July 3, 2019. That’s the day everything changed.
Less than a month from our twentieth wedding anniversary, my husband died completely unexpectedly. One minute we were on the phone and the next his heart stopped beating.
Words don’t really convey the amount of pain that I have been in since. It’s a gut wrenching, gnawing thing that hasn’t left me for a minute. I guess they call that thing grief. It’s also known as heartache, agony, and my personal pet name, “I hate this. Please don’t let it be real.”
When Vance died he was only 48. I was just shy of my 43rd birthday. Our oldest had turned 16 three weeks before. His sister was 14 and the little boys were 12 and 9. None of us were old enough for this to be happening. I was lost.
I’ve always expressed myself best through writing. And so when Vance died, I started to write. A lot. And as I wrote, I realized that I had things I needed to say. Things I think people needed to hear. And so I started sharing some of my writings. The more I shared, the more I wanted to keep sharing, to continue the conversation.
We don’t talk about grief in our culture nearly enough. If we did, it wouldn’t come as such a surprise when it hits us. My hope is that maybe by sharing this horrible journey through my own grief with you, you can better be prepared when it comes for you or someone you love. Not that my pain is the same as yours. It’s not. Each grief is as unique as the person carrying it. But there are similarities and there is a comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
The definition of grace is “the free and unmerited favor of God.” Being widowed at 42 sure doesn’t feel like being favored. But there is grace in the grief. Hopefully this blog will show that.