Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Last Sunday, before church, as we were waiting for my mom to pick Jaelyn up for church (I didn’t go because of a migraine), Jaelyn was working on memorizing a scripture for Sunday School. The verse that she was working on was Romans 8:28 – “All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” I asked her if she knew what the verse meant, knowing that if she understood it, it would be easier to memorize. She wasn’t sure what it meant. I shared how this is a verse that had been shared with me frequently since Daddy’s death. Jaelyn asked why. I explained that it talks about how even though Daddy’s death was difficult and we may never understand why he had to die so young, God will bring good out of it because we love Him. I explained that this didn’t mean that Daddy had to die for good to happen, but that God can bring good out of bad things.
This conversation had me thinking about the good things that God has brought about over the last fifteen months. Please understand that of the good that I know God has brought about, I would selfishly give it all back if Scott could be with us. Yet, this wasn’t God’s plan for our lives. So, I choose to look for the good rather than dwelling on what cannot be changed. In our journey over the past fifteen months, God has provided many opportunities to share our faith and the strength that God has given us. Being so honest and vulnerable in this format is certainly not something that I could have predicted under these circumstances, yet this has become a ministry only by God’s leading. Many times I have questioned why I was blogging my journey, yet every time I had decided in my own head that there was no purpose, randomly someone would share with me what reading about our journey meant to them – not knowing that I was considering stopping the blog. After this happened numerous times, I have given it to God and I continue to wait on his leading and prompting for when I need to write and for what I need to write. So, I am most thankful that God has used my very real, raw, and honest emotions and words for His glory. This has not only been a journey through grief, but has been a journey in thankfulness as well. For, when you have lost something so very precious, it makes you even more thankful for the very precious things still remaining.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Today I decided to tackle a project that I have put off, over and over again in the last fifteen months. I have been thinking about it off and on for about a month. The bins were at the old house until a few months ago when I needed to move them so the old house could be rented. I had my dad put them in the middle of the garage, thinking that this would push me to go through them in order to be able to put my car in the garage at night. Needless to say, this wasn’t successful. I realized that I wasn’t ready to go through the bins and rearranged the garage to accommodate the bins and my car. Every time I would look at the bins, I would feel overwhelmed and mentally push the project aside for another time.
I’m not sure what pushed me to finally tackle the project today. Quite honestly I surprised myself that I was ready to face it, as I have been struggling lately – just feeling down. I started with three different piles – save for t-shirt quilt, pass on, and throw away. As any of you who are familiar with how Scott dressed on a daily basis and how little he liked to shop for clothes, you can easily understand the two large garbage bags of worn out, holey, or stained clothing. I also ended up with a large bin of t-shirts to save for a t-shirt quilt as well as a rather large amount of clothing and shoes to pass on.
Thankfully there was no familiar Scott smell left on any of the clothes – not sure I could have handled that. Favorite t-shirts hit hard – seemed so surreal that I was sorting his clothing to give away. Particularly difficult were work shirts that I had bought him just a week before his death, with the tags still attached.
Sorting through his clothes, throwing away clothes, and gathering clothes to give away just makes it so much more real. I think that is a large part of why I kept pushing off the task, not to mention that it felt like an emotional mountain to climb. Quite honestly, it is probably something that I should have done before this, but when prepping the house last fall to be exterminated for fleas I needed to get as much put away and up off the floor as possible. Scott’s clothing was quickly packed up to be sorted through later. Then, once it was out of sight in the garage and with moving, it was pushed even further back. Maybe taking the time and space was good as it was easier to evaluate things based on sentiment, etc.
Early on in this journey, it was hard to throw away anything of Scotts. It felt like throwing him away. With time and space it is easier to separate my memories of Scott from things, into memories alone.
Monday, November 11, 2013
As many of you know, I have been wearing Scott’s wedding ring since his death. I find great comfort in having and wearing it. I have not been able to wear my wedding rings for many years due to weight changes and needing it resized. I felt a deep need right after Scott’s death for that connection and in the past fifteen months his ring has rarely left my hand.
Lately I have found myself thinking about his ring. It is comforting to feel the warmth and smoothness between my fingers when I am thinking about him or stressed out. I would often spin it on Scott’s finger when we held hands or were sitting and talking or watching TV. Now I find myself spinning it on my finger.
Although fifteen months has gone by since Scott’s death, I find myself thinking about him more and more. I thought that this grief journey would get easier after the first year and yet it hasn’t. In the first year, the pain was often quite intense and overwhelming. Now, entering the second year, the pain is that constant dull ache that never goes away. I think it is the reality that this is now my reality, not simply a bad dream that I’m waiting to wake up from.
I push myself forward when giving up would be so easy to do. I have often said and I will say it again, if I didn’t have Jaelyn to be a reason to move forward and focus outside myself, I’m sure this grief journey would look much different and be much uglier. There are still ugly moments but I think that is to be expected. These are the moments when I hold Scott’s wedding ring, feel its warmth from being on my hand and its smoothness, and remember the good times we had, the tough times we worked through, and the hope we had for the future.
I think, I hope, that Scott would be proud of us and how we have journeyed forward. But I wish this journey wasn’t necessary.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Today, while avoiding cleaning by organizing and decluttering, I came across the sign-in book from Scott’s viewing and funeral, as well as laminated copies of his obituary. I don’t know if I will ever get use to seeing it in black and white. I know that I write about Scott’s death and our grief journey frequently, but there is just something heart wrenching about seeing it in print from a newspaper and in the Funeral binder from the funeral home. As I sat reading through the names of everyone who came to the viewing and/or funeral, there were many names of people that I don’t remember talking to at the time. I know that I talked to a lot of people, many I didn’t/don’t know that were connected to Scott or his family. But there are family members from my side of the family that I don’t remember talking to. It is all a blur really. I wish I could remember all the conversations from those two days with all the people who loved Scott and/or his/our family.
I also found (and put in a safe place) the dvd of the funeral service and the slide show of photos. I sat and looked at the dvd of the funeral service in my hand for quite a while, wondering if I will ever be able to sit and watch it. I’m not ready for that now, just like I cannot listen to Scott’s message on my cell phone left just minutes before his death. I think that one day these items will be a treasure that I will be grateful to have. Today it was just heart wrenching and brought all the so intense emotions back to the forefront. Sometimes I think that I miss him more now than I did right after his death – maybe it is the reality truly sinking in.
Monday, October 21, 2013
I’ve had some random thoughts floating through my head over the past couple of days. Saturday morning was a rough morning with Jaelyn being cranky and grumpy for no apparent reason. If I truly got to the root of the problem, it was that she didn’t want to go shopping with me that morning. It was then that I really got angry in my spirit – not outwardly. Outwardly I remained calm and reminded her that since Daddy’s death, I am the only one to take care of shopping, cleaning, etc. This means that she is going to have to go with me to do things she doesn’t enjoy, that this is just the way life is right now. Inwardly I felt like joining in her temper tantrum and screaming and crying, “This isn’t fair!” I am angry at the situation, but because Scott’s death wasn’t anyone’s fault, there is no where to place that anger. I have found myself getting angry over the situation more often than I have over the past fourteen months. I’m not sure if it is because I am getting past the point of realistically being able to deny it has happened or if reality is simply setting in. I am usually aware in the moment of anger why I am angry, but usually life doesn’t allow me the luxury of exploring those emotions at the time. I have to tuck them away to think about later – maybe this is why I have been thinking about it for a couple of days now.
Another thing that I have been thinking about for a couple of days is my new hobby of photography. I have found myself wondering why photography is so relaxing and calming for me. I think that I may have figured it out today. And in that “aha” moment, realized that Scott and I were more alike than I may have thought. Scott always wanted to be in nature, either actively experiencing it or sitting and taking it all in. This was always how he experienced God. I realized tonight while I was taking photos that taking these photos and working with them later is one way that I feel closer to God and in a sense capture His presence. When I look back at those photos, they bring a sense of peace and stillness that I experienced in the moment they were taken.