Today marks four months since my husband, Kevin, died. As I write this post, it’s eight o’clock in the evening. By this time four months ago the doctor had already pronounced Kevin’s death, she’d done check in on me, my children, and my sister-in-law and she’d provided us with instructions about the next phase of activity. We were to contact the funeral home we’d selected for Kevin’s service. They would send out some attendants to take him on the final leg of his journey – to the funeral home, and after the funeral service, to the crematorium. The doctor told us that once we called the home, they’d come fairly quickly, so to take whatever time we needed to say our good-byes, since this would be the last time Kevin would ever be in his own house, our home.
As stated, once the call was made to the funeral home, the attendants arrived fairly quickly. They brought in a gurney and moved Kevin onto it and inside a well concealed body bag. A pillow was put under his head, a blanket over his body. The attendants then discreetly left us, the family, with Kevin for a couple of minutes. Tough one, that. How do you let go, I mean really let go? For me this was letting go without something to replace it. There was no new beginning for us, this was an unequivocal end. Kevin was gone.
It’s not that part of me died that day too, not at all. Death stops the pain. Instead for me, and the rest of the family, we suffered an injury to our spirits, a piercing of our souls; something happened that can’t be seen but that dwells deep in our hearts and minds. Four months have passed, four long, low months. Every month brings new firsts and, I’ve been told, that the second year is pretty much the same. From the moment we are born we start the journey to our inevitable end, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier when death comes calling. Even a friend with a profound religious faith stated that the loss of someone dear shook them to their spiritual core; the unanswerable questions almost overwhelming their relationship with, and belief in, God.
So are there lessons? Does one get stronger after the death of a loved one? I’m on to the next book loaned to me – “Broken Open – How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow” by Elizabeth Lesser. Perhaps some useful insights will present themselves through this book.