It's December 1st. Tomorrow marks 3 months since my husband died.
In the last several months, after staying with, seeing, touching my husband's dead body, I experienced a catastrophic explosion that left every corner of my world a dry and barren wasteland. I was somehow held together and completely shattered at the same time. I've been broken apart and sent lower than I ever knew possible. I've felt heart-wrenching pain strong enough to shred my insides and threaten my physical being, and I've felt a terrifying numbness, a still emptiness of the soul. I've planned a funeral, picked a coffin, intentionally choosing the tux with a plain, "organic" wooden box... I've met with bankers and lawyers and financial advisors, and plodded through mountains and mountains of paperwork... (with much needed help from close friends and family). I've watched my children scream and kick, question and doubt, grieving the loss of a loving father. I've mourned my best friend, husband, lover, encouraging companion, fellow-challenger in the race toward Christ... (and so much more).
This month especially, I am inundated with sacred memories. In the coming weeks, I will face my 29th birthday, our 9th anniversary, and of course, Christmas.
Today, we accompanied our precious neighbours, trekking through the tree acreage, bundled up in our winter snow gear, and sawed down a Christmas tree. This evening, it stands tall and beautiful in my dining room. Lynn, I think we finally found the right place for a Christmas tree in our home. I know you would love it. The fire is going, the girls are drifting off to orchestral Christmas melodies... I can close my eyes and see Lynn lighting the tree, jumping up for his IPad with 3 new Christmas recipes on the go, our vegan holiday fudge melting on the stove...
There were days in the last week when I had lost all desire to live. I had no sense of life or joy in me at all, and for the first time, didn't know how to bring myself out of it. (I couldn't even write, which tends to be my life line.) A friend in Alberta sent me a package and in it a book called A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss, by Jerry Sittser. Wondering if anything could possibly speak to me in a moment of such void and emptiness, I nonchalantly picked it up and started reading. I am deeply moved by the raw and profound words written by a meek man with great depth and genuine struggle. He writes about the soul's somewhat elastic ability to grow in grief. Grief is not something you "get over", catastrophic loss is never fixed this side of heaven. But, your soul can grow to embrace the pain and suffering enabling a new kind of living that reaches deeper beneath the surface, as well as higher into the clouds... (I could write a lot more on this... So far, I highly recommend this book. Thank you, Donna!)
What is God doing in me? I don't really know, but I am scared by it. I somehow know I am not who I was and will never be the same again. I feel old, like the last three months have aged me in years. I do not know the young, naive, innocent girl I once was, but still, God has preserved my faith and somehow, a child-like joy and ability to love.
I haven't written in days. And these days, a day is as a thousand years!!! I have so much more to say. But blog posts can only be so long...