Monday, April 7, 2014

A Whole Life When We're Broken in Half

When I once gave my library talk about growing through grief to a very nice church group at their monthly luncheon, afterwards one of the women told me about how she'd lost her husband of many years. She was now in her 80's but she said she'd never forget that it felt like she'd been cut in half.
"Oh my goodness!" I said. "That's exactly how I felt!"

Even though she'd been married longer than I'd been alive, we had the same emotional picture of what it felt like to be a widow.

Did you feel cut in half, too? I felt like I was left on a set of railroad tracks, cut in half by a high speed train that sliced through my life. And there I lay, so shocked.

I have a hunch that this severed feeling has to do with how God designed the marriage bond in the first place. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. Genesis 2:24 (King James Version)

If a husband and wife become one, and one of them is subtracted . . . well . . . no wonder the other feels like half a person. Last Wednesday, though, I met a Lifeboat friend who reminded me why I keep plugging away at reaching out to widows.

When Rhonda first joined my Lifeboat group, she was obviously very miserable and in outrageous pain. Her husband was killed in a small engine airplane crash, leaving her with 6 young children---including a special needs child, and also a 4-month-old baby! Life is still far from perfect for her, but the Rhonda I met last week had come alive again---energetic, talkative, loving and driven to make life count! She hesitates to tell any widow that things will get better again, but she's so surprised to admit that yes, they can! 
It's at a different pace and timing for each of us, so don't compare yourself to Rhonda or anyone else. But the joy of what I do is watching women come back to life again. As Easter arrives, and we think about The Resurrection, I'm reminded that Jesus Christ is the expert at resurrections. He's the one who knows how to bring us back to life! There IS life after death, and there's life for the widow after the husband's death too. Take heart! Even if you feel like there's only half of you left, a whole life is ahead of you, and yes, it can be a good one. ferree
Rhonda & Ferree