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How To Care For Grieving Friends

 The internet is filled with these types of articles, but I wanted to add my perspective. Over the last year, many people have shown me and James so much kindness and love. I want to focus on just a few things that have brought us so much comfort from other people this year.  These are all ways that I have personally been comforted by friends/family. If you are wondering what will be a help to someone who has lost a loved one, I believe these are practical tips.  1. Be there for them at the visitation/funeral if possible.  I cannot express what it meant to me to look up and see familiar faces of people from near and very far away, all gathered to offer their sincere care. We had friends who traveled hundreds of miles to be there for me and it meant the world.  I know it is not always possible to attend a funeral! I hold no ill feelings toward anyone who was not there at Matt's service. But I do remember with genuine gratitude the ones who were able and did make it.  2. Keep reachin
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One year ago..

  As I type these words, it is March 17th. St Patrick's Day. Tomorrow, March 18th, is a milestone that I have been dreading. One year ago tomorrow, my beloved husband breathed his last here on earth and woke up in Heaven.  I have decided to blog about my journey of grief that began that morning. I pray it is both a step of healing for my own heart and also that it brings glory to my God who has brought me through and continues to walk with me.  When I woke up and discovered Matt still and lifeless beside me, James woke up at almost the same time and I heard him coming to our room. Frantically, I tried to shield him from what was happening, but he did see his Daddy. Words came out of me as I tried to comfort my four-year-old son. I remember telling him, I think Daddy has gone to Heaven. James started crying and I told him, I think God decided it was time for him to come home to Heaven. The words seemed to comfort James in some small way.  One of Matt's friends and coworkers show

Thoughts from a wave of grief

 You’d think by now, I would see the wave coming, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and shut myself up within its wall of water until it subsided. But no- it rises up inside my quiet, lonely room here late at night as warm memories collide with cold reality.  And I feel it’s salt stinging in my eyes, Hear my voice wailing within its roar, Drown- almost- in its depths. 8 months and two weeks and 4 days have parted me from my anchor. Like Peter, sinking, I cry to the Master of the Waves to rescue me.  And just like last time, and all the times before and all the times to come, He does just that. And I weep on His shoulder and I thank him but I also shout my painful cries: “ Why did my anchor have to be taken?” “What do I do now?”  And He lifts me into a safe vessel and as it carries me away from that dreadful wave, He says, “Rest now and wait. You are loved. You are seen. You are safe.” And it is not quite what I wanted Him to say but He is Who I need so I listen. And I am soon asleep.


   It is a frosty October morning. A new moon hangs in the pale sky.  And I slide my feet into your old slippers.  The thought occurs that I don't need to apologize for borrowing them anymore.  You used to ask me not to take them. They were broken in just right for you.  I had my own slippers. But after you died, I threw my own away. I didn't need them. I had yours. My feet needed to fit in the imprints you left. So I take a deep breath and open the door, And though my breath rises like a ghost into the cold air My feet and heart are warm as I whisper, "thank you."

Not abandoned

These last several months, I've seen God bring comfort and encouragement to me and James in many different ways. But the main way has been through people, specifically the family of God. Tonight was one such example. James is out of town with grandparents this week and tonight, after a long, lonely evening, I drove down to main campus and went for a walk with our dogs. I was feeling discouraged because of a few things already. Then, as I was crossing a bridge over the creek, I was suddenly overwhelmed by heavy grief. I could not go on. I leaned on the bridge railing and allowed the tears and sobs to pour out. In that moment, I felt thoroughly abandoned. Thoughts of how alone and forsaken I was swirled in my head as fast and loud as the roaring creek below. Eventually, I pulled myself together enough to continue walking.  I was almost to my car when I looked behind me to see some friends not far behind me. I had not even heard them approaching. They immediately could tell I was upse

Memories of My Husband

I remember the first time I saw his name. In a text message from my mom, describing the new pastor of her friend's church and telling me he might be interested in getting to know me. I was as single as a person could be at that point, had been praying about marriage for quite a while. Somehow, I knew that I should step out of my comfort zone and see where this might lead. I remember how he first sent me a message on social media and how we quickly hit it off, chatting for hours the next few weeks. And then, finally, we decided to meet. But first, we spoke on the phone and I remember thinking I loved his southern accent and his deep voice. :) Then, we met and our first date was awkward.. I was quiet and unsure, he was talkative but also unsure. I thought he seemed nice but I was not clear whether our new friendship would continue to develop. Then, somehow, in a matter of days, everything changed. We met up again, had a very nice time with countless things to talk about. And after th

A Strange New Chapter

A new chapter began in my life on March 18th, 2022.  Thursday, March 17th, 2022, my husband, son and I drove home after a few days away in Pigeon Forge. It was Spring Break at the Bible college and we had enjoyed our getaway which included a day at Dollywood, lots of yummy food and fun activities, and just being together as a little family. We detoured north for one night to visit Matt's parents in Somerset Kentucky as well. It was a good visit and a good little getaway but we were glad to be back home and we discussed tackling a couple home organization projects over the weekend. That evening, we ordered a pizza and watched a baking show while eating together. Matt also baked a few chocolate chip cookies from some dough we had in the refrigerator. It was a pleasant, laid back family evening. Matt had been very sick most of the previous month and we were so happy to have this time together as a family after that long ordeal which included two hospital stays. Eventually, it was bedt