Thursday, September 27, 2012

Even after he is gone.

I've been reading Terence's journals.  I am enjoying hearing what he thought, what he had to say about various things.  I've decided to begin to share excerpts with you.

May 2006
by terence
"Sherry spoke in her sleep last night.  She was talking to God asking Him to bless me, honor me and answer my prayers. 

She continued to casually, yet intimately converse with God about me. I can't quite put my thought to paper. It felt like Sherry was talking to a friend.  I know God is my friend but I don't think I've conversed with the Lord like how I heard Sherry pray.  Amazing. I am blessed and I am challengedDo I speak freely and intimately with God?".

My thoughts-
by sherry

I love how some of the smallest things in life challenged him.  He didn't need big, earth shaking instances to search his heart and to make necessary changes in his life.  I admired that in him.

It seems that I may be the opposite.  Stubborn and strong willed, only earth shaking experiences seem to catch my attention as reflected in reading through Terence's journal, he would usually add "I hope Sherry understands this" when reflecting on the answers to some of our life's circumstances.

Widowhood is earth shaking.  I'm not liking it.  It scares me.  When looking at my bills,  taxes, insurance (life, health, car, etc) coverages,  I think "I can't do this".  I see winter coming and think "How can I face winter alone"?  I am challenged to the max. 

But Terence wrote letters to me that I am reading only now; "You can do this Sherry, I believe in you. Let yourself be challenged. You'll grow from it. Don't be afraid.  The Lord's grace is here for you.  He'll help you. I hope you understand this; His grace is sufficient for you. You can make it."

Times like today (first time grocery shopping for 'one'.... I broke down and cried in the store. So I left),  I'm glad he thought of ways to encourage me even after he was gone.    He was such an encourager.  Thank you for reminding me, Terence. 

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is 
 made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about 
my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” –2 Corinthians 12:9

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Don't de-friend me

By Sherry
September 23, 2012

Hi everyone- just  briefly journaling tonight.  It's not my intent for this become a 'widow's blog'- even though technically that's what I am and I'm the one writing..........

My intent is to continue to share our journey- "Living above cancer".  You've witnessed  three years of Terence and I as well as our children painstakingly learn how to live above the unkindness of cancer and it's effects on our family.  We are now left behind to deal with the wreckage of cancer and it's final effect, death.  How do we go on living- not just living, but living......moving beyond devastation. My desire is that we will say, "I've been devastated but not destroyed".

Given to me tonight by Bella
Bear with me.  I am far from that place right now but I've made that my goal from the very beginning. Cancer may think that it had the last word, but death had no sting on Terence (he's in a better place) and the grave- well, it is my desire to heal so completely in the hands of my Lord that I will be able to say that the grave has no victory over me. 

Devastated-yes, yes  I am. But I believe I will find healing in the wings of Christ and in time restoration will come.

Until then I, like any other person who has lost a spouse or loved one and I am afflicted by the results of death; suffering a sorrow so deep- it feels like a surgeons knife slicing through my heart with  no anesthesia; I feel deflated and torn, somewhat un-balanced and one dimensional.  I have panic attacks (I am told they are called grief spasms) moments (or hours) that seem to come upon me suddenly where I can't stop crying and I re-live Terence's last few days. It's exhausting, horrible and debilitating.  I told my best friend "bear with me; even if I start acting crazy, don't de-friend me on facebook, I won't be like this forever".

Terence reminded me many times before he passed away of how strong I am. How able I am to walk through this in the hands of the Lord.  And how capable God is in taking care of me.  He readied me, prayed for me and prepared me for this day so that one day soon I can rise up out of the ashes, pull off the sack cloth and say "here I am; I was struck down, but not destroyed- thank you Lord".

That's what Terence was all about. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The hurt and the healer collide

The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all our scars are understood

When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”
I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here........  (by Mercy Me)

And the Lord said to Moses, “For you have found favor in My sight, and I have known you by name.”  Then Moses said, “I pray, show me your glory!”  And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion” (Exodus 33:17-19).

Our prayer is that the Lord will show us His glory, even here- in the death of Terence.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Sometimes I find myself a little angry at God and questioning and doubting His promises for tomorrow. Sometimes I don't even want to think about what tomorrow, will it be as painful as it was today???

 The pslamist cried out " My God, my God, why are you turned away from me? why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my crying?"

Obviously the psalmist felt that God had turned away from Him.  I have to admit, sometimes I feel that way...  when things don't turn out as I had hoped.....but deep inside I know He's a good God so even in my darkest hour I know God has not forsaken me.  I don't understand all the things that have occurred, but that doesn't change His goodness and kind thoughts toward me.

For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope." 
Jeremiah 29:11
At the moment I cannot even to begin to fathom what my future will look like without my best friend.  But I cry myself to sleep each night and I commit myself into the Lord's hands and cry out to him so that He will sustain me and be the lifter of my head and trust my tomorrow to him.
That's about all I can do on a day to day basis.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heavy sighs and cries.

Heavy sighs and cries.
9.7.12 by sherry

"Heavy sighs". My yoga teacher told me that I sigh because I am stressed, and the stress is causing me to take shallow and short breaths. Deep breaths are good.

But I'm not there yet.

I'm still at the part where I cry when I look in the pantry and see Terence's cereal box.  I cry when I open the fridge and see the carton of milk (he's the only one who drinks milk).  I cry when I put my socks on because we share socks.  I cry when I  see his truck parked out side. I cry when I see cowboy Joe. I sigh when my Annie bug climbs into my lap silently and just cuddles me- no words spoken.  I cry when I pick up the mail, I cry When I check our DVR and all that's recorded is "The Best of the West" (Jim and Dean) and good old Judge Judy.  I haven't even told you what happens when I go near his closet or dresser. I cry when I sit in his chair.

I spent the week at my sister Charla's house..... I slept the entire time there and if I was awake, I was crying or sighing. I cried (and sighed) on the two hour drive back today.....coming home to an empty house and responsibilities are now all mine.  I cried when I had to balance the check book, pay bills and read condolence cards (although, the cards brought some sunshine to my heart).  I sighed when I turned the sprinklers on.

I know if Terence were here he'd still my sighing with a long hug and dry my tears with the palm of his hand while my head would be in his lap; he'd be telling me everything will be okay, then he'd lift my head up and I'd give him a kiss.  Somehow he makes everything okay for me, he always has. 

But here's not here.
"But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head".
 Psalm 3:3

                      "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matt 5:4

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Rivers of Living Waters

Rivers of living water. —
 Jesus says out of us will flow the rivers of Living Water that will bless to the uttermost parts of the earth.  We have nothing to do with the outflow........

But into my life an obstacle has come and I do not seem to know what to do.
 A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round the obstacle.
The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. 
Never get your eyes on the obstacle or on the difficulty. 
The obstacle is a matter of indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you remember to keep right at the Source. 
Never allow anything to come between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; 
nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to help a widow

To My family and friends-
I have lost the one I love, the one I cherish. My lover, my best friend, my whole life. Either you have stumbled across this because you want to find out how to help me,or I have given this to you.

  • I am numb. I am in shock. I am emotionally exhausted.
  • I am in pain. A horrible, gut-wrenching, intense, unimaginable, and indescribable pain.
  • My mind is totally occupied with processing my loss. I am trying to understand what has happened. I am attempting to make sense of it all. I am trying to comprehend the incomprehensible.
  • I can’t sleep. I want to sleep all day. I am physically exhausted.
  • I can’t eat. I can’t stop eating.
  • I can’t be bothered cooking. I can’t be bothered cleaning. I don’t want to go shopping.
  • Everything is overwhelming. Small tasks are overwhelming. Small details are overwhelming.
  • I just don’t want to know about it right now.
  • Nothing sticks in my mind. I walk out the door without my keys. I forget what I was going to do.
  • I forget everything except that my love has gone.
  • I am going through tidal waves of emotion. One minute I might be laughing, the next I may be in tears.
  • Sometimes I want to talk. Sometimes I need to be alone. Sometimes I need silent company.
  • Sometimes I need all of these things in the space of 5 minutes.
  • Most days I just want to curl up in bed and do nothing. Some days I will keep myself totally occupied in an attempt to escape.
  • Sometimes I will be intense. Sometimes I will be irrational. Sometimes I will be snappy, and often I will be totally lost in myself.
  • Often I may not have a clue as to what I want, but it only takes a moment for me to realize what I don’t want.
  • I am hypersensitive and will often be offended by things you say to try and make me feel better.
  • I want to wail. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to just sit.
  • I have no choice how I react. This is coming from deep inside me and intelligence and self control have no effect. It comes from the basal self.
  • Sometimes it so hard for me to respond to phone calls or letters or emails, but I truly appreciate that you are doing it, so please don’t stop just because I don’t respond.
  • I will not be fully-functional at work for a long time. In fact, I may never work with the same intensity again as my perspectives of what is important and what isn’t has been changed permanently.
  • I still want to laugh. I need to laugh. I may suddenly go quiet mid-laugh, when hit by a sudden reminder, but I desperately need to continue to laugh.
  • Let me talk about him/her. I want to talk about our love. I want to tell you how we met, our last days, and everything in between. I want to show you his/her picture, tell you how wonderful (s)he was.
  • Let me cry. Your acceptance that I need to cry and your permission to allow me to is one of the best gifts you can give me. Hand me a tissue, and do your best to sit quietly and let me cry.
  • Once you have allowed me to open up or cry, please don’t change the subject or try to stop me. I know you feel uncomfortable that I am in pain, don’t. Changing the subject, trying to stop me crying just makes me hold everything inside, and eats away at me.
  • Tell me all your stories of when he/she was sweet, courageous, rotten or funny. I need to hear everything about him/her. If you don’t know many, find out some from those who are too scared to approach me now.
  • Let me try to tell you what is going on inside me. I won’t succeed, but I need to try. You don’t have to do anything. Just allowing me to do it, and allowing me to feel what I need to feel means so much.
  • It is really hard for me to tell other people about my loss. I’m working full time to deal with my emotions. Trying to deal with someone else’s reaction or discomfort is the last thing I need, so if someone needs to know it would be good if you could explain it to them.
  • Don’t tell me you understand how I feel, or that you can imagine the pain I am going through, unless you have lost the love of your life. Trust me, you can’t. If I can’t, and I am going through it, trust me, you can’t – your mind will just not let you voluntarily imagine this much pain.
  • Don’t try to compare my loss to the loss of a parent, or a friend, or an acquaintance or pet, it’s not the same. I understand that all of these things are painful, but it is not the same.
  • Don’t ask how I’m doing unless you really want to know. I am assuming that as you know, and as you have asked, you truly want to know.
  • Don’t try to save me from my feelings or make me feel better. I know you can’t bear to see me in so much pain, but I need to go through all of these feelings whether I want to or not.
  • Once you have “given me permission” to talk or cry, please don’t try and distract me with small talk. I know it makes you feel better if I appear happy, but my pain is ever-present and it makes me feel like you don’t care.
  • Don’t tell me everything will be okay.
  • Don’t tell me “(s)he’s always with you”.
  • Don’t tell me “(s)he’s no longer in pain”.
  • Don’t tell me “(s)he’s looking down on you from heaven”.
  • Don’t tell me “you’re lucky that you had such love, some people don’t”.
  • Don’t tell me “(s)he’s in a better place”.
  • Don’t however be surprised however if I say these things…
  • Don’t ever tell me “you must be strong”. If ever there’s a time I should be permitted to be weak, this is it. What’s more, if I only “need to talk” to you once every few weeks, chances are I have been strong and right now I really need you to understand that I am exhausted and need help.
  • Whatever you do don’t tell me “If I were you I’d….” Until you are in the same situation, you have absolutely no idea what you will do. Your logical brain has absolutely no control.
  • Never try telling me “life goes on”, or “(s)he wouldn’t want you to cry”, or “God will never give you more than you can handle” or any other meaningless platitudes.
  • Don’t try to solve my “problem”. Unless you can bring him/her back, it can’t be “solved”.
  • Don’t feel the need to fill in silences. I know the silences are hard for you, but if you can accept them, you are helping me immensely.
  • Please don’t try and help me find “closure”, or tell me I need to find “closure”. Closure is an obscene word for me right now, as is “moving on”/”move on”.
I understand that a lot of you find it hard to cope with my emotional pain. Hate to see me hurting so if you can’t help me emotionally, you can help me practically.
  • Don’t ask me what you can do to help. I have no idea, I am overwhelmed.
  • Bring me some meals that I can just put in the microwave.
  • Find out what sort of bread, milk, toilet paper, etc I use and bring me them to me. I have no idea I need them until I run out, so don’t bother asking me if I need anything.
  • If you are an organized person offer to manage my bills. Collect the bills as they come in and let me know when they need to be paid, and make sure I do. Time has no meaning for me right now. It’s only when the cut-off notices come that I realize I need to do something.
  • Get copies of photos I don’t have from family and friends and put them in an album for me. It will be one of the most precious gifts you could give me.

  • I need to surround myself with beauty.
  • Sit in the sun and just soak it up.
  • Enjoy nature. Look at the majesty of mountains, and enjoy the miracle of a blade of grass.
  • Have a massage.
  • Write in a journal.
  • Cry when I need to. Tears are a release.
  • Not make any big decisions for a while. A big enough life change has already taken place.

  • Grief is an emotional injury that requires time to heal. Not a week, not a month, not even a year, it takes as long as it takes. It is similar to major physical injury. You may not be able to see the wounds on the inside, but they are there.
  • Real-life is nothing like TV.
  • I will not “get over it” – I will learn to live with my loss and incorporate the lessons into my life.
I will get better over time, but I will never forget him/her. The pain ebbs and flows, but never goes completely.

Love you all dearly and thanks for understanding.