Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sometimes ......


...... I still cry really, really hard.

Sometimes ...... I cannot seem to stop.
Not often.
Not any more.
But sometimes.

Last night four of my kids and I went to see Tom Hank's new play, "Lucky Guy".  We were so excited to be seeing him, an actor we've all enjoyed thoroughly over the years.
It was good.

It was a true story ...... about a New York reporter who made quite a name for himself back in the 80's and early 90's.
This man is no longer alive, and that was brought out in the play.
He had survived a horrifying car crash, only to die of cancer a few years later.

My tears started flowing when his wife said something like this:
"We had been through so much.  SO much.  When you go through so much and survive, you think that  the rest of life will be easier.  It should be easier."

I cry now as I type those words, because damnit, that's what I believed.
We'd been through so much.
The year 2001 was a year that will always live in infamy for me.
Of course ...... it pales in comparison to 2007.  Now.
If I'd only known.

Anyway, the end of 2001 ushered in not only 9/11 but a huge upheaval in the industry Jim worked.   Huge.
He had worked for one firm since we graduated from college.  Twenty years.  A life time ...... for some.
Twenty years tossed into the wind after the end of 2001.
He/we were blessed.  He was great at what he did and so had no problem finding another firm who wanted to add him to their roster.  But still ...... twenty years of working and making friendships and seeing the same people every year at the Christmas party and other get-togethers.  Twenty years of sharing stories of raising our children and watching families grow and watching children grow up.
Twenty years disappearing right before our eyes.

And, during our Thanksgiving vacation to his parents' farm in 2001, he was target shooting and the gun blew apart ...... into his face.  Fortunately, I was with him that one and only time.  I was able to drive us back to the farm to get his dad and head to the hospital.
He lost his eye.
But thankfully nothing worse.  Pieces of the gun came close to entering his brain.
All he lost ...... was his eye.

As one can imagine, it was a very difficult loss.  And a very difficult recovery.  All I could think, over and over again, was "If we can just make it to the one year mark, things will be so much better."
And we did.

He went through so much.
And then he died.
And I wondered what the hell was the point of all of that.
Really, God ...... what was the freakin' point?!

I'll never know.  Just as I'll never know why he had to die.
And I've come to peace with that.  Because I know this:  even if God himself came down and told me exactly why Jim had to die ...... the reason would not be good enough for me.  Ever.
And so I don't ask anymore.

But ...... he went through so much.
We went through so much.
One would think that the rest of life would be ...... should be ...... easier.

One would be wrong.


  1. my first child died in an accident at 19 months i rebuilt my life it was a good one 25 years later my husband dies in an accident and im rebuilding again but as you said i dont question why any more there is not any reason that would be good enough

  2. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of when I got very, very, very sick. I was very ill for two years - to the point where I had one of those call buttons around my neck whenever I was alone. Eventually I got a bit better and a bit better after that. Now, I'm well enough to live on my own, fortunately, but still not well by any other standard.

    My husband took amazing care of me, joyfully, happily and I was so happy when he retired a few years ago and could have a rest and be looked after by me for a change. I was looking forward to lovely years of peace at home. That lasted about 18 months. Then he got sick and I took care of him - good care of him. It just wasn't enough.

    You're right, we do some sort of math in our heads that says we've been through so much, don't we deserve a break, or haven't had our share of heartache for a while. In the two years since his death I have often found myself shouting at - I'm not sure anymore - REALLY?!? I need more?!? as the hits keep on coming. There is no real "fairness" in this or any of that you only get what you can handle nonsense. It just is and we endure as best we can and hope to find and savor our moments of grace. So I savor the beauty of our life and our love and curse that it wasn't nearly long enough.

  3. I'm so sorry for the rough road that ended in what seems to us as "needless death"....we just want our guy back! And I agree, any answer from God as to the why would not satisfy, and I too, have quit asking. Because it doesn't matter. And when I get to heaven and am in the presence of the Lord, and as everyone says "you will find out your answer", I don't think it will matter then either, because I will be in the presence of God and that will be enough.
    But for now, for today, I am certainly NOT in heaven. I used to be grateful for another day of life, when my Marty was here, now, death does not haunt me. I'm feel like I'm ready, I've always been "ready" but not wiling, I clung to life on earth tightly. Now, having experienced "sudden death", I know how in the blink of an eye my whole life changed forever. The lives of my kids too. They are one reason and maybe the only reason I am content to still be breathing. They are adults in their late 20s and early 30s and this has been so hard. They loved their Dad and he loved them and they knew it; I pray that I can remain in their lives as Mom and spare them from more pain. But one thing I do know is how much I don't know. Obviously, God isn't finished with me yet.
    My counselor says "the road of suffering is a high calling", my kids say "the road of suffering sucks".......I tend to agree with them. This does not feel like a high calling because the pain is so deep and agonizing.
    I'm sorry that after all that your Jim and you went through......early death and widowhood was the final stop.

    1. There are no least none that we understand. I experienced the sudden accidental death of my husband 4 months ago. We were married for 33 years and also have 2 adult children in their late 20s. We all miss him so much and miss how things used to be...they adored him - its a painful journey now as you just try and get through day to day, because there is a void where once your hopes of growing old together were and your dreams of seeing your children have their own families (our first grandson was born 3 months after he passed). He has been a very bittersweet gift, but such a much needed reason to smile. So we all try and pick up the pieces to this new 'normal'. I really try to believe this is part of a bigger plan and that my husbands work was done here and that he is now witnessing the glory of God and hopefully watching over us to help us heal and move forward without him.

    2. Anon - our journeys are so similar; although it has been 25 months for me, I lost my husband to "sudden death" - he left for work and didn't come home; we were almost married 32 years and we have 3 adult children; my third grand-daughter was just born last Thursday - he will never know her; my insides hurt from trying to process feelings that don't feel processable! I agree it's part of the bigger plan, but alot of the time that isn't of much comfort. I do believe my Marty is with God in His glory too.

    3. Mjay - does it really get any easier? there are some days I get blindsided with unbearable grief that it does make me question this plan. It's hard picking up the pieces and standing 'alone' - I virtually went from my parents house and college, to being married - so at 57 years old, this is a bit scary - but we all have no choice but to put one foot in front of the other - God bless you and congratulations on your new grandaughter - I know my sweet grandson has brought all of us alot of joy in these last 3 weeks.

  4. Once agin your post resonates with me. My Mike suffered so very much and kept bouncing back,we kept thinking OK we can deal with this as long as we're together. But things got worse and he eventually did pass - I questioned everything and feel I suffered along with him and now I continue to in a different way. After 3 yrs I finally feel the shift in me,and am doing better, but some days it hits and hard and the tears don't stop - why all the suffering? why the pain? Why did he have to die? Just plain WHY? I so understand....

  5. I can so resonate with the "why" question. I lost my partner (Ron) very suddenly 11 months ago - and emotions are still so raw. I question God doing this to me (I know that will probably be a big strike against me, and I know I am being selfish as others have had to endure much more, and much worse) only resolve is that I presume He doesn't make mistakes, and there is a purpose or overall grand scheme which I am not privy to...yet... If only they would "lift the veil" occasionally and give me a glimpse so that I can get a hint that I am at least heading in the right direction to re-purpose my life. That is my difficulty now...what is the purpose of my life...what is the future for me without Ron to share it together and with...


  6. Don't we all think this way? thanks for this post. I was just thinking the same thing. Like you even if I knew why, it wouldn't be good enough for me either.

  7. Janine, so very true. My husband and father battled through serious illnesses in 2001. My dad died early in 2002. We thought we had done "our time" and life would get easier and it did for awhile. That is until 2010, when a stroke took my husband's life. So unfair for all of us. You would think we are all entitled to an easy chair for what life remains, but no, that is not how it works.

  8. Thank you for this post - I have read it again and again. I am new to this site. Tom has been gone "only" a month now (ah, the paradox of time.). I am already so tired of people telling my children and me that this is all part of "God's plan". Like my son asks, "Why did God plan to kill Daddy?". No, the plan was to fall in love and be happy. Then crappy things kept getting in the way.... Like you, we believed "if we survive this, it will get better. But instead of getting a chance to enjoy anything at all--(like our first family vacation EVER)--- he died. What the heck?!!!!

  9. Life does have its' challenges, doesn't it? I look around at others, and think how easy their lives seem. The family unit is intact. But everyone, yes everyone, has challenges of one sort or another. Doesn't make any of it easier for me, but just to know that you all are here, and somehow surviving day to day, makes it a wee bit easier for me to continue too.

    I've been through some challenges over the years that I would wish on no one , but nothing prepared me for his early death. For me it was, and still is, the ultimate challenge. I feel I failed him in not seeing him through to better health. He was there to see me through, and I couldn't do a damn thing for him. I know it's not my fault, but I'm stuck in this place, and even tho the sun is shining and life going on around me, the hand I've been dealt certainly isn't the one I anticipated.

    I still cry, too.

  10. I was just telling my sister, who is a widow too, how even though it is 7 and a half years now, I still can cry the "hard" cry. You know, the one where the sounds come from god knows where. Still. I would have never thought it would still suck as bad as it does on some days. Not every day, but some. Thank you for letting me know I am not some sort of grief freak who can't "move on."