The title is a description of my old life...but these days I ramble on about widowhood, homeschooling, single parenting, adoption, special-needs parenting, & living a life I never planned for or expected - a life that God, thankfully, continues to strengthen & equip me for daily...
Saturday, June 22, 2013
DIARY OF AN UNWILLING WIDOW
June 22, 2013
I actually had several “good” days this week.I had not been struck with desire to visit
Paul’s grave and had very few tears at all – to the point that I wondered if I
was ok.Aren’t the bereaved supposed to
cry all the time?Well, I’m learning
that there are really no “supposed to’s” when it comes to grief.But while nothing is easy right now, the last
few days had not been so extraordinarily difficult.
But then I woke up today.I dreamed of Paul again last night.It was nothing significant, like previously this week.He didn’t sit on the edge of my bed and tell
me he’s waiting for me, like some stories I hear.We were just doing normal, household stuff,
holding normal conversations like we did in real life.And then I woke up and had to gasp at the
pain of remembering he is gone.
Actually, yesterday morning I woke up crying, which I have
never done in my life.But the night
before I had dreamed that Ben had also died, so I think that’s where that came
from.Of course, the tears were for
Paul, but my dream was pretty horrific too.However, it didn’t seem to color my day.I fully woke up and got on with things and was ok.
But today – I’m not. I’m short of breath once again, I feel this
cavity in the areaof my heart with
acute awareness (I understand the term “heart-broken” now – my heart feels like
it is literally broken – more like ripped apart, actually).
Last night was my first drug-free night.I am tempted to keep taking the pills if it
means this is how I’ll feel when I wake up.But, I remind myself of what I wrote earlier, that I have to go through
thistime of grief.I cannot go around it by drugging myself into
oblivion or distracting myself from the pain with other activities.It’s a miserable thing.
Will came home last night, after being gone for more than 8
days.The trip was good for him.It sounds like the pastor there in Utah
had a special interest in Will because he had been informed what had happened
and he reached out to Will.Will has
come home, burdened for the type of work this pastor does and tells me he wants
to go back.In the meantime, he plans to
remain in contact with this pastor.
Just this week I was talking with Marcia about the need for
the older boys to be able to talk to someone about their grief.I suppose this pastor filled a bit of that
for Will this last week.I’m glad.Now, I need to convince David of the need to
talk to someone.He says he feels “too
embarrassed” to that, but I’m afraid of what will happen if he does not have an
outlet for his pain.
I certainly have an outlet – many, really.Many are sitting with me, letting me
talk.I feel like I’m repeating myself
and I worry constantly that I’m telling people things I’ve already told them
because I can’t remember who I told what to!I’m sure people don’t mind, though.Marcia came over Thursday and spent time with me in the Word and prayed
with me.She says this is going to be a
regular thing.I’m thankful.
I spent all Thurs. morning at the Farm Bureau office.Pastor and Marcia went with me.It was a long appointment.Of course, I don’t get the life insurance
until we have a death certificate, which may take months.But there are so many other things to
consider now that I am suddenly single (hate, hate that word – “single” – in
fact the other day I was filling out some paperwork and I had to check a box,
“Married, Single, Divorced, or Student.”I carefully wrote “widowed” below all the choices).We had to talk about life insurance for me,
life insurance for the kids, guardianship for the kids, a trust for Ben’s care
later on,vehicle and house insurance,
andmedical insurance for me because I
am losing Paul’s coverage.I was very
thankful to have Pastor’s and Marcia’s ears because I just don’t understand all
that I am told these days.It’s like my
brain can only handle so much information before it shorts out and shuts down.
Our pool is up!Wed.
night at church Pastor told the congregation that it was going to get hot this
weekend and the Heywoods need their pool put up.He was hopeful that a couple guys would
volunteer.My friend Danielle shot her
hand up and calmly told Pastor that she would take care of it – funny.Danielle is one of these uber-capable
people.I shake my head in amazement at
her because she just runs circles around most women when it comes to
ability.The next morning she and another
friend from church showed up and set up the pool.Yesterday, Danielle was back, teaching me how
to use the chemicals.I took notes
because I am not capable like that!The kids are all pretty excited and are trying to coax me in the
water.I would prefer to avoid thermal
shock by waiting until the water actually warms up.
David reminded me of last summer when Paul and I would get
in the pool in the dark after the Littles were in bed.It was romantic and quiet…until David would
discover we were having fun without him and insist on joining us!
Remember how I wrote a few days about the regrets I had in
our marriage?There honestly was not a
lot to regret because we were generally quite happy together, but as a wife, I
know areas in which I was lazy or a downright failure.I was praying about it a few days ago and I
felt this immediate sense of peace and the sure knowledge that all was forgiven.What a beautiful word.I told this to Marcia later and she reminded
me how God tells us that He buries our sins in the deepest sea and “as far as
the east is from the west.”It is
remembered no more!While wrestling with
this, I had actually had the silly thought of wondering if now that Paul was
enjoying the delights of Heaven, if he looked back on his time with me and was
saying, “Yeah, I really had it rough with that woman!”That thought made me so sad!But God is not holding my failures against
me.And Paul is not, either.
We have continued to be blessed this week.Both Thursday and Friday sacks and boxes of
groceries were brought to me.One even
came from an old lady in our church who has such trouble with her vision that I
had to help her up and down our back steps.But she was insistent that she needed to bring me groceries!Sweet. My brother’s old girlfriend UPSed us a
box of homemade cookies all the way from Oregon because she remembered how I
used to bake for Andrew and his friends when they would visit.My Christian Moms of Boys group, an online
group I have been part of for years, sent me six gorgeous frames, telling me that
I can make copies of pictures of Paul with each of the kids for their
bedrooms.I know I’ve written before
about tragedy inspiring generosity, but I continue to be amazed as I see it
happening to us.
I’ve been printing out my Diary of an Unwilling Widow and
re-reading my thoughts.I didn’t think I
would want to do that until much later.But people are telling me they are reading my thoughts as I post them on
my blog and then I feel curious enough to go back and see just what it was that
I wrote.I’m finding it comforting.I suppose it’s because it’s all about Paul
and continual reminders of him do make me feel better.
My greatest source of comfort, though, continues to be the
Lord.He is truly sheltering me under
His wings and hiding me in the cleft of the rock. I’m not talking “Christianese”
here – I understand now, for the first time, what people mean when they use
these Biblical phrases.When I think of
Paul’s death I am comforted by the knowledge that his death was not a random,
freak thing.Psalm 139 tells us that our
days are numbered before we ever come to be.God was not surprised the morning of June 6th.As I told the kids soon afterwards, God was
not sleeping then.He knew that Paul
would live to be exactly 42 years, 5 months, and 2 days old.We are surprised because we didn’t expect
it.We are lulled into a false sense of
security because most people do live well into old age.Death is a shock to us, particularly when it
comes before then.Paul had done exactly
everything God intended for him to do.And then He called him home.
Of course, we are left with broken hearts.But I do not have to question God on top of
everything else, wondering if He fell down on the job that night.God’s purpose is not to ensure my
perpetual happiness.His purpose is to
make me holy.Sometimes, holiness comes
through deep pain.Actually, I think a
lot of times that is the way it works.So, even though I hurt with a pain that defies real description, I can
rest in the secure knowledge that even now, God is at work.
That’s the truest source of comfort in these dark days.