Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Eight Weeks of Grief

Eight weeks ago today (May 3)
…I heard my husband’s audible voice for the last time.
…He went “missing”.
…I was offered the job of my prayers but rather than celebrating with my husband, I sat in a police station filing a missing person’s report.
…I cried out to God to HELP US. El Roi sees all, and I prayed El Roi would lead us to Chris. He did on May 4.

Seven weeks ago
…I was still in shock over having just buried my husband on Mother’s Day.
…I still couldn’t sleep in my own bed and still had friends coming over to stay with me and my daughter at night.
…I was angry that my husband chose to take his own life.
…I remained in God’s Word daily, but could only absorb snippets of scripture. I prayed daily, but my prayers were mostly cries and groans seeking Abba’s help.

Six weeks ago
…I was back to sleeping in my own bed and no longer had to have overnight visitors
…I struggled to understand my husband’s suicide, but I was no longer angry, I was just very, very sad and remorseful over the fact that I didn’t notice his pain. How could I have not noticed his pain?
…I began weep less in public and lots more in private.
…The shock started to leave, and the reality set in.
…God’s Word began to comfort me more.

Five weeks ago
…I spent lots of time at the cemetery, for it brought me such peace and closeness to Abba.
…I began to experience brief moments of freedom in the grief process.
…I began my new job this week, and felt such agape love from my new co-workers.
…My daughter and I continued to be blessed with meals from our church family, and we still enjoyed daily cards in the mail or weekly flower deliveries.
…I continued to abide in the Word and in other books God led me to, often through other people.

Four weeks ago
…I started to go through Chris’ things a little…starting with a pile of dirty laundry I found on our closet floor.
…The post-death paperwork started to mount, and I began to feel very overwhelmed.
…I continued to struggle with decision making, and everything I did took massive amounts of energy.
…I was exhausted all the time, as I’ve been since this journey began.
…I finally started talking with more people about how my husband died. Suicide no longer was my shame.
…God’s Word – still my lifeline.

Three weeks ago
…I started to realize that there would be many “firsts” that I would be experiencing following Chris’ death.
…I continually longed for heaven and for Jesus to return quickly.
…The meals stopped, so my daughter and I began to have to figure out nutrition on our own again. Something that should be simple…not so easy it seemed.
…The cards stopped coming, as I knew they would. By they were a bright spot in my day while they lasted…just like my husband, in a similar way.
…I begged God to take me deeper in His Word.

Two weeks ago
…I began to realize the emotional roller coaster of grief. I just never realized what a truly “wild ride” it would be.
…God began to connect me with other women that have walked similar journeys.
…I started to understand that, with God, I can make it through this. He’s just going to have to give me the “want to”.
…I craved God…literally craved Him. I began to lean on scripture’s teaching of God as Husband of the widow.

One week ago
…I continued riding the emotional grief pendulum. Some days would be good but would turn sour before the day ended. Sometimes the reverse would be true.
…I only visited the cemetery once this week, and I felt like I cheated Chris. I know he’s not there…really I do, but I still feel like I need to be out there more often than that.
…I experienced my best day since Chris died during a day trip to Atlanta with my daughter and her friend.
…I seek to know God…really know God through His Word.

And today (June 28)
…It's still early yet, but I pray I do something today to glorify the GREATNESS of God!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Leah. I'm so sorry. Can you send me your mailing address?

  2. Yes Elaine. I'll send it to you via a FB msg. Thanks for reading my journey. Leah

  3. Oh, Leah, it's amazing how the journey of grief is the same in some ways for everyone. I've experienced most of those and only last week did I feel "happy" instead of "miserable". It is a roller-coaster ride and I'm glad that I'm riding with God and letting Him carry me. I realized this morning that I had not looked toward the graveyard as I was leaving the house and I did feel guilty (strange as that sounds). My dad made the comment just the other day that all the cards and phone calls had stopped. I think we forget or don't realize how much they helped. My prayers continue to be with you.

  4. Leah -- thank you for sharing your journey. It's heartbreaking to read and I pray that God is giving you comfort as you take on each new day. We lost my brother in law to suicide and it is so hard to understand -- I still don't know what made him take his own life and I likely never will. I pray that God gives you an extra measure of peace.

    I'll see you at She Speaks -- and I hope we are able to connect for a few minutes, at least.

  5. I'm so proud of you. Honored to call you friend. Keep breathing.

  6. Leah, what an amazing journey you've had. When you put it in writing like this, it's easy to see the hand of God guiding you through all this. He's not done with you--not by a longshot!

  7. You continue to amaze me with your faith and constant craving of God. I want to crave him constantly and not food all the time. (Yes, I have Lysa's book. LOL.) I hope you and Raye Davis have connected more. I think there are more and more wives out there that hold the shame of suicide and they need your wisdom and faith to set it free.

  8. Even when you feel at your weakest...you are obviously being used of God to bless all of us with your honesty and vulnerability! You ARE glorifying God in an amazing way. I am so proud of you, and trust it will get easier each and every day. Just because it gets easier doesn't mean you cheat or forget Chris either...don't forget that! Love you girl and hope someday we can meet and I can give you a big, BIG hug!!!

  9. Leah,
    I pray that as you walk this incredibly difficult journey, you and your sweet daughter will sense the Father's presence with you continually. May He reveal Himself, comfort you, touch and heal your hearts, and grant you peace, peace, peace.

  10. Oh, sweet Leah! How my heart aches for you! I know that God is using you and will continue to greatly use you to lavish HIS love on others who are hurting like you. Know that you now have another new friend lifting you before the Throne of Grace.
    Can't wait to meet you face-to-face at SHE SPEAKS!

  11. Thanks once again for sharing and providing a road map of sorts for those who might find themselves on your journey. May HE continue to give you the words and the encouragement to write them. Been praying for you!

  12. Leah,
    Thank you for sharing your heart in this journey. It stinks that we can't always choose where we minister, and I'm grateful that you have opened yourself up so completely to the Father and His healing. You, and Chris, will touch so many through this. See you in three weeks.

  13. Leah, I'm so proud of God's presence in you! The process will continue to be a wild ride, but I'm so happy to see you sitting in His lap. Love you!

  14. Praying, Leah. So proud of your transparency in this difficult journey. Praying that God's grace and comfort continue to carry you through these hard days.

    You are well loved.

    See you soon! I have a HUG for you!