People often ask me how I keep going, or how I “got over” my husband’s death. Well, first off, you don’t “get over” it, you get through it. And even then, you never really get through all of it, because it’s never-ending. There is no end to this tale until we’re reunited someday after life on this earth is finished.
But, I digress…. How to get through?
A good friend of mine from college, who was also widowed at a young age, came to my rescue. Five days after the funeral, a package arrived at my door. In it, was a very special empty journal and the most beautiful letter I’ve ever received. This special lady, who had been widowed for several years and since remarried, revisited her own grief journey in order to help me start out on mine, whether I was ready or not.
The letter is much too personal to share in this forum, but she so generously gave me a blueprint of what I could expect ahead of me, and lots of assurances that whatever I felt, did, or didn’t do, was completely normal. Just to have that in writing and to be given that permission was incredibly affirming.
The journal was a guided journal, where each page walks you through what the weather is like that day, how you’re feeling, what you’re grateful for, inspirations, quotes, for whom you are praying, prayers answered, acts of kindness, forgiveness, and what you would like to see happen tomorrow. The back side of the page is for open journaling. This journal trained me to look for the blessings in every day, even on the worst days when it felt like I was just drowning in all the sorrow. In looking back at the journal now, three years out, it’s so very easy to see the hand of God in those entries and to see the answered prayers.
As time went on and the journal filled up, it became a nightly practice of mine to look for the blessings in each day. It’s amazing to me the people who have been there during this journey. The saying that you never know how your actions affect others is certainly true. People who I had considered acquaintances have become dear friends.
Somewhere, someone told me this saying, “You have a 100% success rate for getting through rough days.” That has become my mantra. There are blessings to be found in each day, even the rough ones.
Do I still miss him? Every single hour of every day. But, it’s true, with time, it does change. And it’s very obvious that God is in control of this path.