My wife died of cancer three years ago yesterday (11/22). It was tough. But The Lord doesn’t lead us into anything that He isn’t prepared to walk with us through.
In the last three years, my walk with Him has grown incredibly rich. He has been my support, friend, and help. Doing the grief work and becoming single again at my AARP-eligible age has been an interesting journey. He has also used the time to bring me incredible healing to some very deep wounds.
The past two anniversaries were tough.
Today, I have been filled with JOY!
I’m am so GRATEFUL that I’ve been through this season. I have grown so much closer to Jesus and I really love that. I’ve had so much healing that has been precipitated from all the pain I’ve been through.
I’m so grateful that, it appears, Lord willing, that this season is about to end and a new season will take it’s place.
So, today, I’m grateful for all that has happened and the end result is that I KNOW God IS who he says He is and He IS doing what He says He will do.
Today I took time to break out the Christmas decorations. I knew it would be tough work so I got Uncle Bob to come over and help. He helped me setup the tree and to hang all my outdoor lights. He was a great encouragement and a big help.
Grief is hard work
Then I got down to the work of going through all the ornaments. It was tough. Trudie was an “ornament person.” By that I mean that every trip we took, she bought one or multiple tree ornaments to remember the trip by. So I was sad going through the boxes of ornaments. I have my favorites but a lot of them are B.M.T (Before My Time). There were some very special ones that were hard to bring out and remember the times they represented. It was tough work but it is the right “work” for me to be doing this year.
It’s been a sad day for me but then this is what I need to be doing right now; I need to feel my sadness and walk through my grief to get past it. I know that “this too shall pass.”
Barron – my friend
Barron has been around all through the illness and my journey since. He is an agent for artists so we talk much about music now and of music of the “golden era” ’68 – ’75. I go watch his band play at a bar-b-que and jive to the blues. Barron is one of the friends who have been a great support for me this year.
It’s starting – the anniversaries. This week marks the first anniversary of Trudie’s first doctor appointment. The blood tests came back and the doctor said “there’s something wrong with these numbers.” – no kidding.
One of the things that was suggested to me when I first started this grief journey was to go to the Grief Share web site. I did and signed up for their e-mails. They send out a daily e-mail of encouragement to us going through this process.
Yesterday’s message said in part:
Good grief is accepting the fact that your loved one has died, accepting the sorrow and pain, and knowing there is more to come. Good grief is getting through the days, the months, and, eventually, through the years.
Your life will never be the same again, but you will get through the grief. The grieving process is a transition into your new life.
“He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age” (Ruth 4:15).
This really resonated with me. I’m still in the middle of the grieving process. It’s not easy. But, I will survive and eventually move on.
This is a follow on blog to the Bartkus Battle blog. I lost my dear wife Trudie on November 22nd after a battle against cancer. Jesus won. She is now a new bride of Christ with Him in Glory. This is a blog about my continuing journey in following where He will lead me. It has been and will continue to be an adventure.
Life Without Trudie
I’m doing OK. I had the week of the funeral off and now I’m back to work. It is pretty slow now so it is kind of nice.
I’m doing my best to take care of myself. I’m still keeping the H.A.L.T. (hungry, angry, lonely, or tired) at bay. I’m back to going to the gym at 5 AM three days a week. I’m going to meetings almost every night.
The house is a whole story in itself. Laura L. (Trudie’s nephew’s wife) came over Saturday with her landscaper-grade leaf blower and we got all the leaves off the roofs and gutters. She also made short order of the driveway, deck, and porch. I’m slowly attacking all the clutter. I’ve gotten rid of 90% of the magazines that had accumulated. Millie, Drew, and John took all Trudie’s clothes to Goodwill for me. That helped a lot. But I also realize that a 4 BR 4.5 Bath house is way more than I need. I’ll continue to SIMPLIFY as much as I can.
I’ve got friends who come and let Sari out three nights out of four that I work. That way I can go directly to a meeting from work. I think I’ll eventually put Sari up for rescue. I’m not a “dog person.” I like dogs; I can manage dogs; but I don’t “need” a dog in my life. And taking care of her is a challenge right now. I am taking her to the park two or three times a week and I am enjoying walking the circuit with her. Making her walk at a heel lets the control freak in me out just a little bit.
In January I’m going to be part of a North Point pilot group doing the Grief Share material. They had closed registration for it but are graciously allowing me to join. I’m looking forward to it. I am definitely going through a grieving process. I’ve told myself that it’s OK to feel sad; that’s just to show how much I felt love for her. I’m leaning on Jesus when the sadness is strongest. He is stronger than the sadness.
I get to “work” at church this Sunday and after the last service I’ll be driving to Millie & Drew’s and we all will be there for Christmas. Avery, Lewis, and precious granddaughter Gracie will be there also. It will be a great time together.