Things I Miss And Think About

Since the loss of my spouse in late 2018, there are things about him and our life together that I miss.  Some of them have come back up after hearing about several deaths this week — including the helicopter crash on Sunday when 9 people were killed — as well as the mother of a family friend.

Last night we watched a very short part of an interview with the widower of one of the women on board that helicopter.  Her name was Christina Mauser and his is Matt Mauser.  He was interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CNN about having to give the news to his three kids that their mother wasn’t coming home.

Anderson mentioned that he was 10 years old when his father died.  He said he never will forget when his mother came in and told him that he had died.  Mr. Mauser then shared about how hard it was to tell his kids.  And that they were still calling for their mother.

Anderson Cooper also mentioned that his mother said that with grief you just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And, that there is no timeline to grief.  That is so true since the pain of any loss lasts for quite a while.  Actually, I would say that it never goes away, but that you just figure out ways of dealing with it as best you can

As Ian and I briefly watched this, we both had tears come into our eyes.  We hugged each other and I mentioned that you can imagine how they must be feeling since that happened to you.  He nodded his head as I was still hugging him.  We then wiped the tears and changed to a favorite show and started to laugh. That helped us.

Mr. Mauser said it was the little things that he missed the most.  I can so relate to that and that hit me since that is what I also feel.  After years with a spouse or partner, their sudden loss is shocking, jarring, and surreal.  The first few days I didn’t know what to do with myself and often couldn’t form the words to answer a question.

This morning I heard on the news that Kobe Bryant’s widow Vanessa, is having a hard time talking without crying.  I have to say that I totally understand.  The loss of a spouse so suddenly pains you in ways you never expected, much less also losing one of your children.  My heart goes out to her and the rest of her family.

I don’t think I will ever forget receiving the news that my husband had died.  When we arrived at the hospital, we were taken to a side room of the emergency department.  I should have known something was wrong since they didn’t take us to see him.  Then after a few minutes, a doctor and a nurse came into the room and told us that they had done all they could but couldn’t bring him back.

What the?!  We were all shocked.  I then went to see my love.  He looked like he was sleeping but he wasn’t.  I touched his hand and it was cold.  It was always warm when I held it.  So that was a shock and made me realize that he was in fact gone, no matter how much I was screaming inside that he can’t be gone.

I then went back to check on Ian and my parents who were with us.  My mind was on our son and how he was taking the news.  I was with him for a little bit and then went back to see my love one more time.  I was with him for a while, asked for his wedding band, and spent more time with him and looked at him.  And I touched his arm and hand.

I didn’t stay long.  We then left the hospital to go have breakfast since it was early morning.  I tried to eat but didn’t have much success.  And, I felt guilty and still do at times for not spending more time with my love.  At the time, all I could think about was our son.  I felt bad that I was placing him before my spouse.  And yet, I felt I had to since our son needed me, as I needed him.

There are a lot of things about my love that I remember, think about, and miss.  I wanted decades more with him and am sad that we didn’t get them.  Some of them are:

  • I still remember what he was wearing on the day that I met him at my church.  That church is where we got married and where we held his memorial service.
  • I miss his deep voice and laugh.
  • I miss the smell of his cologne after he got dressed and ready to go.
  • I miss the shows that we watched together and talked about.  To this day, I still can’t watch one of them.
  • I miss the smell of coffee that he prepared each night in the coffee maker.  He had a routine of that.
  • I miss how he was usually the life of the party and loved to make people laugh.
  • I miss his silly jokes.
  • I miss our Saturday morning talks in bed when our son would then join us.  These included lots of laughs and sometimes breakfast in bed.
  • I miss the hours he spent on a project.  Once he started, he would not stop until finished.  So, I would often help him, if I could.
  • I miss his mastery of numbers and taking care of our finances so well.  I am doing my best and trying to remember what he and my dad taught me.
  • I edited his dissertation and that was an amazing thing to be a part of.
  • I miss how great he was with the students that he worked with.  He put them at ease and helped them know they could do well with testings.
  • I miss our trips together and the fun adventures we had, first as a couple, and then a family of three.

Trying to adjust to this loss is still something we are dealing with.  We are doing better than we had been but still struggle at times.  I feel for all of these families and many others who lose loved ones each day.  I feel for the grief that they are dealing with and the pain that they are in.

My prayer is that we can appreciate each other, tell our loved ones that we do love them, and be there for one another during both the sad and happy times.  Also, I pray that we can support those who are in pain from a loss, that we can be there for them, and that we can love them.

Morning by morning, new mercies I see

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!…” — Great Is Thy Faithfulness hymn

This hymn came to mind this morning when I saw this gorgeous sky.  I just love those words, that each morning, there will be new mercies.  It is a definitely a comfort to me as we are starting our second year of grieving the loss of my husband.

And, the words that continue, “all I have needed, thy hand hath provided.”  These are true.  As hard as it’s been and as mad as I have sometimes been, what we have needed has been there.  People have helped us and we have been okay.  And, frankly, that has felt like a miracle at times.

I still don’t understand the why of this, I find myself with many questions and anger at times, and I realize that I may never the get answers that I want.  But God is still faithful and is still a comfort.  Truly, the mix of good and bad is being felt and helped, but without all of the answers.

I also read this week an amazing post about grief and how the waves change over time but keep coming.  I have found this to be true.  I am not stopped or gutted each day like I was at the beginning.  That is good since life has a tendency to move on, despite what we may be feeling like.

Now it hits me at random times.  Like yesterday, I was very sad after taking my son to school.  I came home to try and work but found I couldn’t.  So I took time with my breakfast, watched some TV, and ended up taking a 2 hour nap.  I then woke up, read, and later had lunch prior to having my son come home from school.

I later helped him with his homework, we had a good dinner, and I fell asleep on the couch.  Clearly I was tired and needed the extra rest.  I prayed a bit for comfort and thought of my loved one who is gone.  And, I cried a little as well.

Then this morning, I felt better and then was blessed with this amazing sunrise.  So, mercy was truly there for me.  What an amazing feeling that is.  And as crazy as it sounds, it felt like a message from my loved one that he is okay.  And, a result, we are also okay.  Cue the tears, right?!

We continue to struggle at times since we never know what a new morning will bring.  But we are trying to settle back into our routine.  Right now, we are both a bit tired.  Ian’s school starts really early so that means early wake up times.  As a result, we are supposed to have early bedtimes, but those don’t always happen.

My prayer is that we may have continued mercy, that we be blessed with many more new mornings, and that we continue to appreciate all of the times that we had with my husband.  He was an amazing blessing in our lives and all who knew and loved him.  He continues to be missed, loved, and fondly remembered.

Prayers for you as well.  If you are grieving, may you have comfort.  If you are sick, may you be healed.  If you are sad, may you find a reason to smile.  If you are struggling, may you find the help that you need.

May we continue to be there for one another.  May we live with kindness and grace.  And, may we always, always love.

Happy New Year, I Think…

Happy New Year — I think…It is now 2020!  Can you believe that we are already one week into the new year?  I sure can’t since time is going so quickly.

It seems we just had time off for Christmas and now we are back to the routine of school and work again.  Thankfully, we had a good break with time for family, friends, some fun, and time to rest and regroup.

I want to say Happy New Year.  But I am not sure how happy it is for us or for many others.  My son and I continue to try to adjust to life without my husband/his dad.  We do still miss Kirk and always will.  We are able to talk about him now with some laughter and not just tears.  So that is really good.  Blessings in the smallest things feel like victories.

In addition, people we know are suffering with illnesses, deaths of loved ones, invasive treatments, chronic health issues, and so much more.  The pain is there and real and often hard to live with.  Each day can be a challenge and a battle.  Each day people may feel like giving up.

And, we have a serious conflict in the Middle East putting our military men and women at risk and other people as well, multiple earthquakes in Puerto Rico that suffered greatly from Hurricane Maria, airline crashes, and the fires across much of Australia.  So there are big and bad things to contend with and a lot of pain.

With all of this bad in the world and happening around us, it is easy to get caught up in it and be overwhelmed with sadness and pain and worry.  I must admit that I have some of that and imagine that many of us do.  My prayer is that despite all of the bad, we can remember that there is still good in the world.

People want to help each other — with meals, prayer groups, sitting with loved ones, traveling to fight fires or give support in other ways, and making booties or pouches for animals in harms way.  Also, babies are being born, people are being cured or at least finding ways to manage their illnesses, and comfort is being given.

Despite so much bad and evilness in the world, there is still good.  For that I am truly thankful.  “In spite of everything, I still feel that people are really good at heart,” said Anne Frank.  If she can believe that, I think there is hope for the rest of us.  After all, she endured terrible things that I cannot even imagine.

Another prayer is that we can come together to help one another, not just in times of crisis but at all times.  Also, that we remember that people we disagree with are not the enemy but just think differently than we do.  I hope and pray that we can once again learn from each other and be willing to listen, rather than jumping to conclusions or pre-judging one another.

As the new header photo shows, the light and the dark are often together.  This photo is that entire image.  And, the photo at the top of this blog is from Power Point clip art.

Often life is full of the good and the bad.  Some days it is easy to dwell on the dark or the bad, instead of remembering the light or the good.  I pray that we can remember the positive things in our lives.

I pray that we don’t get so mired down in the negative that we cannot see any positives.  I pray that when we are sad or mad, that we can feel that way and then know that it is okay to feel better.  Maybe not always good but often the combination of good and bad is realistic for the situations that we are sometimes in.

May God bless you and yours.  May we be there for each other.  May we listen to each other.  May we bear one another’s burdens.  May we not belittle the suffering of others but instead be supportive.  May we ask for help when we need it and know that doesn’t make us weak.  May we not judge others.  May we show compassion for others.  And, may we always, always love.