I recently answered a question from a fellow widow on Facebook. Her page provides widows the opportunity to share with each other, fellow widows on the detour of life we never planned for when we married the loves of our lives. She regularly poses questions to start a conversation and to help us all share how we interpret things and how we have handled things along our widow journey.
This particular question really got to me because I know there are people in my life who think that almost 3 yrs after Matt's unexpected death, I should most definitely be over it by now. In particular are those who believe that because of my lifelong Christian faith and more importantly, my husband's career as a Lutheran pastor and my role as the pastor's wife, that I should be just fine and dandy with his death. Yes, I know Matt is in a much better place and I whole-heartedly believe that God took Matt when he did to save him from the Devil himself and the roadblocks that pesky demon was placing in his, and our, life. I truly believe that Matt's career and soul were in danger thanks to the people Satan embodied in our lives in order to take Matt down and our family with it. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that Matt died at 38 and I was left with 4 kids who ranged from 1 1/2 yrs to just barely 9 yrs old at that time to raise on my own. Almost 3 yrs later, I am still struggling to make sense of it all and come to terms with why it had to happen at all.
So no, I am not "over" Matt's death and I can't guarantee that I will ever be over it. He was a part of me and he took a part of me with him when left this earth. A whole person was here on a Monday night, excited for the first time in a long time about the future, and early on Tuesday morning, he was dead in our bed. No warning whatsoever. He received peace, I didn't. There is a hole in my heart and soul that will never completely grow back. He was a part of me and a part of me is now gone, at least here on Earth. So to those who don't understand, I hope you have long lives and marriages and can die peacefully at a ripe old age with the love of your life next to you at the exact same time and never have to understand my life and the loss, pain and suffering I have endured. And yes, I do still believe in God and I do take great comfort in knowing that Matt was spared from some horrible suffering here on Earth. He has peace and no longer hurts and I am happy for that. The kids and I have moved on and still have had to suffer, and continue to suffer, the roadblocks, some of which just won't go away. I believe that Matt wouldn't have survived this Earthly torture. He is safe. God made sure of it.
That said, I don't go to church and I am okay with that for now. I still believe and I do hope to one day find a church home that accepts me for who I am and not who they want or expect me to be. God is okay with me as is, doubts, struggles, imperfections and all, so why can't they? Why did a fellow Lutheran/Christian once try to convince me that I should just move on as if losing my husband was no big deal? As if my husband's career and my role as his wife allowed me to skip the whole sense of loss and the whole grief process, which in their opinion should have only taken a few weeks at most I am sure. I don't know the answer. .... Yes, I do know the answer. They don't get it and I hope they never will have to understand because they had to endure this loss too. I just want the "others", those just don't get it, to accept me for who I am, including the fact that I still question why and still feel a major loss, just like I have been violated and robbed of what is mine. If we don't question our faith and belief every so often, won't it just be ordinary and nothing special. I am not perfect. God knows that and he still loves me, this I know.
So back to Facebook. These are all thoughts I have been meaning to get on "paper" for some time now, but this question sparked a desire for me to get at least some of it out.
The question: "The only way out is through." Is this really true or is it one of the "new grief myths?"
My answer: Just because you get through doesn't mean you recover. Yes there are stages of grief but you don't go thru them and move on. They are a part of your life now, most likely forever, sometimes every day, sometimes out of the blue, sometimes all at once, never in order. In the beginning, they are harsh but as time passes, they lessen in intensity but are always there. The only way out IS thru it. You can't just decide not to grieve or to just get over it and move on as if nothing happened/changed. You have to go thru the whole process and not deny anything. You can't hide or live in denial. The reason widows get each other is because we have all been thru it; others, the "non-informed," haven't gone thru it and can never truly understand. Even the trained counselors and religious ministers cannot truly help you unless they too truly get it by going thru it. "Out" is the word that tricks others up. Just because you go thru the process doesn't mean you are out as in over but you are out because you went thru it and have learned how to incorporate this drastic change into your new, unwanted/unexpected life. It's permanent and never truly over. YES, the only way "out" is thru it!!!
Just wanted to share with you today.