A Few of My Favorite Things

  • God and all that goes with Him
  • Time Spent With Family
  • Bedtime Prayers
  • Family/Group Hugs
  • The Beach
  • Good Friends
  • Good Music
  • Laughter

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How We Greive As a Couple

**This blog gives some background on how my sweetheart and I have dealt with the different types of losses we've dealt with during our marriage with a special emphasis on the loss of my sister and cousin along with the "Samantha" before the headache.**

Over the last 23 years, my sweetheart and I have had lots of ups and downs. We chose to do things the hard way. We got married 6 days after I turned 18. We left from our honeymoon with a phone number of a couple we’d never seen or talked to before with hopes of a place to stay, but my love knew that at the end of the week, we’d at least have the first month’s rent for a home that we had yet to find. We were young, in love, and determined to prove we could leave home and survive. These are good memories now and we learned to depend on God and each other along with the love of other sweet brothers and sisters who had walked similar paths.
The learning to depend on each other has been vital to our survival. (Mat 19:4-6 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.") Only putting God before each has been more important. Financial struggles have always been apart of our lives. We are “used” to those. It’s but so long as you are healthy and you know that you can use some talent God has given you to stretch things just a little further then you’re good to go. But what happens when all of a sudden your sweetheart, your knight, at the age of 27 begins to deal with heart attack like symptoms, and he can’t get a full breath. You sit in the ER and in doctor’s office after doctor’s office, tests are ordered and run and yet…there’s no real answer.
So you watch your knight, the man with an iron will come face to face with his mortality. You begin to wonder why us? You want to help and fix it, but there’s nothing to do but pray. Oh, how very powerful prayer is, yet there are times when it can make you feel helpless. Especially when you’re 24 and your faith is still young. So you become angry, and he pulls away…and you sit in the back of the building on singing night alone and cry. (Psalms56:8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?) Thank you God for sending your servants to help us in times of turmoil. One of the ladies sat beside me and asked about my sweetheart, and she said she’d pray for us. I know she did and others too because my sweetheart made a full recovery…not even the heart specialist now at the age of 44 can hear the slosh of the mitral valve that was a small part of what he dealt with. (James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.)
From there we went on to deal with a major health crisis for me and a financial setback. It was as if God was giving us a training ground for the really hard days ahead. We did better this time, we asked others to pray with and for us. We talked more about how each felt. Maybe it was easier because we’ve learned that when my sweetheart grieves he needs to be busy. So he stayed busy taking care of me. We also learned the value of relaxation exercises and meditation. Once again, we were very blessed and I made a complete recovery. I missed a semester of teaching, yet God placed me in a school in the county we lived in and though the first year I moved from room to room, I had a job.
It was January of ’98 when we got “the” call in the middle of the night. It was the one, where my sweetheart said, your mom said we need to come home and I don’t know what happened but it’s bad and we need to go. So we threw on some clothes, put a few things in a bag and headed from Millbrook to BayMinette. When we reached Evergreen, we called the house and got Daddy and the news that my sister and cousin had been killed by drunk driver on their way home from Mobile. We made phone calls to people at church, so they would know where we were and then the shock began to wear off and we cried and cried and cried. My love pulled over until he could see to drive and we made it home. No parent should have to deal with what mama and daddy did, it’s my prayer that you never have to hold your mama and daddy as they weep the loss of one of their babies, to never hear them say, I’m sorry, as you hold them. Praise God, for the strength He gives us as we mourn the loss of those taken from us; without it we would fall.(Psa 86:15-16 But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your maidservant)
After that, it seemed to get easier, we got busy taking care of mama and daddy. My sweetheart stayed with daddy every step of the way that he wasn’t with mama, and I stayed with mama or delegated out directions to my brother and baby sister. Looking back, I was probably too bossy, but I was determined that no one was going to say or do anything harder for her. There were some rough times during those days, but we took care of people. We’ve found that’s one of the ways we deal with grief as a couple.
If you’ll bear with me I’m going to fast forward some. Our weekends were spent in Bay Minette. This allowed Daddy to work his weekend job without Mama being home by herself, and my sweetheart was remodeling Mama’s kitchen. It was almost like we had moved back home, we were very busy. The “baby” graduated from high school, my brother got married, and we bought a house.
After that came the 24/7 migraine that I’m still dealing with everyday. Yes, there’s grief that comes for the Samantha that used to be. The things I was able to do, plans made, foods eaten, and activities enjoyed. We also had to come to terms with the fact that we would not have any biological children of our own. We had always planned for a large family with 2 or 3 biological children and then many more adopted and foster children. We had even sketched the house and the bedrooms with the built-in study nooks and game room. We grieved the loss of the dream. This time, we went about it differently. My sweetheart became very involved in his martial arts, his music, and some cycling. I dealt with the pain, school, and became very fixated on beginning the paperwork process for adoption. It was time and I felt it was an urgent to begin. I also began going to visit the sick and shut-ins with a friend from church one night a week. So once again, we got busy…we just didn’t always see a lot of one another.
Grief is something that everyone deals with differently. There is no right or wrong way and there is no specified period of time that is either too short or too long. We can know our heavenly Father cares and that it does not bring Him joy when we grieve. 2Ki 20:5 "Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD." I do have some recommendations I’d like to make. (Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary person without a degree in counseling. I believe that counseling is good and if you find yourself in a place that you need help with then see a counselor that is a member of the church, so you will be guided by Biblical principles.)
1) Find someone who will sit and listen, hold you, or your hand when grief begins to feel like an ocean wave that will pull you under. Just like the child at the beach, the parent’s hand will bring them to safety. So can having someone else willing to just be there as you mourn and weep, it will give you the comfort and ability to deal with the emotions that are too scary to deal with alone. Just knowing that someone is there and willing to help you hold on can allow you to let go and deal with the emotions that you feel would drown you alone.
2) Find things that make you laugh. Find a friend and share corny jokes with them. Find music that brightens your day and listen to it.Pro 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
3) It’s o.k. to deal with your grief a little bit at a time. Take out a small memory deal with that and then be ready to move on.
4) Above all, spend time in prayer and study. The devil loves to get us when we are weak. He will take advantage of any opportunity to bring us down. 1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. When you can’t pray for yourself, ask someone else too. There are times when our hearts are so full of grief (and sometimes anger) that we just don’t feel that we can pray for ourselves. When you feel that way, ask someone to pray for you. Jam 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I deal with my grief on a daily basis. Some days, it’s the grief that comes from the restrictions placed on my life by the headache. Some days, it’s the missing of my sister and cousin and the fun we had growing up. The sitting around sharing the stories of do you remember when we…, There are many “adventures” the three of went on as children that no one remembers but me now, and that’s hard. Some days, it’s the grief we have as a family that we would have liked to have had siblings for my sweet boy so he would have stories to tell. But above all, I know that no matter what happens this life is temporary and the place to which we are going is so much better that I can be homesick for a place I’ve never seen. Our God is good and He wants good things for His children. We just have to be patient and follow His lead.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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