When I first fell in love with Keith, I knew what was happening. I knew what the connection was, and I knew that even if I only had one day left on earth, he was the one I’d want to spend it with. He was the person I’d want beside me if I was scared sitting in a doctor’s office, or celebrating good news. He was who I wanted to pray with and play with. His presence holding my hand could make something like being on hold with tech support for a few hours seem pleasant. We were each other’s balance and each other’s challenge. I was passionate where he was calm, he was forgiving where I was resentful, and he approached God as a scientist while I approached him as a mystic. Together we were Christians, partners, and best friends.
When Keith passed, someone said to me they knew it was the worst day of my life. I knew differently. I knew as brokenhearted as I was, I had experienced a miraculous love. I knew I’d had my own most painful day, and while this was a close second, it still couldn’t top the list. The worst day of my life was at the beginning of our relationship. When our friendship began changing and I realized I was in love with this man. It was terrifying, and got even scarier when I discovered he had fallen for me too. I balked, and thought it would probably be best for us both if we didn’t pursue a relationship. He agreed, but the final decision was mine. I decided I wanted to try and date someone else for a while, someone who seemed like a cookie cutter fit for me. He did the same. I quickly discovered there was nothing worse than being in love and walking away from it. I’d turned my back on an amazing gift, too proud to accept it and discover its wonder. When I realized I’d made a mistake, I had to dig deep to find the strength it took to ask for a second chance. Thankfully, he had always had the courage I was just developing, and we came back together for good, determined that no matter what people thought, we would stand by our love for each other.
The night the unimaginable struck, I knew I’d lost him on this earth. Medical technology brought him back for a little while, and I held out hope, but deep down, I knew our relationship was in transition.
Grief is transition. It’s processing each moment a little at a time. Sometimes it’s rolling over and wrapping my arm around my dog where my husband used to be. Other days it’s driving down the road crying, and remembering how he would always pull over if I started crying while we were traveling. He would pull off the road anywhere, and walk around to the passenger seat, and hold onto me, even if it was him I was frustrated with. He never let go. If he felt it was something, he’d done wrong, he’d wind up crying too, and the hazard lights would continue to flash behind us. Now I just keep driving, and talking to him, and holding on to the memory of the way his comfort felt.
Other days it’s being in the grocery store and no longer having a picky eater. The freedom of knowing that I can actually stick to a budget and not worry about the brand of mac and cheese I buy or whether the vegetable is on his limited list of approved healthy items.
Most days though, it’s just knowing that I have to find the strength to do the best I can at whatever I’m being called to do on earth until I see him again.
Guest Blogger Bio:
Laura Pittman had the privilege of marrying the love of her life, Keith, this past June. Their marriage was a continuation of the special relationship they had shared, and the start to another wonderful chapter of their life. Sadly, her world was turned upside down when Keith passed away unexpectedly the morning of February 6, 2020. She discovered Hope for Widows Foundation and as a young widow, is so grateful for the opportunity to connect with others walking a similar path.