A person in their thirties shouldn't need to learn to live again but that is exactly the position I find myself in. Death is brutal. I know we have hope in heaven. I know my husband is no longer in pain. I know that this earth is not our home. I know all of that. But when someone so intimately close to you dies, it is the most painful-heartbreaking-life-changing-intensely-brutal-thing. I am very transparent with the pain because I think a lot of times, especially in church, we put on this mask and this facade. We say all of the right words. We proclaim all of the right things. But inside of us, we are dealing with battles we don't want anyone to know about. The right things to say about death are "I know he is in a better place." "God is seeing me through."I trust in God no matter what happens." And while all of those are absolutely true, the truth is one and a half years past my husband's death and there are still days where the pain is still fresh. There are still nights I find myself on the floor crying so intensely because my husband isn't here. And I feel like it would be a lie for me to just share all the right words but not to share the heartbreak I am also experiencing.
But we are learning to live. We are learning to enjoy life. We are learning to smile again. We are learning to hope again. In being transparent and sharing what our life is like past death and learning to live again looks like, I want people to see that sadness is not an enemy of happiness. I hope they will see that tears are not an enemy of joy. I hope they will see that heartbreak is not an enemy of hope. It is okay to cry. It is okay to acknowledge that the pain is intense. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to admit that one's heart is still hurting. Smiles don't mean an absence of pain and it is okay to smile while hurting. We are living but still hurting. We are living but at times not feeling okay. We are living but still mourning. We are living but still experiencing days of sorrow.
In 2016 I self-published a book When Cancer Invades Your Home. In the last chapter, I wrote about what cancer does to a family. I ended the book writing that cancer can't win. Although my husband passed away a few months after the book was published, cancer didn't win. God won. God always wins. The book is available for purchase on Amazon.