In talking to so many people this week about Bart, I find myself consoling almost every one of them. I don’t want anybody to be sad. I don’t want anybody to feel empty because he’s gone. I’m realizing that everyone mourns differently. The way I am mourning is way different than the way his family would mourn, his friends would mourn, and even the people that he had treatment with would mourn. Just because I am mourning differently doesn’t mean any of us is wrong in our process.
I started to begin to doubt my grief. Am I doing too good? Why am I ok? Should I be sadder? What are others thinking about the way I am handling everything??
I have buried myself in talks and scriptures this week in finding comfort in my confusion. I came across the marvelous talk by a widower, Russell M Nelson, called “Doors of Death”.
“Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” (D&C 42:45.)
Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.”
Ok, so that made me wonder, am I not crying hard enough? Do my tears not match my love for Bart??
Since Bart’s passing I have gained the knowledge that our marriage continues on. We are still in this together. We will be raising our boys together. If I remain close to my Savior, I will be closer to my husband. I feel him, I hear him, I KNOW he isn’t gone forever. I think some of these things help me with my grieving.
I have been blessed with a strong testimony. It hasn’t always been the easiest to keep it, or feel it as strong, but I KNOW that death from this life isn’t it. As Russel Nelson states:
“We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”
“We were born to die…” That is so true! What we do here really counts. What gives me comfort as well is that Bart LIVED to die…. He lived so fully. He had a wonderful testimony, and an AMAZING drive for life. He is still LIVING. His spirit is still learning, growing, and working. Bart was a professional worker, even when he wasn’t working! He always had a project. He always could make things a little better. He is doing that right now. He is so busy and he is definitely in his element, not bound by his sick body. He is free.
When I talked to one of his new friends who had a very similar cancer, she asked what had happened. “What in the world went wrong? He was doing so great! He never mentioned that he was close to Death’s Door.” I agreed. To be honest, I am not sure he wanted to think he was close. I think now, after the fact, (especially his last week) he knew he was going back to his Heavenly Home. But he never wanted to let anyone know how sick he truly was. Even me sometimes. Knowing Bart’s testimony, I’m sure when he was at Death’s Door, he may have tried to buy a little more time or made some conditions on which he would go with the other beautiful souls to Heaven. He would want to know ALL of us, all of you too, were going to be ok, and that he could still come help us when we needed it. When he was assured this “wish” would most definitely be granted, maybe that’s when he decided it was OK to return to his Heavenly and Earthly Father.
Now, knowing ALL of this has helped me in my grief. I shed tears multiple times daily. I physically miss him. I miss everything. I constantly forget he is gone. When I hear something funny, I wish he was here to tell him about it. When I see an old friend who had nice things to say about him, I would love to tell him of those encounters.
The other day I caught myself daydreaming…. He pulled up in his RX-8, got out of the car with a HUGE smile on his face, and said he was back! I let myself bask in that dream for a long as I could. And I dreamed of his embrace, his eyes, and his kiss on my lips. That dream made me happy for one small moment — but it brought so much sorrow when I came back to reality. BUT! Oh how amazing will that reunion be when it is my turn to go home?!
I am hitting the two month mark of this new journey. To me, it honestly feels so much longer. Maybe because each day is filled with so much more emotion than I thought possible. Maybe because my life as a caregiver was so busy and consuming, that now the days and nights drag on while I try to find my new normal and routine. Maybe because I already mourned the loss of my sweet husband for years during this battle with cancer? I let myself get scared and grieve MANY times during his illness, I feel I was a little more prepared for his passing than I thought. Who knows, not me yet. There is no right or wrong way to do this thing, and my way of grieving is good enough for me. It seems to be working so far.
I have made a new resolve…. To move FORWARD with my life and not just “move on.” Bart is and ALWAYS will be a huge part of who I am. He helped me find myself, and he lives on our little boys each day. I will NEVER forget the impact his wonderful soul has had on my life. I will move FORWARD with the faith that I will see him again. We will be friends, quite literally, forever. No matter what my future brings, new relationships, new homes, new experiences, I will always be close to Bart, if I am close to Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Questions to Ponder:
- How can improving your relationship with God help you better deal with your grief?
- Think back and consider what things have been impressed to your heart. How does choosing to believe those feelings help you cope?