I’m sorry, but there will be days that are hard. There will be days where you just want to crawl into bed and ignore your responsibilities for the day. There will be days when your failures run rampant and the mountain in your path insurmountable. There will be days when you cry out to God, “How can this be the life you’ve chosen for me? What did I do to deserve this?” You will know your emotions are out of control, but you feel this way anyway.
There will be days when your heart just feels heavy. Sometimes, it’s brought on by a certain day or special event. Sometimes, it will just hit you out of nowhere. Those can be the hardest days. Times when everyone else is talking about their husbands and what they’re going to do for vacation and how their husband helps at home…and your husband is gone. There was a basketball practice I took my son to, and I was already exhausted. I was chasing my almost two-year-old around and listening to my daughter complain about her boredom. It had already been a long day of homeschooling. Then I noticed it. I was the only mom in the gym. All of the other kids that had parents waiting had their dads. It brought me to tears.
It’s OK to have days when you’re not OK. If your loss is still new, know that these days become less frequent. Things do get better. It’s hard to be strongly grieving and to parent grieving children alone…all at the same time. It’s a very volatile situation really. There will be anger – both on your part and your children’s. There will be depression, and there will be tears. Fortunately, God’s mercies are new each morning. He won’t leave you in the valley. He will help you climb out. There will be days when you feel like you’re being thrown back into it, but know that eventually, you will be able to look back and see you’ve traveled a ways out of the valley. It will be a slow, arduous climb, but with the help of the Lord, you will make progress.
It’s been over a year since I lost Trevor, and life is still hard. It’s infinitely better than it was a year ago though. We have settled into a new pace of life and living without Trevor isn’t as terrifying as it once was. We’re no longer in shock. I won’t lie though; it’s still tough. It’s still hard to wake up alone in bed. It’s still hard to not be able to look forward to the evening because that’s when he would get home. It’s still exhausting to parent 4 children without my husband’s love, support, and encouragement. Did I mention I’m greatly outnumbered here? Some days, my house looks like the monkeys have overtaken the zoo. Some days, it feels and sounds like the monkeys have overtaken the zoo. God has helped us though to make it to a place where we can function. Life isn’t as joyful as it once was nor my heart as full. I do, however, have a much more eternal perspective on things now. I look far more to the hope of eternity than ever before.
There will be bad days, but praise God, there will also be good ones. On the bad days, know that it’s OK to have a rough day. Repent if necessary. Ask for forgiveness if necessary. Then dry your face and move on. Don’t dwell on your failures and shortcomings. On the good days, praise God and point out to your children that God can be thanked for the good days we have. Point out to your children that he can also be thanked on the hard days. If Jesus could thank God the night before he went to the cross, we can thank him even on the hardest days. There is always something to be thankful for. The Greek word for the Lord’s Supper is eucharisteo. It literally means thanksgiving. When we remember what Christ did for us, we give thanks, even when we’re broken. This isn’t what we wanted for our lives, but we can trust that, somehow, this is what’s best for us and what will give God the most glory.