This is a letter to my friend who lost her husband to brain cancer last year. He was only in his 30’s. It was Easter Tuesday . . . the same day three years before, our other close friend lost her husband (also in his 30’s). If you choose to read more, keep in mind the two men we lost loved playing hockey together.
My Dear Friend,
It’s not fair. It’s so not fair. As I sit here trying to think of what I can say to comfort you, all I can do is shake my head and say,
It’s just not fair.
Although you may not hear from me as often as I think you should, I want you to know I think of you every day.
And I think about him.
I think of last March when Matt and I went to visit him when he was recovering from surgery. I remember he looked scared.
I remember telling him not to worry. I assured him – and so did Matt – that by Memorial Day he would be able to flip the burgers on the grill and he would be doing just that – with a beer.
But God had other plans.
I am sad with you.
I am angry with you.
I am wondering why . . .
And I miss him too.
I want to comfort you. I want to tell you how sorry I am that I haven’t visited more. I want to say I’m sorry that I’m not there to help you with your sons.
I can only imagine how tired you are. Parenting a seven year old and a ten year old is not meant to be done alone.
As I thought about writing my weekly post, my plan completely changed when I saw that this week’s Work of Mercy is Comfort the Afflicted. I immediately thought of you – and how much more I wish I had done this past year.
I hang my head in shame, because I feel like I have not comforted you enough.
Then I thought, how can I comfort her? What can I do?
Maybe I could remind the world how strong you are . . . how much faith you have had through every cross the Lord has trusted you to carry.
If I told you how much you have inspired people to continue to hope when others give up and I assured you how much you have inspired people to pray, even when they feel frustrated. . . maybe these words would comfort you.
I can honestly say that the 700+ people last year who, at the end of every day, waited anxiously to read your status update, didn’t just wait because they wanted to know how Kieran was doing.
They waited to hear how you were doing. They waited to see how someone stronger than anyone they ever met, would somehow provide them comfort . At a time when the world was crashing down on you – you were the beacon of hope everyone looked toward.
Now these same people, though many silent, read your status updates to continue to feel hope. Some read your status in the hopes to absorb your strength. Others just hope to enjoy your company in that weird way social media allows.
I pray for you often. I pray for the boys. And I pray for Kieran’s soul.
But lately, when I pray for his soul, the same scene plays out in my imagination.
He says, “I’m okay. I’m here in heaven.”
“I’m with Paul.”
“I’m with Tommy.”
“I’m with my mom and dad.”
I then ask him . . . but what about Traci?
I hear, “I’m always with her and the boys and I continue to love them.”
I see him smiling.
I sense that he can’t talk long. Actually, “can’t” is not the right word. He COULD but he doesn’t want to because he’s holding a hockey stick and Paul is impatiently waiting.
And Paul is yelling at me to stop holding up the game. Heaven has not changed Paul.
I realize this does not help you when homework time has you pulling out your hair; or when you just need someone else to make dinner; or when you just need to talk to your best friend.
But I hope you talk to him anyway. I hope you hear his voice – because you know what he would say in almost every circumstance.
Some people, when they lose a spouse, have thoughts and feelings of regret.
They think, “I should have loved him more . . . I should have appreciated him more . . . I should have listened to him more . . .”
But you, my dear friend, you always loved him. You always appreciated him. You were his greatest ally, his greatest advocate, and his greatest friend. You did it the way we all should.
I pray God makes me the wife you always were.
I hope you forgive me for not being more comforting.
I hope you know I still look forward to the next time we will drink wine together.
I love you.