Grief, Take a Number

It’s been a while since grief was at the top of my list of things I need to write about. That’s a good thing. A healthy thing. It’s a good feeling that my focus has been on moving and writing and my kids and not on loss.

Until today.

Today I had to call tech support at our internet company and ask what equipment is theirs and what is ours. I had to explain again to a stranger, “I’m a widow. My husband was a geek and I don’t know what is mine and what is your company’s.” The tech support guy was kind. He said this was a great reason to call. As I described what I had in the basement, he explained what each thing was for and declared, “Yeah, your husband really was a geek.”

Tears rose once again to choke my words and try to escape my eyes. I thanked him for the help and rushed off the phone.

This move is bringing up emotions that should not surprise me. I’m leaving the last house we lived in together. I’m leaving the only home Lucy has ever known. I’m having to find a nice guy from church to pack up Kraig’s tools because I just can’t. No matter how many times Jarod asks me to stop calling them “Dad’s tools” and just call them “tools” that’s what they remain in my mind. I’m thankful for the church letting us use their truck to move for free and yet it is the same truck we used to move into this house. Its presence, I fear, will cast a shadow this weekend.

This move is stressful for so many reasons. It is not happening how I had hoped or planned. It’s happening two weeks before school starts. I’m doing this with four kids and no husband to help. I’m praying I put enough down on the new house to compensate for the extra driving we’ll do and the extra cost of heating a bigger house. I’m realizing that I have no idea how to hook up a stereo or get our wireless system working. Grief needs to get in line behind the other reasons this is stressful. Grief needs to take a number.

I’m now just over 11 months on this journey of grief. That’s both encouraging and shocking to me. The number of women at She Speaks Conference who were floored I was there this soon after this loss was surprising to me. God has walked this with me. He has given me strength and support in amazing ways so me going to this conference was the next logical step in serving Him, in my mind at least. Life goes on when we serve a God who goes with us.

So today I will let a few tears fall. Today I will focus on packing more boxes and helping my daughter find a pair of shorts. (She fears she packed them all and it’s going to be almost 90 today.) I will listen to music that focuses my heart on the God who called me to embrace the adventure of life without fear.

I will give thanks for friends who still offer to help even when, deep down, I fear there is some expiration date on what I should be asking. I will give thanks for being part of an incredible church and having a friend in my pastor’s wife who not only says “Yes!” to my request for help to move, but who says to me, “Thank you for letting us love you.” I will call grief’s number and let a few tears fall because this is truly the closing of a chapter and that is sad.

But then I will breathe. I will focus on the God who calls me to take the next step as He places it before me. I will trust in Him because He is trustworthy. I will move onto the other things I need to focus on to make an amazing adventure for my children. I will trust God to make me brave.

I hope that’s all the attention you needed today, grief, ‘cause it’s all you’re gonna get.

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