Crossing the Valley of Grief

From the mome100_0014nt we got Tim’s cancer diagnosis, I knew a vast valley lay before me. I knew, save a miracle, that in the not so distant future, he’d be gone, and I’d be left to grieve.

For two and half years, I dreaded it. And no matter how much care Tim required, having him around was always better than losing him. And the longer I could delay that grief, the better.

I’d experienced enough loss to know grief of that magnitude would take at least a year to muddle through. And there wouldn’t be much I could do to rush the journey. So after Tim died, I gave myself the grace to endure whatever the year held.

But I never expected the grief to go on at that level for another year.

It swallowed me. Many mornings it weighed on me like an x-ray blanket at the dentist. When I stood up, it pressed against me on all sides. I questioned whether I’d ever be myself again.

That’s when I stopped and took an inventory. Who did I have to lean on? How do I reach out and share my fears for my own well beingIMG_2572? What did I need to change to start the healing process?

Then I took it all to the foot of the cross. There I asked God to reveal who the best people were to help me. After all, not everyone is capable of walking with us for that fourth or fifth mile. And Tim’s illness and death was a full journey on its own.

The list was short. But it was complete. I needed a couple ladies with good ears to listen. I needed to talk about Tim. To articulate that big empty hole in my life. To hear myself tell myself I was going to be okay. To hear them voice their confidence in me.

I also needed an intense exercise program. One that included a plan for healthier eating.

DSC00348Finally, I made it through year two, and rounded the corner on my grief.

Now It’s a rare morning when I awake feeling that suffocating weight. The empty hole is still there, but I honor it for what it is – the vast value Tim filled in my life. And I welcome the notion that I’ll always miss him.

Today, I’m no longer the woman who started this journey. And my decision to turn everything over to Him, showed me just how capable He is of doing exceedingly more than I ever imagined.

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4 comments

  1. I’m honered to have been a part of that process!
    I’ve said it many times, you are a new creation and very courageous. Love you friend❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Ellen Gee,

    Wow, I can’t imagine the loss or journey you have walked. Dear friends of mine who know grief say that year two was harder than year one. Did you find that to be so in your life too? I’m so sorry, Ellen. I’m thankful for the women you found to surround you and to hold you up, both then and now. It makes me realize I need to call and reach out to my grieving friends this week too. Thank you.

    Hopping over from Ann’s link up,
    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer,
      I think year two was more difficult because I wasn’t prepared. I had set myself up by expecting that one year mark to change everything. Seeking God’s help kept me from looking to other people for help that just weren’t emotionally capable of helping me. God showed me who to lean on and true to His nature, they really did see me through that difficult 2nd year.
      Ellen

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