Monday, March 13, 2017

Making A Change Can Help

When it first happened, life blurred like hitting fast-forward on an old video tape. Get up, brush teeth, make coffee, fumble around, lay down, it's night. Doesn't mean sleep. Insert crying at every pause. Rewind. Repeat. Insert funeral. Hello, good-bye, kiss kiss. Insert memorial service. Rewind. Repeat.

The phone rang incessantly, a wagon train of food--sandwiches, chicken, lasagne, roast beef, casseroles, tossed salad, pasta salad, potato salad, casseroles, brownies, cookies, pies, casseroles, donuts, cakes, breads, and more casseroles rolled in through the front door.

The family descended from the four corners of the earth, I think they took over a hotel. I don't remember exactly. My living room was stuffed with them before the funeral, bodies pressed in, and I liked that. I felt like I was a patient in an emergency room, eyes open but paralyzed--poked, prodded, loved on. "She'll live," I heard them tell my broken heart through tears of their own.

And then it was over. Everyone had to go home. It was me, Brad and Lisa.

We picked over the leftover food until it finally had to be thrown out. Eating wasn't very interesting. When the kids got hungry I handed them a few dollars. Lisa could drive to Wendys or McDonalds. She didn't mind.

But one day I made supper. Put the plates on the table. We sat down.

We weren't prepared for that empty chair. It sat there cold and hard. We suddenly lost our appetites after a forkful or two, cleared the table and went off to other things. No amount of beautiful table settings, gracious dinner music or gourmet cooking ever warmed it up. I tried to imagine God as our unseen guest, but my imagination wasn't that good.

Man, that was hard! That simple, stupid empty chair. An inanimate object I couldn't avoid or get around.

Did you have obstacles like that in your journey through grief? Maybe for you it was a family picture, coming home to an empty house, trying to sleep in an empty bed, visiting your husband's family or even going to church?

Lets talk about it. How did you deal with these painful reminders in your life? If you got over them, how you do it? Your comments will be life-giving encouragement to us all.

For me, that empty chair had to be filled with guests. That was hard to do, especially with the crazy schedules people keep--families seldom eat together anyway. But I enjoyed having dinner guests and I learned that God commanded us to practice hospitality as much for our own sake as for another's. If we didn't have guests, I relaxed the standard of us all having dinner together. I went more casual and we ate at the smaller table in the kitchen or took our plates in front of the tv. Instead of butting my head and heart against the immovable chair, I opted for change.

Hang on to this roller coaster ride through grief, my sister! With God, good things can still happen, and opting for change can help.


  1. My husband has been gone about 15 months now. It's time to make a change. We lived in our RV full-time and travel the country building churches. But now when I come home to my RV it is an empty and lonely. I've opted to purchase a home and rent my RV out to people who can enjoy travel. My home is being built I'm starting a new life and I'm hoping I can come home to a new home big enough to have dinner guests.

  2. Angie if were His child, He promises He will {ESTABLISH) our goings and direct our steps, even when we know not which way to go.

    Not to long after my Tom went home, as I was dealing thru my grief, I had a family member who projected the fact that since her husband had passed away she was able to move on etc..... And then just today I was given this poem and would like to share it...


    Please don't tell me
    "Time heals all wounds"
    That does nothing (today) for my present pain
    Though it may be true
    It's now (today) I'm hurting.... not then

    As weird as it sounds
    And it really does,
    Sometimes I feel closer to him
    When my tears began to flow
    And love memories bloom again and grow
    His voice sounds (sweetly) again through the din.

    So if time heals all wounds
    Is the memory lost
    Will the picture I have somehow leave
    If that should be so
    Then I will tell time to go
    And I'll sketch in his face while I grieve

    Blessed are those who mourn
    For they shall be comforted (thru all time)

    God Bless
    L / Dodi

  3. I just lost my husband to cancer on 3/11/17 just 17 days after learning what was wrong with him. I am so devastated I can hardly handle life. I know life must go on, but I don't know how without him. Always together 24/7. Life is so hard to even get up each day. I must find a way to go on somehow. No family close so I am really on my own. Thanks for letting me share my feelings.

    1. Dear friend, these early days are very hard but with God's strength we can get through them. Take one step at a time, and one breath at a time. Reach out to others, keep calling out to the Lord, and share your feelings here any time.


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