Struggle with a Memory

Early days of our current office. So much fun, so much hope…

At times the vision of my sweet wife in death won’t leave my mind. I will think of her last breaths, and that is the memory that comes to mind. Yes, it was shocking. We don’t see our loved ones so still. Yes, in a weird way, I am glad that I was there, and saw what I did…I would not have been anywhere else but by her side. I just don’t want that to be my “go to” memory…

I am feeling the separation more now. Almost a month and a half, I am still very torn with trying to keep her here and living without her. The separation is a loss of vivid memory, short-term stuff is getting cloudy, even our daily routines seem like so long ago… Of course, much of my memory is firmly held and forever will be. But, maybe…I am starting to be able to emotionally hand her over to God?

Looking through the picture role on my camera brings back memories of Jana, going back through her last days at the hospital, then the beginning of our summer, and further as I scroll. There are no new photos. What I have is what I have. Just another difficult realization, something else that will never happen. Why do the disappointments keep stacking up?

There may be different fronts that I am pushing here. Emotionally, I am a wreck. But, spiritually speaking, I am realizing God’s plan and provision both for her and I. Maybe not “realizing” so much as I am just coming around to the truth. I still hold her close, tell her goodnight, and cry over her picture. I can feel my thinking and behavior changing…slowly.

In all actuality, I want my thinking and behavior to change. I can’t live like this! My life would be permanently broken if I could not work through this grief. It is often said, “what would she want?” I think that is a good point of reference. We’re it the other way around, I would want Jana to grieve, but get through and find joy and fulfillment in life again. I know she would say the same.

There is a better point of reference, though, I think. When I think of Jana in death, and remember her there, I have begun remembering that at that point I said good-bye for now. I will see her again! This gives me freedom to pursue God’s will for my life here! I am still here, and there is work to do. Jana has run her race and she has moved to her reward in heaven. I am still running. Still serving. Still living…

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

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.

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