Psalm 23:4, NIV: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Three years ago, I woke up in a hospital room to nurses and doctors rushing in to tell me my husband was struggling to breathe. So much changed in a matter of hours and I was not prepared for the day ahead, especially not calling family to come and say goodbye.
I don’t know if you can ever be prepared to say goodbye to someone that you love.
I still remember being in a daze two weeks later when I shared this post about losing him:
I was not ready that day, nor was I prepared for all the days to come in the last three years, but in reflection this is what I can tell you three years later:
- Grief does not end. Finding happiness can not replace the years that you were supposed to have together. I will always feel a pain in my chest when people talk about how many years they have been married and what anniversary they are on. I got 11 years and then the counter reset to 0. You never stop wishing for those years back.
- Pain does subside some. You can find joy again. Every day will not be riddled with pain for the rest of time. If you choose to keep living and find a way to push through the pain, one day you wake up and realize that you having been crying a little less and smiling a whole lot more.
- I will always grieve what my kids lost. Nothing can ever replace the loss of a parent. Nothing. No one. While I am thankful for those who have stepped in to share in loving my children alongside me, I will always be sad for the days and years ahead that they didn’t get to have their daddy there as a part of it.
- God provided everything I needed. He provided even when I didn’t realize He was providing it. Friends who would chat in the middle of the night. Neighbors who mowed my yard for me. A new home and a fresh start with a strong support system to help lift us up when we needed it.
- God is still a good God. I do not know why Ben had to get cancer. I do not know why he had to die. He was one of the healthiest people I have known in my life. But I do know God is still good. I do know He is still on the throne. And I do believe that He still has a purpose and a plan for my life and that of my children. And maybe, just maybe that purpose would not have come to fruition if he had been able to stay here with us.
- Ben prepared us in ways I didn’t even realize til recently. He taught me how to embrace life in the midst of hard times. He taught me that cancer and death can’t win if we don’t let it. He made me realize the importance of living every day to the fullest and surrounding ourselves with people who love us. And most importantly he reminded me every day to trust God with the outcome.
I would like to believe Ben is looking down from heaven on us now. I am sure he is proud of all that we have accomplished and overcome in the last three years. I believe he would be smiling about the fact that we have kept on living life. I know he would be incredibly proud of our three beautiful kids. And I hope he knows how much we love and miss him even now, three years later.