Thank God I don't get hate mail, but I follow other widows on social media and these are the types of questions they receive at times. Those who ask are probably well-meaning but they don't understand grief. They don't understand what it is like to have a spouse die.
This has been a tough week. I was hoping I was over tough weeks. Some have said that the second year of grief is harder than the first but the first month after the one year anniversary of my husband's death was a pretty good month. I could feel the healing. I could feel restoration. But then I had a tough week. And I guess I'm not over tough weeks. And I realize that I probably won't ever be over tough weeks.
At times the tears just silently rolled down my eyes. Other times the tears flowed like a rushing river. But every time, the tears were accompanied a pain so deep within me because it hurts so much. And I'm thankful that I don't receive hate mail from people asking why I'm not over it yet. Because I am not over it yet. And I won't ever be.
There is no such thing as getting over it. Talking about how much it hurts that my husband isn't here doesn't mean I am not moving forward. In fact, my life illustrates what moving forward looks like in grief. I don't lay in bed all day. I function properly at work. I go on vacation with my children. I teach my children how to hit a baseball. We go to the zoo. Laughter and smiles fill my house. I am moving forward in grief.
Yet tough weeks are here to stay with me probably until I die. He was 31. My children 4 and 6 at the time. My best friend. The one who was in every single one of my dreams for the future. I won't just cry on his birthday. I won't just miss him on our anniversary. I won't just hurt on holidays. I hurt on random Thursday's. It hurts when I wake up and he's not there. It hurts when I'm setting 3 plates instead of 4. It hurts when I don't see him on the platform at church on Sundays with his bass guitar. It hurts when my kids are running and playing and Mel's laughter isn't there.
Sadness isn't an enemy of joy. God is filling my heart with joy but it will always make me sad that my husband died. Grief isn't an enemy of trusting God. I can trust that God has a plan for my life but still hurt because the person I thought I was going to grow old with died when he was just 31.
And I am thankful that God doesn't send hate mail. I am thankful that He isn't asking me why I am not over it. I am thankful He isn't asking me why I am still hurting. I am thankful He isn't asking me why I am still crying 13 months after Mel died. I am thankful when I cry, God sees my tears. I am thankful when I hurt, God comforts me. I am thankful when I miss my husband so much, God's presence fills the room confirming that He isn't leaving me.