My husband of 36 years died 2.5 years ago of pancreatic cancer. After that first wave of numbness, I remember when it felt like the pain was so great all I wanted to do was to join him. I felt so completely lost. I had no idea how overwhelming the sense of loss would be even though I had 7 months to prepare. It felt like someone took a giant eraser and wiped out all sense of "future." All I could do was trudge through each minute, hour, day with no sense of tomorrow. I had good support from friends and family and am so grateful for that, but the sense of aloneness was staggering at times. It felt like even a physical part of me had been torn away and lay there bare with the nerves exposed and raw.
At times it felt like it was getting worse instead of better. Books and friends told me it would get better with time. Even in grief support when people who had been through it would share that it would get better, I felt like they just didn't understand, they couldn't possible know the intensity of the pain, the depth of the loss. But I knew they had wisdom and I needed to hear the voice of experience and I listened.
The most important balm for my pain was my faith in a ever faithful, loving, gentle God who carried me through and still takes such good care of me. I remember reading a book soon after Rich died by Joyce Meyer, The Confident Woman. In it she talked about how the needs of a woman in a marriage include someone to love her unconditionally, to care for her, to value her and to keep her safe. After learning in the Bible that God promises to be the husband to the widow (in Isaiah), I began to search for and meditate on how He meets these needs. Over time I have learned to draw on His desire to fill those empty places that only He can.
Sounds too easy? It was and is a daily effort. But although I still feel lonely and hope to one day find that special someone to share the rest of my life with, God has taken unbelievable care of me and I have great peace and a renewed sense of future. I can't imagine how I would have gotten through these last 3 years without Him.