Sunday, July 5, 2020

Past Grief Feelings Revisited

Even though others read this blog as well, this blog was set up some years ago to encourage family caregivers. Sadly, part of family care-giving sometimes involves the death of one’s loved ones for whom one is caring. Soon after my first husband’s death nine and a half years ago, I began attending a program called Grief Share. One of the things they suggested was to write a grief letter to family and friendsI did write such a letter via Facebook around six months after Wayne’s death.  I recently ran across that letter in my Facebook Memories.  The words for that letter are below.

July second it will be six months since Wayne’s (Dad’s) death. In some ways it seems like a lot longer than that, and in other ways it seems just like yesterday. These last six months have been far more difficult than I could have imagined. I am told I need to be patient. Grief processing takes months and sometimes years, but the pain will get better.

Grief is always with me. There are many joyful moments, but grief is still there just below the surface. There are also really sad moments where it is hard to pull out of the sadness. Emotions during grief are unpredictable and intense. Grief emotions can ambush at unexpected moments. It is a very difficult and tiring process to go through. Yet I know what I am experiencing is normal grief emotions.

I would so appreciate your continued prayers. Please know too that I do not need fixing. Only God can do that in His timetable. You do not need to say the right thing or even say anything. Your presence, hugs, phone calls, short notes, and listening ears is all I need. Sometimes I will want to talk about my feelings. Sometimes I would rather talk about other things. Sometimes I need a mixture of both. I always like to talk about Wayne (Dad).

I still cry nearly daily. Sometimes the tears ambush unexpectedly. Don’t be uncomfortable, if that happens in your presence. I do not apologize for the tears. They are not a sign of weakness or lack of faith. They are God’s gift to me of release, and they are actually a sign I am slowly recovering.

Please pray that God will use this time of grieving to grow me and quip me to minister to others with greater compassion than ever before. I will not just survive, but full joy will return. (Psalm 30:5b) That is God’s promise to me, and I claim it. If you have suffered a similar type loss, please feel free to share it with me. It will help me rather than make me feel worse.

Thank you for caring about me. Thank you to those who listen and pray. It is a gift to me for which I will always be than

Then this is what I wrote two and a half years after losing my first husband, Wayne, to death and previously having been his caregiver four and a half years before his death.  I recently ran across this as well in my Facebook memories:  

Two and a half years today; four and a half years before that; years including fears, grief, overwhelming feelings and circumstances; depending on the Lord's strength; God's awesome grace; His leading when I didn't know what I was/am doing (Psalm 32:8); a closer and more precious relationship with the Lord than ever before; God's faithfulness; returning and new joy in the Lord in spite of waves of grief which though smaller still hit; greater empathy for others; new areas of service; the Lord being my heavenly bridegroom (Isaiah 54:5); a time for everything; everything beautiful in its time even when it has not always felt that way (Ecclesiastes 3).

Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus,
I've learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.

Since that time I have continued to grow in my faith. God has used that time of caring for Wayne and his death in many ways for His glory and to help others. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am remarried to my new husband, Bob.  Bob and I used the song, "Through It All" in our Wedding nearly a year ago.  Although life continues to have struggles, Bob and I are happy that we have each other in those struggles.  Sometimes it seems that our prayer list for others that we love is so very long, yet God is with them.  He is also with us, as we pray for them. Further, we know that the God who brought us through past struggles will continue to help us in the future and will eventually bring us to our eternal home. I pray the words I wrote only six months and later two and a half years after my first husband’s death will somehow help someone today.

(Next week I might post on Monday instead of Sunday, since it will be the one year anniversary of Bob's and my marriage.)

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