I woke up at 3 AM today with the chorus of a song repeating over and over in my mind:
Oh no, You never let goThrough the calm and through the stormOh no, You never let goIn every high and every lowOh no, You never let goLord, You never let go of me(You Never Let Go by Matt Redman)
This doesn't happen to me very often and I wondered why this song, and why now. Immediately, the answer came to me. This song is so significant to my online friends, Maria and Cody, and to the sweet little daughter, Susana, that they lost to brain cancer just as Tom went into hospice. I prayed for Maria and Cody and their family.
I was wide awake. I realized that this was probably the first time since Tom was diagnosed with his brain tumor that I had woken up in the night with enough peace in my life to feel how alone I was. That thought made me think about Leah (another online friend), whose post about all the "firsts" that she was experiencing since the death of her husband in early May had been the last thing I'd read before dropping off to sleep in exhaustion. I've been through so many "firsts" in the past 3 months since Tom's death ... including his "first" birthday without him (he would have been 60 on June 6th), just two days ago. Three of his four children have had their first birthdays without their dad; so have I. Our first child graduated without his dad, and I held my first graduation party without my husband. Soon, we will take our first "family" vacation without him there, too. Yes, Leah, there will be many firsts. I prayed for Leah, too.
And through the time I was awake, I realized that I was not alone. I haven't really felt alone. I've had people around me and helping me through everything. A lot of people. So much so, that, at times, I longed to be alone. I'm actually looking forward to things slowing down a bit now so that I can spend some time alone. But there is definitely a difference between being "alone" and being "lonely". While I want time "alone", the feeling of "loneliness" is where I miss Tom. I miss his presence. I miss being able to talk with him. I miss being able to share life with him. I miss his wisdom, his stability, his optimism. I miss the way he always came alongside of me and helped me with the mundane and the demanding tasks of life. I miss dreaming with him. I wish I could sit on my newly remodeled porch and enjoy our newly landscaped yard and the quiet beauty of this first day of summer vacation with him. I wish he could be seeing the irises bloom and the first Peony open! I wish we could be looking forward to his retirement and our first years together after the children are all grown. Yes, I'm lonely. I'm lonely for him. This is when I feel sad and my heart is heavy. This is the work of mourning.
It will soon be the 3 month anniversary of Tom's death. Occasionally, people will say to me something like "Oh, that's right. You're still mourning." Like they forgot, or I should be over it by now. In some ways, I feel like I haven't had time to begin mourning; I don't think it will be over soon.
Yes, I can see a light that is comingFor the heart that holds onAnd there will be an end to these troublesBut until that day comesStill I will praise You, still I will praise You