Tag Archives: loss of loved one

Five years later …

or nearly so, I am still sorting through my late husband’s things.

I should be past overpowering sadness by now.

I suppose I am, mostly.

But being a writer and photographer hinders that absolution.

Just when I begin to ascertain peace in my life, words intervene; I write about him and tear those nearly closed wounds open again.

It is as though he died this day, this moment, this hour.

Sadness seeps through the crevices the words carve.

Normal humans move forward, live their lives, make something of themselves from the shattered remains.

I want that, too.

But I’m a writer.

I’m a photographer.

I keep tearing those wounds, just as they’re healing, open.

I love writing about everything and photographing God’s perfect beauty; but it has a price.

I pay dearly through my words for they rip open wounds I’ve desperately attempted to close.

I bleed, painfully, and use photography to heal me.

Each image I capture stitches the brokenness and, simultaneously, pours remembrance on not quite yet healed hurts.

If one is not an artist of some kind, time will ease your pain.

For the rest of us, those with creative pieces in our soul, time simply laughs.

When the words, melodies and images are in our head and heart, there is little time can do.

What it can do is soon undone by what we are.

Sadness is my destiny, peace my hope.

And yet I write.

I photograph.

My hope is great.

My healing never really comes.

I have to ask myself if I would be willing to sacrifice my writing and photography for peace.

No, I answer.

I can live without peace.

To live without words and images would truly and altruistically destroy me.

That which brings me sadness will fuel my hope.

I am a writer and photographer.

Therein lies my hope.

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Cooking for one isn’t for everybody

Cooking for one.  There are tons of books and videos on how to cook for one.  How to make a dish so that it is sized for one person with leftovers for the following day.  Well, I have news.  When you cook for one, but have leftovers for another meal, you are cooking for two, but if calling it cooking for one with leftovers is enough for you, then go with it.  When my husband was living, we cooked together.  Sometimes he would amaze me with dishes that even the finest restaurant couldn’t touch.  I told him many times that I would put him head to head against the best chefs in the country any day of the week.  Cooking was a joy and a pleasure, but then it became a chore.  I can find no pleasure in cooking anymore.  I want to.  I want to be able to concoct things from a little of this and a little of that, but I just can’t seem to find the desire.  I still have the skills and the know-how, I just don’t want to.  I don’t want to cook something that nobody but myself can smell or taste.  It is one of the odd changes that took place in my life after the death of Jim.  Cooking used to be a balm for a bad day … huge, complicated Italian or Indian dishes, Thai chicken and curry beef … but somewhere along the way, it became a burden instead of a pleasure.  At first, I felt a bit guilty, as though I were letting someone down, but then I realized that there is nothing wrong with me or the way I feel.  Can I still cook?  Sure I can, and with the best of them, but do I want to?  Very rarely.  Instead, I call my mom to see what she’s having for dinner.  Many things have changed, cooking being the least of them.  For the first time in my life, I am honestly, truly on my own.  I have no one to answer to, no one to please, no one to cook for and no one to make conversation with.  At first, it was frightening, but as time passes, it becomes liberating and I find myself embracing the thought of being alone.  I realize that while I was trying to get used to it, I got used to it.  One can’t expect to adapt overnight.  It’s been two and a half years since I lost the love of my life and I am just now starting to  live without him.  If you’re still struggling, don’t beat yourself up.  The time will come when you will realize that life goes on and you can either live it or let it pass you by.  Choose wisely.

John 16:22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

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Finding peace in the midst of sorrow

Time heals all wounds.  How many times I have said that.  Then, after my husband Jim’s death, how many times I heard it.  The first time I heard it, I was immediately sorry for every time that phrase had passed through my lips.  I vowed to never say it again and I haven’t.  Instead, I tell the truth as I have found it to be.  I tell people who have recently  lost a very significant person in their lives to death that the first year is the hardest 365 days they will ever face and the second year, especially in the beginning, won’t be much better.  It is a path strewn with obstacles, fear, grief, anger, betrayal, loss and a brokenness that feels like it will never end.  As soon as one “first anniversary without” passes, another one is on it’s heels.  And if no anniversary is imminent, there are the songs, movies, peopleclicking will open new window for link to Through the Eyes of the Spirit greeting cards and places that bring the loss so close it threatens to suffocate me.  Alone, I am no challenge to such deep pain.  I, on my own, would have folded the first week, tucked my tail between my legs and given up.  But I wasn’t alone.  He who knows all about me, including the horrifying loneliness and gut-wrenching emptiness, was with me.  When I was unable to hold my head up, He held it for me.  When I went days without sleeping or eating, He knew.  When I broke down and sobbed because I had no place for the hurt to go, He stroked my hair. When I found no joy in photography, He showed me something incredible. He made me realize that I was not, nor had I ever been, alone.  He showed me that I, though lost without Jim, had to heal before I could carry on for His glory.  Healing is still a work in progress.  It has been nearly two years, and while my thoughts are no longer consumed by Jim, I think of him several times a day.  There is nothing wrong with that.  At first, I felt guilt that my mind wasn’t filled with thoughts of him and cried about that nearly every day.  I had no peace. That stunted my healing significantly.  But, always faithful, God led me past that guilt into a place that let me find pieces of myself that I had hidden away during the months when I refused to feel joy.  How, I asked myself many times, could I laugh and be joyful when the man I had given my heart to was dead.  The real truth was revealed.  Without my Heavenly Father, there would have been no joy to start with.  With Him, I could feel joy and sorrow, loss and laughter, grief and happiness, all at the same time and it was ok. He showed me where peace was and, low and behold, it was right where I had left it… in His love. Healing really did begin after that realization but it wasn’t time that healed me, it was Jesus.  So the truth is this:  Time doesn’t heal anything … It only gives faith and grace the time to work as healing comes with reliance on the Lord.  Whether the healing time is a few weeks or a few years, if God is given control, healing will, without doubt or reservations, come, and time will continue to pass because that’s what it does.