One week, one month, and now one year has passed since my world was turned up-side-down. At first time felt like an eternity, each day the reality that my beloved husband was no longer with me here on earth drug on and felt like it would never resolve. Now that a significant amount of time has passed, it doesn’t seem possible that we have lived through one whole year without him. How did we get here? Where have we been? How did the earth revolve completely around the sun?
We are surviving. We are grateful. We have had a lot of help from heaven and from earth.
I have discovered more intimately how death is a major spiritual formation in our lives. Whether we are deeply spiritual or not, facing death forces us to consider spiritual realities. Our souls are opened to a deeper understanding of our place in this world and how we view our own lives. I found a lot of commonality with country artist, Blake Shelton, when he wrote these words about death: “Cause you went away, How dare you? I miss you. They say I’ll be okay, But I’m not going to ever get over you. ”
I find myself relating to CS Lewis when he wrote: “If God’s goodness is inconsistent with hurting us, then either God is not good or there is no God: for in the only life we know He hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine.”. There is no question that I am hurt and that God has the power to take that hurt away by not asking me to face this loss. My children are hurt and many others, also. It is a deep pain. It has lessened in intensity somewhat through the year that has passed, but the hurt will remain for our lifetimes, churning up when we least expect. It will hurt in different ways in the coming year than it has in the one that has passed. It definitely hurts when the love of your life has been taken away. It does not mean that God is not good. God in His goodness has a future for me that has no pain. There will not be tears in heaven. Because God is so good, He gives me tears to carry me though the year that has passed and the ones ahead. The gift of tears is mandatory for earth. When I cry out to God in my tears, I discover His goodness extends beyond my hurt.
Above all, I have found St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s words to be true when he said: “I can never lose one whom I have loved unto the end; one to whom my soul cleaves so firmly that it can never be separated does not go away but only goes before…” Though I continue to hurt, I know that I have not lost. Perhaps I have gained in some ways. I have gained a better perspective of my marriage. I have gained a confidence in God that I never had to extend. I have gained new respect for the people God has sent to help me struggle along to live the life He asks me to live.
One year later and I can attest that God has been amazingly faithful to carry me through every tear that I have shed. I know there will be more to cry, but I will not doubt God’s mysterious goodness. He has asked a lot of me, but He has given me much more than I deserve. I was extremely blessed to have a wonderful husband who loved me and our children so well, and I will forever be grateful.