My husband has been gone from this mortal life for 8 years today. Nine years ago today we first heard the word ‘cancer’ after his first of four brain surgeries to remove the tumor. We were also told he had, statistically speaking, 13 months to live. He lived exactly 12 months from that horrible day.
I recently had a widow ask me when it gets easier. She is nearing the one year mark and her pain is still such a fresh wound. I wanted to comfort her by saying that the ache of grief will get better in time. But does it? Does it ever really get easier? For me the answer is, No. It does not get easier, just more familiar.
I still wake up wishing Larry was next to me. I still go to bed wishing I could hear him snoring. I still talk to him, tell him about my day and how the kids are doing. I still know that there is an emptiness in my life that only he could fill. The ache is still there and it always will be. It is the silent companion of my every moment.
What has changed is that I no longer feel guilty for laughing. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve cringed at myself for enjoying life. That isn’t what Larry would want me to do and it is not honoring to a man who squeezed the most out of life, even when he was sick. I’m not afraid to make changes, even big ones like moving from the middle of the country to the east coast. I do still wish that he was here to take care of the details of life that I most definitely don’t like to deal with but I’m still trying.
Larry’s favorite verse was Hebrews 12:1. He lived by it. He ran with perseverance, the life God laid out for him. I’m striving to do the same.
So I guess maybe it does get easier, if only easier to live with. I’ve learned to make my own shadow albeit a timid one.