November 16, 2021 – My Grief Journey

I have to admit, what I am calling “My Grief Journey” is virtually uncharted territory for me.

I experienced the death of my grandparents, each in my adult years and a few others that I have known, for the most part elders who had lived a full life. Until Shari’s death, my life had been fairly untouched by grief. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or bad, just my reality. I have walked with many through the death of a loved one but little had really prepared me for this journey that I now find myself on. As I share, I in no way speak with any expertise; I only share my journey and experience as a grieving husband and a few things I am discovering as I seek to live life each day.

I believe with all my heart and understanding that God prepares me today for what I will experience tomorrow and though just a short time ago I had no idea that I would find myself here today grieving the loss of my wife, best friend, ministry partner, mother to our children and grandmother to four precious little girls who were the joy of her heart, however God saw the big picture and prepared each of us for a time such as this. The pain is deep and real, and it is a journey. Though I long for a finish line, I don’t expect to wake up one morning and say, “It is over.” I have realized that loving deeply and being loved deeply leads to deep grieving.

I am realizing that Shari and I spent a lifetime (almost 40 years, 37+ years married) building a life together and now at times I feel that my task is “untwining” that life. If you haven’t walked this journey, there are legal issues that have to be dealt with; bank accounts, vehicle registrations, estate settlements, mortgages, insurance, credit accounts, etc. Then the practical issues of personal possessions; clothing, makeup, personal items, etc. that have to be dealt with. Each step of the process is a reminder of the life you built together.

There are lots and lots of tears. I told someone recently that I feel like my eyes have developed a perpetual leak. Sometimes the “trigger” is easily identifiable, other times the tears just start to flow.

I am realizing the tears are a necessary part of my grief journey.

Bob & Shari May 26, 1984

Some are tears of joy as I remember the great life Shari and I shared, and the promise of Heaven that she has now received. Other tears are over my loss and sometimes are even tears of self-pity. Some tears are for others that are also grieving, our granddaughters and our children, friends and family members. I grieve for and with those that are grieving, because of my love for Shari and for them. So, when you see the tears flow, just realize they are a vital part of my journey.

Each person’s grief journey is as unique as they are. Just like each of us have been created uniquely, each journey through grief will be unique. Even though you may have experienced a similar loss, your journey will be different than mine. There are similarities, but they are never the same. Each of us are “wired differently” and the relationship with our loved one was different. I have had well-meaning people say, “I know exactly how you feel.” No you really don’t, just like I don’t know how you feel. Most days I don’t even know how I feel, and if I do have an idea, it is likely to change quicker than the weather.

I heard this quote on a TV show recently, I didn’t catch who it was from, but Google can be a wonderful tool:

“Death ends a life, not a relationship. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here.” (Morrie Schwartz.)

I am realizing that much of what I thought I believed about death is being challenged as I make this journey.

I don’t know if any of this is beneficial to anyone reading, but it helps me to write it out and to share. So, thanks for reading.

With love and appreciation.

Leave a Comment