it was almost one year ago that i sat in bed next to mike as he sipped blue gatorade. he'd had the flu for a few days but was starting to feel better. we joked about me giving him a sponge bath because he felt too dizzy to take a shower. i was tired; we hadn't slept all week. we didn't want me to get the flu for the babies, so he had slept downstairs a couple nights but that night i offered to sleep downstairs so he could sleep better in the bed. i put socks on his cold feet. i took a sleeping pill. i told him i loved him and would just be downstairs if he needed me.
when i woke up the next morning, i knew instantly that every dream and every plan--the life we had built together--was gone. the one person i love most and was dependent on for everything had been taken and there wasn't a thing i could do. i felt (and still do sometimes) numb and in shock for a while. then the grief set in.
at its worst, grief leaves me debilitated, depressed and despairing. it's isolating and consuming and numbing. it's exhausting and requires constant vigilence to control every thought, because if left to run free, grief has made me want to die.
but at its best, there is something holy about grief. grief refines me. grief teaches me that God chastens those he loves. it has refocused my priorities and directs every choice i make. it leaves me softer, more receptive, more raw and vulnerable. grief increases my capacity to feel.
the Savior said "blessed are those who mourn." i mourn. i grieve. and i am blessed. His grace has been my supply. i am overwhelmed at having tasted even the smallest portion of His mercy and goodness. He continues to create peace through the heartache and hope through the despair.
people often say that their spouse is their better half. if that were true, losing that half would be a clean cut, simply a missing piece. losing mike has been neither of those things. he wasn't my better half; he is what made me whole. he made me who i am through his life and now his death. because of him i know what it means to love and be loved. i know what happiness is. i know what heaven will feel like and i know i want it.
i haven't been cut or severed from him; he is still close and will always be part of our life. but our life, which is now simply "my" life, has been broken and destroyed. someone once described it to me as a glass shattering in a million tiny pieces that can't be put together in the same way again. instead, you have to create a new glass through which to view life.
so i'm trying to create that new glass, relying on God and mike and our huck and fin. these babies make the view pretty sweet.