Friday, June 28, 2013

Day 20

I wrote most of this a couple of days ago but got so busy that evening that I wasn't able to finish it as planned.  I had a few more things to write, but will include them in my next post.

June 26, 2013
Day 20


This evening I will attend my first viewing/funeral event since Paul’s death.  An older man in our church died from cancer Sun. evening and now his wife is walking the road of widowhood, as well.  I am tempted to not go tonight, thinking that it will bring back painful memories.  I have noticed that I tend to be a bit weepier at church – I think it’s because it brings back emotions from Paul’s viewing and funeral.  But…life is not all about me and my emotions.  It meant a lot to me when people were there for me.  I will not be selfish and deny giving myself to others in their hour of need.

   Today has been a rough day for a variety of reasons.  I dreamed about Paul early this morning.  He was clean-shaven again.  I really wonder about the significance of that.  Why am I only dreaming of him without his beard?  In this dream, though, we had lost a child; I don’t know which one.  We had been lost in our own little grief worlds for some period of time and in my dream I was longing to go back to him, so that we could come together and support each other in our shared grief.  I’m not sure that there is any real meaning to that – dreams can be pretty random.  But right now every small thing concerning Paul takes on heightened meaning and awareness for me.  I woke up and realized that it wasn’t a child I was a mourning, but my husband. Crushing. 

I know I have written about the literal pain in my heart area, but today I realized it’s just not only that part of me that hurts.  My stomach feels like it’s been kicked and I can’t catch my breath – brings back memories of elementary school kickball games with forced PE participation.  How I hated gym class!  I hate this worse.  One of Ben’s teachers sent me some song links last week and one is called “Better.”  I listened to it and could really identify with the lyrics.  They’re about being willing to do just about anything to escape the pain and to feel – well, better.  That’s not to say I will do just about anything, but I understand the sentiment.

I got Paul’s death certificates, too, today.  It was pretty difficult to read those.  Actually, it was devastating.  His cause of death was not what I was expecting and I was immediately flooded with feelings of regret, anxiety, and fear that I had not done all I should in the moment.  But my pastor and other friends circled around me, reminding me of God's truths. 

This morning my brother sent me an email detailing a time when Paul was helpful to he and his family.  Yesterday, I had a similar email from a member at our former church.  Wow – these stories are exactly what I need to hear right now.  My mom made a comment to me this week about how Paul was able to pack more into 18 years of fatherhood than a lot of men do over the course of a lifetime.  I need this stuff!  Of course Paul wasn’t perfect (which drove me nuts at time, wanting him to be better – why was I like that?  So ungrateful..) but he was still a very good man.  It is a balm to my soul right now to hear these stories of appreciation and gratitude from others about the way he touched their lives.  I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life when I have opportunity to minister to others who are hurting over the loss of a loved one.

This morning Ben had an intake meeting at Genesis ( a sheltered workshop in Indianola – he’s going to be attending their activity program one day a week).  When I had to originally reschedule this meeting because of Paul’s death, the worker sent me an email in which she mentioned the name, “Jesus.”  That’s pretty rare unless someone is a Believer.  Today, I met with her and she quickly informed me that she had been praying for our family.  She told me straight up that she is a Believer.  Her husband is a youth pastor there in Indianola.  But she had been hearing about Paul and told me he sounded like he was a real man of God.  She used to have unsaved neighbors that she witnessed to regularly.  They ended up getting saved – and they attend our church now.  In fact, they brought me lunch this past Sunday.  What a small world it is within God’s kingdom! 

One thing Will and I have commented to each other about is the difference in condolences from those that know Christ and those that don’t.  Of course, I am thankful for all expressions of sympathy, no matter who they come from.  They are all honestly very comforting.  But we’ve noticed that when the unsaved offer them they kind of look down at their hands and mumble about “not understanding why.”  The saved may also say something similar, but they look us straight in the eye and add, “But God…”  There is a tremendous difference when one knows the Lord and knows that He is working ALL things together for good.













  1. Oh, yes, the differance of grieving with hope and without hope. Jesus makes all the difference.

    The death certificates are so in our face final and raw. It is reality in our face. Things like that sends grief waves instantly. I am so glad to hear how your church family rallied around you.

    I well remember the day when satan whispered, "If you had told Jim you'd get the groceries, he wouldn't have been on the road at that time. It's your fault."
    I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I could barely breath or stand. Then a still strong voice said to my heart, "What have you told the boys?" I had told them the verse God had given me that and that was Jim's appointed time to die. The second I remembered that verse the heaviness was gone. The words of God are powerful against the lies of the enemy.

    Dreams of our beloveds like you said are random.
    Some have made me smile. Some I woke up crying. Some I woke up disbelieved that he wasn't here.
    Grief is complex; even when our bodies are resting our brains are trying to process it all.

    Many hugs,

  2. Yes, grief can be very physical. Be gentle with yourself as you walk this journey....especially in this raw, surreal stage where the fog can be so heavy in our heart and brain.

    Very thankful you have the support of friends and is such a gift to even hear from strangers about our loved ones as they share rememberances.

    As Christine said, the words of God are a powerful sword against the lies that Satan will put on your path, the lies of guilt and regret. May the Lord continue to strengthen you and uphold you, sustain you second by second.

    In all my dreams of Jarrod he is smiling the same smile. As strange as it may is a smile I never saw here on earth. It is new and tremendously "bright".

    Abiding in the Hope of Christ our Savior,