It’s been almost 9 months and I still struggle entering my bedroom. I’ve read many different accounts from other widows about how long it took them to sleep in their bed again. I’ve been facing it since day one. I knew after the long car ride home from the hospital that awful November 13, that it was something I’d need to do and I didn’t want to put it off. Why delay the inevitable?
But, it still hits me nearly every time I walk thru the door. In fact, I feel the dread as I’m making the trek down the hallway toward my room each night. Nights are the worst.
The first night home, I fell asleep without even remembering doing so. I had been pretty sleep deprived and had refused to leave the hospital from November 9-13. I don’t have many memories from the time I left the hospital to going to sleep. I guess that’s normal for trauma. Here’s what I do remember…waking up in a pitch black bedroom and not knowing where I was. I could hear nothing. I could see nothing. I felt completely out of sorts. I listened for anything but no sound came. This is not unique to me. I’ve experienced this sensation before. It’s always come with sleep deprivation. Both times I was brought back to reality by the sound of a soothing voice–my husbands.
But that night, no sound came. My mind raced with confusion. I can’t begin to put into words what I felt as my mind caught up with my reality. As I sat up in bed, desperately trying to scan my eyes for anything that looked familiar, the only words that began to race through my mind was, “he’s dead”. My brain argued with my heart as I was still trying to fully wake up. But, my heart began to race faster and faster and my mind swirled with fears too big for me to grasp at 2 or 3am. “It can’t be true”, I argued. But as I strained my eyes to see Clint’s side of the bed, I realized he wasn’t there. Where was he?
Immediately I began to sob. It was true. So gut-wrenchingly true.
I write to comfort others in that same place. I cried out to God numerous times, loudly, “Where are You??”. ” Do you see me? Do you care? I can’t feel You? I can’t hear You!”. But, I am still here. I can see His fingerprints all over me and my children’s lives! He’s been oh so faithful!
I recently heard a message by Lysa Terkheurst at a conference I went to. She’s been through some rough things in her marriage the last couple years. Here’s a quote from her message that really resonated with me, “I’ve licked the floor of hell and lived to tell about it”. I echo her sentiments.
**Update: I wrote this a while back. I wanted to chronicle the places I’ve been emotionally, for others walking similar paths. I never want people to feel alone in their pain. Today is 1.5 years without Clint. Again, I feel pain. I sat down to reread saved drafts that I never went “live” with and felt this would be a good one to finally make public. This was written 9 months after losing him. I can’t remember why I never posted it, but today I felt led to finally do so. “I don’t know what hard horrible thing you may be going through in life right now, but I know my God! He never takes anything away without having a plan!”. That’s a partial quote by Clint and I think on it when things get rough. Hang in there! God’s not done with you yet!