Since Kathy died…

It has now been 16 days since Kathy died.  Although I have no “baseline” to measure with but I’m assessing that I’m doing okay. Some days are very hard and some are better than the hard ones.  The truth of the matter is I feel like I’m falling through a dark hole and I cannot find my way and so the fall continues until I snag something…One thing is abundantly clear to me–this is harder than I expected and so I’m working hard to learn the way life will be for me and my family going forward without Kathy. The finality of that statement is devastating to me because I’m still working to ACCEPT that Kathy will not be part of my future.  At some point in the journey, Kathy and I began to use a phrase “Life as it is” and that is never more true than today.  It is not life as I would want it nor is it life as we planned it but it is life as it is, now.

I attended my first grief support group last night and that was helpful.  My schedule is not going to work for this group but I’m working to join another group in a local church that will be more faith-based and I’m hopeful that will be good.  After a week away, I came back to Akron for a few days, to handle some business and see how I would do with the transition back home without her and largely it was not as bad as I thought although I have moments–like yesterday when I cancelled her AMEX card (perhaps my agony was her “up there” kicking me for closing her beloved account!) but those kinds of things trigger emotions and I guess there is no way to avoid that. Some have surmised that I should wait to do things like that until I’m stronger but I think the project-task mentality in me wants to do something so I’m handling small things legally and financially.  I’ll wait on the larger issues of her stuff and the house. That can wait.

I spent last week with friends and the boys, their families and the grandchildren.  It helped and the strength of our family will be key to all of us making adjustments.  Jeremy has written a great piece for his blog if you want to read it and I think both Jeremy and Jason are processing life well.  Corrie and Andrea are doing well and I think their families are going to be fine.  I know Kathy worried about how her boys and their families would process the possibility of death and I think she would be very proud of both sons.  So much of who she was is deeply rooted in them and her strength of faith and character will sustain them.  Obviously, God is our help and I’m so thankful to be covered by His presence.  There is peace in this house and that is so important.

I’m glad Kathy went first because I would not want her to go through this.  It’s brutal on so many levels and while I know I will make it, I’m thankful to know she will never go through this.  I’m sure in time, I’ll come to appreciate more deeply the journey of grief and how that “embracing the pain” positions me for better days, it just does not feel that positive at this point.  I’m surrounded by competent people and everyone is doing all they can (seriously)!  It is not a lack of attention nor any suppressed feelings that is blocking me (I don’t think), rather my pain is probably from the fact I loved so much.  It is likely that my intense love for Kathy in life will make this journey what it is for now, painful and emotional.  I read today of a grief counselor who tells of a woman who came to her group and said she was not grieving as much as others because she was glad to get out of the awful marriage she was in.  I can see that but the relationship I had with Kathy will make this journey more emotional and painful to transition than that.

Don Piper uses a metaphor of “bridges” to talk about life transitions. That seems like a good one because this bridge that all of us crossed on March 2, 2011 changed the view of life and the landscape of the future forever.  As much as we might want to, there is no going back…only forward.  I intend to do that–with God’s help and this crowd of faithful friends and family like you who have chosen to love and accept me.
I miss Kathy Isaacs.

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