlessly, taking risks to love with the possibility of pain, because we know God possesses resurrection power in our hearts.
Having completed eleven years of widowhood, and starting the twelfth year today, I wondered what the twelth year might bring. Each year brings incredible lessons. I am fascinated with numerology on the Bible. So I looked up the significance of the number 12 in Judaism. Here’s what I found:
“Twelve represents totality, wholeness, and the completion of God’s purpose. There are 12 tribes of Israel (10 of which must be restored), 12 months in the year… (Genesis 27:20, 25:16; Exodus 24:4, 25:27; Ezekiel 43:16…”
That’s the sense I get right now. This is a time of deep wholeness after loss. A time of restoration and rest. A time of renewal. A time of gratitude and exploring.
Thank you, Jason, for bringing love, hope, purpose and beautiful family into our lives. Rest well, my Love. I know we will have a joyful reunion in Eternity. Until then, our girls and I will enjoy the life God has given us, as I know you would want us to. Peace and Onward.