Tuesday, Sept 15, marked 10 weeks since Keith died. 70 days. Today is 72 days. We are nearing 100 very quickly. I can not believe that it has been this long. I miss him so wholly and completely. I never thought or realized that it was possible to miss someone so much. You might think, "You haven't ever lost anyone before then?" I have experienced loss before. My dad died 12 1/2 years ago. That was by far the most difficult loss...until Keith. It was different with my dad though. I was already an adult, married, with a small child, and I lived 8 hours away. The distance and being used to not having contact with my dad EVERY day actually helped my healing process after his death. I've also lost several uncles, aunts, and three of my grandparents. None of those losses prepared me for the loss of Keith.
Missing Keith the way I do is one aspect of this journey called grief where I can't see that healing is taking place. The longing for Keith's nearness isn't easing up at all. I am dealing with it. I am functioning with it. However, it is always there. It is always just under the surface, ready rear up, and ambush me at the moment I least expect it. I struggle daily with Keith's absence. Every single day something will happen and I wish Keith were here for me to share it with.
I have been attending a class on grief recovery called Grief Share. It is a wonderful class. I have learned so much through the lessons. It isn't easy though. If anything, it is very hard to make yourself face the grief and then deal with it. I would really rather bury my head in the sand. "Hello, my name is Kristy and I would like to be an ostrich."
I still have not done anything with Keith's belongings. I just can't. It isn't time for me to do that yet. I start to cry just thinking about it. A dear friend suggested that I use some of Keith's clothes to make quilts for the kids. I think that is a wonderful idea. I just can't bring myself to take them out of the closet much less cut them up. I know the time will come, but it isn't today. Just call me ostrich again.
One suggestion I have been given about Keith's belongings is to ease myself into removing them. One way is simply by moving them to another closet. I don't have that kind of closet space, but I could just put them in plastic bins to put in storage. That is certainly something I will keep in mind when the time comes.
In a couple of my devotions this past week, two Scripture passages really spoke to me.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
This tells me that God promises us that for every moment we weep or mourn, we will also have a moment of laughter and dancing. This absolutely brings tears to my eyes KNOWING that I won't be this overcome with sadness forever. There WILL be a day when I can experience joy and laughter without it being tinged with sadness and grief. Praise God!
Psalm 31:9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
I felt like this explains the way I am feeling so completely and accurately. God hears our prayers and He is merciful. In my weakness is where His strength is found! Praise God!
All of the above is an actual entry from my grief journal that I have begun keeping. I thought I would share entries from time to time. Writing has always been an outlet for me. Maybe this will help someone else along the way.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us. The kids are still doing pretty well. Nick is feeling good. We had a small scare over the weekend with some stomach troubles, but they resolved themselves quickly before we had to go to the hospital for IV fluids. Kacie will be getting glasses for distance reading in the next few days. No surprise there. I've worn glasses since I was just a little older than she is now.
A huge surprise was given to us yesterday by someone very special. Nick was honored by his teachers at school. Some special friends of this one teacher presented us with tickets to this weekend's Bama game. We will also be attending the pre-game meal where we will meet former players. Nick also received 8 framed works of Crimson Tide art, a jacket, t-shirt, and cap. Kacie also received a t-shirt, and I was given some expense money for the trip down. The only way this could have been any better is if Keith were physically here to share it with us.
Until next time...We are still in His grip, even in the valley!