Life Under Our Roof

{repost from 10/22/2020}

I don’t really know how to start an update other than to just jump in. No magical words, no sentiment could capture life under our roof but I’ll try. Mostly to stay connected. Losing a spouse is a lonely gig and, while my inner circle is amazing, it’s still quite often just me and my thoughts – and the God who is running the whole show.

So I thought I’d spill some of these thoughts. This might be long…

Losing a spouse has to be one of the hardest things ever, I’m convinced of it. And I/we have been through a lot of hard stuff – Lyme disease, brain cancer, failed adoption, not being able to have more kids, and other things only known to a few. Suffering willingly and not so willingly accepted and borne out of obedience to God’s will. Suffering that has produced an intense wrestling and ultimate deep abiding with the Lord. Suffering that reminds me God’s plans will never be thwarted and the narrow Way is only the Way of the Cross.

And then losing Michael.

It has made every other suffering pale in comparison.

I thought I was abandoned. In the days and weeks leading up to his final days I thought I was holding it all equally: life and death, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. But I was probably in shock. For no one can prepare or even fathom the loss of a spouse until the moment it happens and continues to unfold.

And then, when united to the Lord’s fire of purification and the burning of the Holy Ghost of what He’s doing with it all, grief takes a form of martyrdom. I’m not claiming to be a martyr or a saint, but daily it feels as if more of me is dying, more of me is being consumed by the love of Christ, more of me is offered and given. That when the grief hits and is subsequently united to Jesus I receive another blow of the nails, another thorn in the crown: uniting the physical and emotional loss of Michael in my being to the spiritual workings of God in my soul.

I was always afraid of being a martyr. But a blow of the guillotine would be far more preferable to this death by a thousand paper cuts.

Damn, I miss him so much. The longing making me nauseous, making me drive down to the end of the road just so I can scream, making me fall into Jesus’ arms because that’s where Michael is and that is where I will find resurrection in of all this.

I was just watching a video I took two days before he died. Of him still trying to make faces and reaching over for a kiss and Lourdes swabbing his mouth. The hospice nurse was there that day: she said she’d never seen someone so alert and responsive while so close to death. We had him until the very end, what a gift. Taking care of him, ushering him into eternal life will forever be the greatest gift I’ve been given. Him receiving a death that would give him time to prepare his soul for this eternity and ensure he was in a state of grace was probably the greatest gift he was given. And yet I so miss everything from our life together, from this past year, from taking care of him, being tucked away in the hospital away from the rest of the world. I miss the hopes and dreams we had. I miss all the time wasted in silly pursuits and stubbornness and pride. I miss seeing my kids with their dad…so many layers of missing and longing and grieving.

Through it all the God I almost abandoned a month ago and through an act of the will embraced once again, has been sustaining with a grace from His deepest self. A grace revealing mysteries and preparing me. For those that are mourning, that are poor in spirit, those that are persecuted and slandered, those that long for mercy and peace WILL be filled. My prayer at all hours, even waking in the night and uttering without me even knowing, is for redemption, restoration, and the *resurrection* of my family. Of Michael and I in our marriage, of us together with our kids. Whatever that looks like. Every tear offered to God, held in His hands, as currency for my requests. Asking God to be God and bring goodness out of the evil that is death. For this is the deep essence of the Creator of the Universe: that, in our humble repentance, He will conquer evil, use it to create greater saints than if it never existed, and reveal His Great Glory over all things.

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

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