I’m currently reading a book from Pastor Tony Evans called Divine Disruption. It is about how the loss of his wife a few years ago tore a hole in the fabric of his family and affected the four adult children and his church congregation.
It’s written from the perspectives of each adult child and him as they share their grief journey before and after his wife and their mother died from cancer. What is interesting to read is how that death changed the lives of everyone and is seem through different eyes.
I was reminded of my grief journey as a woman who experienced the sudden death of my husband in 2015. It too pulled at the once stable fabric of our lives and tore giant holes in my heart and our family. Many of those holes remain. There are holes in our now strained family relationships. Holes in communication. Big gaps in the family legacy. Never to be filled with the love of our marriage. The suddenness of this new life often takes my breath away. And I miss the family.
Like the Evans family in the book, everyone in our large extended family saw my husband from their own personal perspective. Father, grandfather, and even great-grandfather. Each person was touched in their own way by my husband’s death, as he had a different relationship with each one. Each relationship was special and reveals how one person on earth can spread their love and impact generations. I’m sure they miss him too.
While each had a special relationship and life story to remember my husband by, only I had the sacred, covenant role of a spouse. My distinctive position as his wife, his lover, friend, and confident soulmate belongs only to me. No matter how much others try to identify with my memories and pain, I understand there will always be a limit to their understanding. Years ago, I ceased attempting to explain my grief, as only another widow can fully comprehend this loss. But I truly respect their loss as they lost their father, grand daddy, and friend. They lost the patriarch of their family who was loved and respected.
Not only did I lose my friend and soulmate, but everyone lost future conversations, instructions, assistance with financial matters and stability. I lost someone to cuddle with and make me feel safe. I lost a partner to travel the remaining days of my life with- the good days and bad days.
What remains are deep memories captured in my heart of days we experienced this life together. These memories keep me going on days I want to stop the world and “just get off.” I know he’s expecting me to continue living with all the faith I can muster. I know he’s rooting for me while in heaven as he lives without a worry or concern. And I know I’m still learning how to recover from that “sudden disruption” in my life in 2015. After all things are said and done, I think he’d be proud of the life I’ve made all by myself. I believe I should feel wish that way too.