Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I've Met The Most Amazing People ......

This is a post I wrote on my blog ten months after Jim died.  I thought that I'd share it with you today.  I don't go back and read most of my posts.  I don't like re-visiting that "cave".  Especially those days where that cold, inky blackness totally engulfed me, filled every pore of my body and threatened to completely suffocate me.
But once in a while I'll remember a "lighter" post, which trust me, were few and far between back then.  I thought this one was interesting.  I hope you do, too.

October 10, 2008 
   Well, it's another late night so I have no idea where this will go.  I don't have the energy to find a picture of Jim to put here so I'm just going to "emote".

Note:  any time you see the word "emote" on my blog you should immediately run away.  If you have a Mac you should go to the top left corner and click on the X.  If you own a PC you should exit from this page (is it the top right side?  I can't remember).  
Anyway, you have been warned.  "Emote" = run away.  Proceed at your own risk.

     OK, here are some of the thoughts I've been thinking.  
First, I can NOT believe that it's been almost a year now in my "after".  A year.  Twelve months. Three hundred and sixty five (six with Leap Year) days.  A milestone.  A marker.  An anniversary.  An incredibly horrible amount of time to commemorate an incredibly horrible day. 
Incredible.  Horrible.
     I know it's only been almost 10 months, but 10 months is incredibly, horribly close to 12 months.
     It seems that it's been only a moment in time.  I blinked and now it's October.  Ten months later.  I need to stop blinking.

     The next thought is about my "new normal".  I know, in my head, that I have a new "normal".  But my heart has been waiting for the old normal to show up.  My heart has been waiting for things to get better.  My heart has been wanting life to carry on in the "before" way.
And now my mind is telling my heart, "Face the facts.  Life will never, ever again be "normal".  This will never, ever get better.  Your life will never, ever be the same and you won't feel the same.  You now have to adjust to the new "after".  And one day, the "after" will become "normal".  
No matter how much I don't want that.  

     Here's the next thought (if you haven't run away by now I'm giving you one last warning.  It only gets worse):
     I really, REALLY hate it when people say, "So-and-so was healed because your prayers worked."  Or "God answers prayer".  Or "If you have enough faith God will answer your prayer" or "So many people prayed for him/her that God healed him/her."
     To all of those trite and incredibly naive statements I want to answer, "Really?!?!?!!  Are you freakin' kidding me?!!".  Why is it that some peoples' prayers "work" and some don't?   Don't tell me it's the number of prayers because that has NOTHING to do with it.  I know this from personal experience.  And do NOT tell me that I did not have enough faith and so Jim died .... because that's EXACTLY what you say when you say that thing about having enough.  I had nothing but faith.  Nothing.  I had no doubt .... none, zero, zilch .... that Jim would come through that surgery with flying colors.  Not for one second.  
I.  Never.  Doubted.
And look what happened.

     If I learned anything through all of this it is this:  God is not Santa Claus.  Not even close.
We cannot give him a list of what we want or do not want and expect that He will grant our wants.  Even if that want is for physical healing of someone.  No matter how hard you pray.  No matter how many people pray.  No matter how much faith you have.
No matter.
Prayer is for you and you alone.  Prayer is for you to get closer to God.  Prayer is for you to learn to rely on God.  Prayer is for you to turn to God.  Prayer is for your relationship with God.  
Prayer is not to get your wish list.
God knows what's going to happen and what's not going to happen.  Who are we to think that we're so vital to His plan that we can change His mind?   Don't get me wrong .... I know that He loves me.  I know that He wants only good for me.  But I also know that if I weren't here He would use someone else.  

Cynical?  Maybe.  But then, all I have to go on is experience.
I love Him no less that I loved Him on December 17th, 2007.  In fact, I love Him more.  In spite.
He has been here.  Even when I don't feel Him, He's here.  He's carried me, he's wiped my tears, He's cried with me.  He is here.  
But he didn't allow Jim to live.  In spite of the prayers.  
In spite of .....

I'll never understand why and I'll never see the "good" in allowing him to die.
I can see Him using my "after" to help others.  I can see Him using my "after" for good.  But I can't see him letting Jim die so that I can see good.  I cannot believe in that kind of god.
And I can't/don't believe in a god who says, "OK, you prayed hard enough for this person....I will let him live."   Or "Hmmmm, it's too bad that you didn't pray hard enough, or get more people to pray.  Now I'm not going to let him live."
The God I believe is is not an egocentric, punitive God.  He is a God who loves me so much that He uses the horrible to do something good.  He loves me so much that He continues to bless me.  I may not see the blessings every day, but that doesn't mean they're not there. They are.  Always.

So enough of what I believe and don't believe.
Here's what I know:  I have met the most amazing people in my "after".  The women who are on this path next to me are incredible.  It's difficult to explain to the people who are not on this path.  And I pray that you never have to get on it.  But if you do, I hope that I can walk beside you.  I hope that I can be just a fraction of the support that these women have been for me.
These are both women I've met and women I have yet to meet in person.  
My Circle of friends is such a healing group of women.  They get me.  They support me.  They listen to me without thinking I need serious psychological help.  I can say anything I feel ... and they get it.  I love being with them and miss them when we're don't get together.
And that goes for certain friends that I've "met", but haven't met.  The women who share their walk with me by encouraging me with their comments.  We've never met but we've connected.
They share their lives and their experiences on their blogs and with their comments.  They are a blessing to me.
Neo, thank you so much for calling me tonight to just check on me.  For being a concerned friend.  For giving me your time.  For caring.  
I appreciate you.  And can't wait to spend some time with you!!
And now it is after 11:30 at night and I can't keep my eyes open.
Have a good Thursday and thank you to those amazing women on this path who have commented.  

Good night.


  1. Oh Janine, I sooooo agree. Well said! I also cringe at those typical statements of prayers and faith. And many times I have screamed in my head: faith, prayers AND God's will. Me and my family didn't even have time for prayers or faith--my husband was killed instantly in a car accident. By the time we were aware of the accident he had been dead for a couple of hours. We didn't get the chance for faith and prayers!

  2. Isnt it funny how we can be surrounded by friends and women who are also in the circle of widowhood that show so much support and encouragement but, yet we have family members who cant even pick up a phone to see how we are doing! Or people who hate their lives and we have to hear the complaining ! This is what puzzles me & which makes me question the big WHY GOD ! why take someone (my husband) who loved us more than life and who loved life so much, who never complained about his heart condition, who lived life to its fullest until the end! This so called new normal is a awful stituation to be in. I just keep praying and hoping that some day I will get a answer!

    1. Amen sister! Thank you Jul!

    2. Janine, I always look forward to Wednesdays and reading your blogs. The first thing that struck me today was the date: October 10, 2008. You see that was my "before". Before I could even begin to imagine that this widow/er world existed, that I would ever be a part of it, that all of you out there were in the same world as I am. Then, suddenly, the shock of my entire life....and here I am a part of this "after" Now 3 years later so exceptionally grateful so many wonderful people who have suffered this intense loss who can express so much gratitude and compassion for each other. Amazing people who I might never be blessed to meet, yet are truly special in my "after" world!

      Thanks to everyone who contributes! My path is easier traveled with my cyber friends!

  3. Someone recently posted on facebook that if you just pray and believe that you can get miracles. I politely posted my disagreement, and said this belief is actually cruel to those that did not see their prayers answered, because the blame then falls on them for not praying or believing enough. We went back and forth a time or two, and then I got the reference to my situation and the fact that everyone "heals in their own time". I said that I held this belief even before my loss, and that the only difference is before the loss I would probably not have posted my opinion. I am so tired of speaking my mind and being dismissed because of my "healing". On the one hand people avoid me and my kids because they don't want to see the pain of our loss, and at the same time others won't have a normal conversation because of our "healing". It truly is exhausting.

  4. Janine - I don't pray but when I give thanks to the universe I include you. I don't think I would be here without you. I know that.
    I have said it before but maybe what we are really here to do is help each other and to say thank you.

  5. That's sweet. I am glad that you have been able to keep your faith. Mine was an early casualty to this...after in which I live. I'm now mostly bitter toward/about the idea of a divine being. Maybe someday that'll change but as of now I feel like religion pulled a "bait and switch" routine on me and I don't take kindly to it.