I can't believe it's been 10 years since Ken died. We were high school sweetheart , dated for 6 years before we got married, had 3 gorgeous kids together, shared a common past and common dreams for our future. Then on Sep. 26th 1998, when our baby boy was just 2 months old, after 9 years of marriage, he died.
Losing someone you love is so totally incomprehensible. When it's a spouse, your lives are so intertwined. Sometimes its hard to know where you stop and your spouse begins. You dream about your future together and then watch it unfold as you start careers, buy your first house, give birth to your children, watch them grow, plan for vacations and travel, retirement and grandkids. You know each other's biggest weaknesses and love them anyway. You know what your spouse's favorite foods are, what kinds of movies they like, how they like to spend their free time, how they take their coffee. You share the same routines. You can't imagine life without the other person. And then, one day, you're changing diapers and cleaning house, buying groceries and playing with the kids and the phone rings. And everything is changed forever.
For some, the death of loved one comes slowly and painfully after an extended illness. For me it came quickly with a car accident and a phone call.
It takes time for the mind and the heart to grasp such a violent loss. You feel like giant pieces of yourself are suddenly ripped out leaving gaping wounds. You want to crawl under the covers of your bed and sleep forever, only the baby is crying and the toddlers are hungry. Every morning you wake up and realize anew that
he's never coming back.
You go to the grocery store and are amazed that everyone else is unchanged. You watch people laughing and gossiping and carrying on with their lives and you want to shout " WAIT!Don't YOU UNDERSTAND? THE WORLD HAS JUST FALLEN APART! HOW CAN YOU ORDER a DOUBLE NO FAT LATTE WITH WHIP CREAM?"
10 years. Longer than we were even married. He would have been 42. I still love him. I'm still mad at him for dying.
But except for days like today, when the memories come back hard and unrelenting and I cry until my well of tears is dried up, I'm amazingly ok. Life has gone on. I have fallen in love again and married a wonderful man. My oldest kids are now teenagers and thriving in school and friendships. My youngest doesn't remember having any other father than Jay who I've been married to for 7 years now. Joy has seeped back into my life.
And yet, and yet, I am no longer innocent. I have suffered. Joys are no longer pure but tinged with sorrow.
My God is no longer impersonal but deeply personal. He truly comforted me in my darkest days. He gave me strength when I ran out of my own. He gives me the hope of someday being reunited with Ken in heaven. He has provided for my every need. I've seen people who grieve without the grace of God. They become bitter and joyless. They get stuck in the grief and it defines who they are.
For Ken, I miss you, I'll always love you and look forward to our joyous reunion in Heaven.