Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 18


June 24, 2013


Day 18


I ache.  Saturday, I awoke with the intensity of my heartache ripping into me with an insistence that would not be quelled.  It’s still there.  Perhaps I will learn in time how to function with the feeling that half my body and soul has been ripped away.  I’m not quite there yet.  I’m putting one foot in front of the other and doing what needs to be done, but it’s with great effort.


Today I did a little bit of shopping, something that in my old life brought me a great deal of pleasure.  I’m a bit of a retail queen!  Of course, with a family of 8 (now 7 – that just hit me the other day that even our “number” is no longer the same) it seems like somebody always needs something from a store. Since I get a kick out of shopping, it always worked.    But today, it wasn’t fun.  I found myself anxious while I shopped and impatient to be finished.  Normally, that feeling only happens when I am grocery shopping.  Death is coloring even my “fun” activities.  I haven’t touched my kindle since before Paul died.  Now if I read I only have an appetite for the Bible or devotional books or books about death and widowhood.  I quit listening to the radio all together.  I have no clue what is happening in the world anymore because I just no longer care.


I am finding myself impatient with the world at large.  People are so wrapped up in inconsequential activities and interests.  They’re buzzing about the latest celebrity hook-up or what racist thing some celebrity said thirty-five years ago (Ok, I did catch a little bit of the news one day).  They’re racing from entertainment to entertainment and when they’re not doing that, they’re buying new clothes and having their hair done in preparation for the next fun activity.  I’m impatient because none of it matters!!  My husband just died, my children no longer have a father, and yet the majority of the world twitters on like absolutely nothing has happened.  To be fair, it hasn’t happened to them.  I get that and I’m not resentful.  Honestly.  But my perspective has been irrevocably changed and it’s hard to believe that I will ever be able to enter into mindless activities like I could at one time.


And it’s not true for everybody.  People that know us – they’ve been affected.  I’ve had more than one friend tell me how they completely wept and wept when they heard of Paul’s Homegoing.  I’ve had other people tell me how Paul’s death and funeral have caused them to re-evaluate some things in their lives.  That pleases me, actually.  Even today, the office manager at Paul’s work commented to me that I probably don’t understand just how deeply their company has been affected by Paul’s death – what it has done to the morale and the employees and so forth. 


As I just referred to, I did visit Paul’s employer today. It was difficult to make that trip.  The last time I had been in there had been the day Paul and I left on our anniversary trip.  We stopped by so he could show off the girls before we dropped them off at our friends’.  And now I was coming back to return his things because he doesn’t need them any  more – kind of poignant and sad.   I needed to get some paperwork and return Paul’s work clothes.  I did beg for one of his shirts that has his name embroidered on it.  Actually, I offered to buy it and they just gave it to me.  They also had a check for me from one of their suppliers.  They knew Paul as he would come into their warehouse for supplies and felt so bad about his death that they cut a check for his family.  I was so touched!


Little things are continuing to jab at me.  Yesterday, I got the newspaper and removed the coupons like I always did.  They fluttered to the floor and when I picked them up I saw a page of coupons for Long John Silvers.  I would give those coupons to Paul.  He LOVED LJS.  I hated that place!  He knew I loved him when I would grudgingly consent to go.  Now we don’t have a use for the coupons.

It occurred to me that I will never celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary.  I know it’s just one day, but that was something Paul and I used to talk about – how we would celebrate that big day.  I could just see a roomful of grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathering to wish us well on our once-in-a-lifetime milestone.  I may remarry someday, but I won’t live long enough to have a golden anniversary.  That makes me sad.


Yesterday a friend at church told me how nice I look.  I think that actually translates to, “You don’t look as awful as you did two weeks ago!”  Getting myself presentable right now seems to take tremendous effort.  I still can’t bring myself to wear make-up.  I was thankful for her observation, though.  At the same time, I was reminded how Paul always, always complimented me on my appearance, particularly on Sundays when I would be more dressed up.  He liked it when I went “all out.”  I’ll never forget his appreciative wolf whistles…He never seemed to see the stretch marks, gray hair, sunken chest, or varicose veins.  I was beautiful to him.


Saturday I mentioned to Will that three weeks ago that day he graduated and we had his party.  I said, “Does it seem like a lifetime ago to you?”  He said it did.  It’s a lifetime in which we’ve all suddenly grown older and sadder.


I’ve had several widows reach out to me through the internet now.  They’ve heard about me from others and have taken the time and effort to contact me.  I am grateful for that.


Today my Mid-American bill arrived.  That wasn’t a problem.  What did make me catch my breath was the front of it.  This time it had MY name on it.  That was a bill that used to come addressed to only Paul.  I knew it would happen.  After all, I called everyone a couple of weeks ago and let them know what had happened and that I would be assuming responsibility for the bills (not that I wasn’t already – I paid everything).  But it still hurts to see it, you know?  We needed new checks and so I ordered some last night.  But I ordered them to say, “Mrs. Sarah Heywood.”  I’m not ready to give up my married status even if I am technically no longer a spouse.


Well, this has all been really depressing!  Honestly, I don’t think I’m depressed – yet, anyway.  I’m just sad.  And I have a good reason to be sad.  So it’s going to color my perspective on everything for awhile.  I do still laugh about some things.  I pull myself out of bed every day and I’m not self-medicating.  I’m not even needing the Advil PMs anymore, actually.  I’m not entertaining suicidal thoughts.  I’m doing the “next thing” as Elisabeth Elliot used to always advise on her little programs I listened to in the early years of marriage and parenthood.  So I think I’m doing ok, all things considered.


My friend Jenny loaned me a couple of message cds last night that she found helpful.  I listened to most of one today.  It’s John McArthur speaking on the sovereignty of God.  That’s not a subject I’ve ever really wrestled with.  If I did, that was pretty much settled after Ben’s birth.  But I’m actually really appreciating what I’m hearing on the cd.  In times like these, it’s comforting to be reminded of not only God’s sovereignty, but His deep care and love for us.


I’ve been listening to the following song quite a bit.  In February, when Paul and I were in Colorado, we happened across a Christian radio station that played really nice music.  It was such a relief to find such a thing because our stations out here insist on only playing the latest stuff.  Some of that is fine and I do hear modern songs that I like.  But most of them I don’t care for.  Christian music seems to be shifting it’s message from being God-centered to being people-centered.  There are a lot of songs out there that focus more on convincing their audiences that they are worthy in and of themselves.  It’s a trend that bothers me.  But, I digress.  Paul and I could talk about that subject for hours!  And we did. But we found this station playing older and/or nicer, slower songs.  One was a song by Cheri Keaggy that I had not heard before (I haven’t heard anything by Cheri played on our stations in at least 15 years) , called, “There Will be One Day.” I thought it was really pretty, so   I jotted down the title that on the Denver roads and when we got home, I downloaded it.


Since Paul’s death, I have listened to this song repeatedly.  It is truly the cry of my heart right now.  I think God allowed me to hear and like that song, knowing that I would need just a few months later:


Oh God of comfort, comfort me,

Comfort me in this suffering.

I need to know you in this grief,

Oh God of comfort, comfort me,

Oh God of everything that breathes,

They say you are the God Who sees, so I am standing in belief,

That in this moment you see me.



 Chorus: There will be one day when there will be no more tears to wipe away.
There will be one day when there will be no more death to navigate.
But until then we are Your children
Your love cannot forsake.
There will be one day when there will be no more tears.


O God of sun and star and moon

When this old earth has felt its doom,

You'll find me clinging to the truth

That You are making all things new.

O God of love what love we've known.

Mercy keeps falling from Your throne.

Still we are waiting for that trumpet blow

When You will come to call us home.

There will be one day when there will be no more tears to wipe away.
There will be one day when there will be no more death to navigate.
But until then we are Your children
Your love cannot forsake.
There will be one day when there will be no more tears.

There will be peace just like a river,

Joy like we've never known,

We all will be delivered

When we get home, home,

Home, home.

When we get home, home.

When we get home.

There will be one day when there will be no more tears to wipe away.
There will be one day when there will be no more death to navigate.

There will be one day when there will be no more tears to wipe away.
There will be one day when there will be no more death to navigate.

There will be one day when there will be no more tears to wipe away.
There will be one day when there will be no more death to navigate.



I was going to end this diary entry with this song, but then Sam came in while I listened to this song once again.  I’ve had a bit of a hard time getting a read on him as to how he is feeling and just how much of his dad’s death he’s even comprehending.  He’s such a “scientific” and logical type of kid that he has seemed more interested in the facts of his dad’s death, asking just what seizures are exactly and informing me that his dad’s “spirit is in Heaven, but we buried his body” – stuff like that.  But he has not been all that emotional about his loss.  However, while I listened to this song, Sam suddenly said to me, “Dad’s in that place, you know – what they’re singing about.”


He’s 5 years old and he gets it.  He accepts it.  Years from now, we may have some emotional fall-out from the trauma of what he has experienced, and we’ll deal with it. But for right now, he’s ok with just knowing that Daddy is in Heaven.


I am too, Son, - I am too.



















  1. Oh, Sarah, as I read this today it took me back. Back to when my grief was such a canyon in front of me. Feeling ripped in two, functioning as half a person, dealing with the family size -1, visiting his work without him there, being touched by the giving of others, ordinary things like bills and shopping stabbing my heart and making it hard to stand, to breathe........

    I didn't find your post depressing.
    I found it REAL.
    Grieving yet having hope.
    But overall it is grief trying be to represented by words that don't do justice to the ache.

    All of us who have had a spouse go to heaven-
    get it.
    All of us who have lost a loved one -get it.
    And to the gave them a real glimpse into grieving the love of your life and being held up by JEsus. Grieving but not without hope.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    I am praying for you with understanding.
    Big hugs to you & shared tears.

  2. Sarah, a friend posted one of your blog posts on FB. I honestly can't even fathom your life but wanted you to know I am praying for you. My husband is 42 also. I can't imagine. We have 8 kids and one of them is only a year old...just can't wrap my mind around losing their father when they are little, and you have very young ones too. I am so very sorry. I appreciated this post. You are being very real and real is good. I don't think it is healthy when people paste on a happy face and use Christianese...God bless you, Sarah.