10 years ago today my husband passed away. 10 years ago today my world shattered.
A wave of sadness washes over me as I recognize this day. I am forced to look it in the face. I don’t want to re-enact the past. I don’t want to remember the suffocating sorrow. I don’t want to feel the fear, the panic. I don’t want to think back on how reality became surreal as my mind could not process what had happened. It was so terrible.
I pause…and breathe. Emotions flood my soul and I acknowledge them one by one.
The world has forgotten that day…so long ago. Life moves on. I accept that. Actually I bury myself in that. I don’t want to remember…for sadness is its comrade. And there is already enough sadness in this world.
The memories are there. It is not necessarily difficult to remember. I just tend to ignore the memories and carry on with “life”. There’s less sadness that way. I want a new perspective. I want to be able to remember without the blanket of sadness that accompanies it. After all, I know with absolute certainty that Mike is in heaven with God. I know there is great joy and peace there. I know I will see him one day.
But I miss him here on earth. I miss his laugh and his hugs. I miss his sense of humour. I miss the fact that David and Matthew, our sons, can’t know him. But it is such a huge blessing that Leighton, their stepfather, can tell them stories of their father. I’m sad that Lynae couldn’t know him (although if he was still here, Lynae wouldn’t even exist). I think Lynae would really like Mike and he would really like her – they both have a mischievous side to them. I miss the dreams we were never able to fulfill together, like owning our own home and travelling – we loved to travel together.
Despite these things I am incredibly happy now. And maybe that’s where there’s a disconnect. How can I feel sadness for missing Mike when I feel happy and satisfied with my life now…without him? I don’t feel guilt. But it doesn’t process very well in my mind. Perhaps that’s why I ignore the memories and focus on the present.
I believe Mike is very happy for me and the boys. He was always proud of my successes. He would be glad that we have a loving home. He would be happy that Leighton is my husband and David and Matthew’s stepfather (after all he was Mike’s best friend in high school).
And where have I come in the last ten years? I am a different person from what I was back then. Older, wiser, more “grounded”. It is our circumstances, the people in our lives, and the choices we make that shape us.
I have known the peace of God that transcends understanding in the midst of intense trauma.
I have come to understand the grace of God and with that comes an incredible confidence. If God’s grace is ever present and undiminished in the face of my sin then fear has no hold on me. What do I have to be afraid of if grace is always there?
I have less fear when relating to my children and more freedom to love them…as..they..are.
I know that clinging to God is the only way to keep your sanity as your world falls apart. I may not understand the “why” of my circumstances but I know God’s love will never fail me.
One other thing I know: if surrendered to God, He will always bring “life” out of death. I have so much 10 years later – in all facets of my life (physical, emotional, spiritual). God has greatly blessed me. I don’t know why Mike died but I know that God didn’t intend for that moment to end in despair. There is hope and I look forward to seeing Mike and swapping stories with him in eternity.