When you are walking through a loss there are definitely different "stages", so to speak, of grief. But no matter the stage I definitely feel like it gets worse before it gets better. They say that normally the first stage starts with shock/denial and I definitely began there although I'm just now able to see that's where I was at. I was going through the motions, doing what I had to do and then-bam-like a ton of bricks day after day it hits me. The pain the ache the sadness, all of those things. I felt like the pain was bad at first but I now see that was nothing like the pain that I have felt once reality starts to set in. If you lose someone that you are close to it is painful but I would say the loss of a spouse or a child has to be at the top of the painful scale. For me, I feel like I am mourning 2 different things. #1. The loss of my best friend and my love #2. The life that we had and our hopes and dreams for the future. You plan, you think, you desire, you look forward and then in an instant it's all gone. In the end you are left with the pain and also no life to go back to. My husband didn't just die but my life did too. Yes, I didn't lose my life in a physical sense but I did lose everything that was ever a part of my normal life routine on a day to day basis. What I'm trying to hard to do, and struggling mightily with, is where to go from here. How do I move forward while still keeping his presence alive? Where do I fit in with my relationships with others? I've gone from a being a couple to a widow and from a traditional family to single parenthood. Naturally, this will have some affect on my relationships and nearly every aspect of my life. It's hard to feel so out of sorts in every facet of my life because that's not ever me. It's hard to be struggling with the enormity of the pain and all of these other questions at the same time. Some days it's more than I feel like I can even take. The weight of it all is so heavy. The Lord directed me to a story today about when David lost his son.
2 Samuel 12:19-20
"When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead. So he asked them, “Is the baby dead?”
They answered, “Yes, he is dead.”
Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord’s house to worship."
In the event of loss and pain nearly everything is out of your control. You can't control your circumstances, what happens to you, what tomorrow will bring, how the grief will manifest itself-all of those things are beyond our control. What I realized today is there is ONE thing that I can control and that is my response. I can't control what life hands me but I can completely control how I respond to it. And my prayer is that my response will continually be just like David's. He had just lost his child but still he worshipped. And a few verses down from there it starts to talk about how through that God started to restore what was taken from David.
I don't admit to knowing all of the answers. Right now I feel completely and utterly lost in how my life will have purpose and joy once again. But the one thing that I can control-I will-my response.
Psalm 39:7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."