The Remarkable Warmth of Routine

Got up this morning and got ready for church. The usual banter accompanied our preparations; “Does this look ok?”, “15 minutes till we go”, “Do we have everything?” Arrived at church and took my usual seat next to the guy in class that always gives me a hard time, in a good way. Moved to my normal seat in the service, and enjoyed worshipping the Lord with my church family. Afterwards, we got lunch ready for the Chiefs game and watched them play on tv. All of these things are as normal for us as any well-worn routine.

Except… Jana was not with us.

Later in the day, I realized that we had stepped through all of our typical steps for the day, and without Jana I wasn’t happy. Nothing is the same. I missed visiting with her as we got ready for church conversing about the spiritual issues that we were working on or special things going on at church. I missed her being late! I miss sitting with her, listening to her sing and praise God in the service. I missed hearing her heart regarding the scripture and sermon after we got home. I missed our routine of getting the game on, making lunch together, and watching while we eat. I missed seeing her fall asleep by the third quarter and resting quietly next to me while I watched the end of the game. I missed doing whatever we would have done after that… I miss her.

Some days just suck. Waves of pain wash over me from out-of-nowhere. Today, my emotions were as varied as the colors in the rainbow. Anger, sadness, joy, and sorrow all made theirselves at home in my mind. I can feel myself acting on some of these emotions, particularly anger or frustration, and I am not happy about it. I can be snippy or crabby with others. I can’t do that.

I went for a walk/run tonight. This seems to work well for getting the energy out which fuels the emotions. I may cry or pray while I walk, but the exercise always seems to calm me down.

Sometimes the fact that Jana is not here becomes so excruciatingly unbearable that I wonder how I can make it. There are moments of pain that run deeper than the constant depressed feeling. These moments can last for up to an hour or so, and don’t seem as if they will end. This pain is intense, but before and after this acute time of grief, there is a build up of sorrow which also lasts for some time afterward. Anxiety, pain in my stomach, needing to cry, and any other cathartic behaviors are associated with these waves of suffering.

Normal. Everything I read or study says that I’m normal. And…I would agree. It’s part of my work. My work is steady. I see some, albeit small, victories on occasion. Little signs that tell me my work is actually accomplishing something. My grief work will not result in Jana coming back, she wouldn’t want to if given the chance!. So, my successful grief work will see me change. It will see me able to live again through, finding new routines, enjoying old routines, and experiencing a joy in my memories of Jana, our life together, and the wonderful things that came from our marriage.

Author: kcradioman

I am the Director of Twin Oaks Family Care in Excelsior Springs, Mo. I hold a Master of Arts in counseling from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and, currently, am working on the Doctor of Ministry in Care and Counseling at MBTS. My wife and I were married in 1998 and we had 2 daughters. On July 26th, 2019, my lovely wife, Jana, was diagnosed with Leukemia and began treatment. On Aug 7th, 2019, she died of complications from the chemo treatment. God prepared us and sustains us. My way of grieving includes being open and transparent about my feelings. My hope is to provide a voice of support for others experiencing grief.

One thought

  1. I’m five years into this grief journey and can identify a lot. The early days and months are the toughest. Looking back i don’t know how i survived but I did and so will you. The pain will always be there but it gets better in ways it’s difficult to describe. Hang in there..

    Liked by 1 person

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