Tag Archives: life after loss

Notes for my new husband…

Sometimes I get stuck and I forget.

I forget how special you are and how much I love being a part of us. Life gets busy and I get tired and it clouds my remembering. When it’s cloudy, a storm might just be around the corner. I don’t like storms. I don’t like hail, it hurts, it damages. I don’t like heavy rain, it floods, I might drown.

0ne day there was a storm.

I nearly drowned. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see sunshine, I couldn’t see through those clouds. I don’t like storms.  I lost a lot in that storm.  Not a house, not things, but I lost being a part of an us when the storm of cancer took my other half away. It destroyed me. Some things were lost forever; a father, a friend, a son, a brother, a husband. Gone.

Gone.

So, I don’t like storms, I get frightened. Frightened of the weather that might bring back the clouds. I can’t stop them, I can’t predict them, there’s no app for that. If I hear the hail I worry, if I feel the heavy rain I panic…what if it’s catastrophic? What if I am not enough? What if I can’t do it all? What if I don’t make it, don’t pray enough, don’t say the right thing … can’t save everyone?

I can’t breathe.

If I bury the worry, the panic, the fear so I can’t feel them, I can’t feel anything. It makes weathering the storms easier, but I can’t feel the sunshine. I don’t feel the warmth, the growth, the life. It stays dark. Really dark.

And that’s my choice. A really hard choice.

So sometimes I get stuck and I miss the important stuff. I miss the warmth in the touch of your hand or the life in your words “I love you”. I’m sorry I miss that. I know you will protect me if you can, I know you love me. Just remember that I still need to choose and if I seem stuck, look around for the clouds, I might be hiding. Just wait for me, I’ll try not to be too long.

I will come back into the sunshine.


Family Photos

I remember the stress I created the day of our family portrait shoot. I wanted the perfect family picture, in order to proudly display my perfect  family!

Hence the stress.

Of course perfection and family are not synonymous. But I loved them and wanted something to commemorate that. I bought new clothes, haircuts all round, french tipped my nails (as if anyone could see them), and brushed the dog because she was part of the family too. It was a lot of work and I can never quite understand why kids just didn’t want to do things my way…

We got our great photos and my family is recorded smiling and happy. It was worth the effort because very quickly the photos on my hard drive changed. The photos that came after were of a man losing his hair to chemo. He didn’t want photos taken then. He died in 2013.

I go down the stairs at home and I see a photo of a woman I never knew. I often wonder if our paths crossed somewhere living in the same town, I will never know. She is the mum in the photos of another family in their happy times. She died in 2014.

2 families all lost their smiles for a while.

I, the mum from one family met the dad from the other and we found our smiles together. We joined those two families. Life for everyone did not become perfect all of a sudden but we are working on the smiles. I see them seeping back and it brightens my heart and a brighter heart has less room for darkness. That’s how happiness can grow.

Family photos are bigger now, we’ve got a few good ones so far and I pray like crazy we get a million more.

We will forever keep the photos we have of the dad and the mum that are gone, treasure them and love them. Sometimes they will make us cry, but sometimes they also brighten our hearts, and that’s how happiness can grow.

sassylanephotography-641

“This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.” 1 John 1:15


What’s in a Name?

whats in a a name

A name locates me. A name, something I am called, something I answer to and recognize. It’s a familiarity that grabs my attention and asserts my focus. So why change it? (The blogs’ name, not my actual name.) Because I am changing, what locates me is changing.

What’s changing? The 2.6 of you that may actually read this asks! Well…Love letters to Paul is an extreme personal thing that I felt to do in order to kind of leak some of the love for my husband out into the world. To show that true love exists, not perfect, but true. True love changes people, it changed me, and it will continue to do so. Not just romantic love, but including romantic love. As the fog lifts, the shock wears off, and you begin to recover from the horridness of the shock wearing off (never underestimate the benefits of shock!!) new questions spring to mind. Now what? Who am I now? How do I…? So many things. My partner is gone, with me forever, but so not present. I wish he was, I wish it every day, but he’s not and the shock and denial do need to wane. I have to go on. I can love him forever, and ever, and ever, but I need to surface and live the life I’m left with.

Life after Loss is just that. As I try to answer the questions my soul is asking and dare to try to move forward…without Paul. It’s with pure reluctance that I do, yet necessary for me, my kids, my purpose, and my life. I am pretty sure that “Love Letters to Paul” will still be written in my heart, and maybe on this page, so to that end, they will remain here categorized as such.

My bridegroom, my God, waits to care, welcoming and totally able to help me face this life you and I must live. As I find a truth I will share it, and I hope my journey can bless you. Hope shared not pity, life shared not just pain. Pain is a part of life, but not the only part. There are some big things to tackle, loneliness, purpose, career, single parenthood to name a few, but one day at a time and each in its own time.  There will be life after this tremendous loss and I am just about that stubborn as to find it.

“For your Maker is your bridegroom, his name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
Your Redeemer is The Holy of Israel, known as God of the whole earth.
You were like an abandoned wife, devastated with grief, and God welcomed you back,
Like a woman married young and then left,” says your God.

……It’s with lasting love that I’m tenderly caring for you. “ (Is 54: 5-8 The Message)


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