I had been doing so well over the past several days. I smiled, laughed, felt contentment and joy in my heart again. Then, without warning, the grief knocked me down with so much force I felt as though everything good was gone forever. I wasn't prepared. I was warned. Warned by every book I've read, every grief support group I've joined, by so many others who have walked this road before me. But, I wasn't prepared.
How did I let this happen? Could I have done something different? Have I completely failed myself by ignoring the warnings others tried to give? Did I really think it could be that easy to let go of a lifetime of loving and living and making memories? I don't know. I'm back to square one; I don't know.
The older I get, the more I realize I don't know. Did I stop learning somewhere along the way? Did I stop paying attention? Was anything in my life prior to this preparing me for this and I just didn't notice? I'm so full of questions and have NO answers. I've prayed, but it feels like my prayers aren't reaching the ceiling, much less the heavens above.
Oh my Lord in heaven, will this happen again? Will I feel as though I'm making gains and actually beginning to feel again just to have my feet knocked from beneath me again? How does one survive repeated attacks like this? Again, all questions with NO answers!
Nine years ago at this time, Terry and I were settled into a skilled nursing room at the Baptist Hospital in Memphis. He was so broken and bed-ridden, but he was healing and he was alive. That's all that mattered to me....he was alive. Everything was going to be just fine, he was alive. I remember so well making that statement to so many people who called to inquire about how we were doing.
Now I realize that his dying started nine years ago. He was never the same again after the accident. As I look back over the years, I see the consistent progression of poor health that overtook him following the accident. I couldn't see it as we were going along. Or, perhaps I didn't WANT to see it. Whatever the case may be, I missed it somewhere along the line.
At his home going celebration, a friend he had worked with made the most precious speech. He told me of how Terry always had me at the forefront of everything he did. They worked a dangerous job. They worked in research and development for a pyrotechnics developer and manufacturer for the American military, as well as multi-national military units around the world.
If they were going to be doing something particularly dangerous, this man said Terry would always take the time to call me first. He would tell him "I have to call Di, just in case". I knew he called often from work, but he never told me why. He always said "I just called to tell you I miss you and I love. See you this afternoon!" He couldn't and wouldn't tell me about his job. He never wanted me to worry about him.
Every afternoon while driving home from work, he would call me on his cell phone and talk to me till he pulled into our driveway. On the particular Thursday afternoon of his accident, he was so tired he just wanted to hurry home. So, instead of calling, he just concentrated on driving. I will always wonder if things would have been different had he called. I'll never know.
All I know is now I'm left alone. So alone, I feel disconnected from everything and everyone around me. I feel like I'm back to just going through the motions again. I have cried until I think I couldn't possibly have tears left, yet they still fall. The anguish spills over in groans that I can't understand. Yet, I know the Lord does.
Therein lies my only hope. The Lord knows my pain. He understands my broken heart. I reach out to Him and He is always there. I call out to Him and He never turns me away. Oh, I deserve to be turned away! But, He never does. That's just one of the things I find so absolutely amazing about God. "A father to the fatherless and a defender of the widows" says Psalms 68:5.
Lord, I am so thankful You understand me and defend me. I am so thankful that I can't go far enough away from You to make You stop loving me and waiting for my prodigal return.