Saturday, May 18, 2013

Grief is in the small things.

Hello friends and family,

I know that it's been a long time since I last wrote.  I hardly seem to have words to say to explain what I'm feeling these days.  It's so dichotomous - though my world is rife with pain and grief, yet I am also sustained by that unimaginable peace that comes only through a tight tether with the Holy Spirit.  I have truly been blessed for the last several weeks by His grace and His comfort.

I've been through a few of those "firsts" that are notoriously difficult in the first year after loss.

The first birthday party (for Colton):






First major family event that Ryan had expressed he had really wanted to be at (Corey's graduation):



First Mother's Day (which Ryan had done an excellent job celebrating with me for three years prior):


Mother's Day at Comerica: WIN!

First wedding anniversary without him - May 13.

Somehow, the "firsts" have not been as bad as I worked them up to be.  Maybe the first Christmas is where all of the anxiety and sadness is going to hit me like a freight train, but I've been okay so far through these "firsts".

It's the small things that have been getting me:

  • The silence
  • His handwriting
  • Seeing an article of his clothing
  • Catching a whiff of his brand of cologne somewhere
  • Disconnecting his phone
  • Hearing a song that reminds me of him
  • Checking the "Single" box on a piece of paperwork
  • Seeing his traits in his son
  • Seeing a TV show that we watched together
  • Seeing his horse
  • Seeing any horse
I lived with Ryan 365 days a year.  Only 10-15 of the days in any given year are holidays or special days that we celebrated together.  So the other 340 days of the year is where it feels like we really did true life together.  The laughing, loving, arguing, negotiating, encouraging, bantering, and just living - we did that all together and that's the part that I miss the most.  As I write this, it's Saturday morning and I am waiting for Colton to wake up.  If Ryan were still here, he would be awake and we would be probably a quarter of the way through a pot of coffee and watching SportsCenter, our Saturday morning routine.  I miss having the need to make an entire pot of coffee on a Saturday.  I miss the SportsCenter theme song.

I just miss Ryan.  And all of the sights, sounds, activities, hugs, phone calls, letters, and everything else that accompanied him.

And yet - however wrenching the pain is, my God is greater.  I know, without any doubt, that His grace will be sufficient for today, even without a pot of coffee and SportsCenter - and my best friend.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

Oh Lord, please heal my broken heart and help lessen the pain.  I know that somehow Ryan's death was somehow meant for my good and not for my harm.  May I and my family continue to glorify you even through tears.  I trust you implicitly and I love you desperately.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing even though we have never met many friends from church know you. you and Ryan have really touched our hearts and we hope one day to have the depth of faith that you had during Ryan's illness and continue to have my little boy prays for you and Colton every night as do the rest of my family. Please confine to let us know how you're doing you have no idea how uplifting your words are :-) God bless you

Emily Rose Laninga said...

Hi Kendra. So many people are grieving with you and even though there's nothing we can say that changes anything, I'm sure you feel better knowing people are thinking of you often. I'm sure your writing brought tears to more than just my eyes today. I hope adjusting gets easier and that you have a nice Saturday. Big hugs! Xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing even though we have never met many friends from church know you. you and Ryan have really touched our hearts and we hope one day to have the depth of faith that you had during Ryan's illness and continue to have my little boy prays for you and Colton every night as do the rest of my family. Please confine to let us know how you're doing you have no idea how uplifting your words are :-) God bless you

Sue Tariske said...

I love the way you write,Thank You for sharing.(But you always bring tears.)

Anonymous said...

Love you Kendra...
Thank you for sharing your love, your hurt, your strength, your weakness, your compassion, your glory, your heart ache, your joy, your sorrow, your happiness & most of all your faith with all of us!
You, Ryan & Colton are so loved & so treasured!
Juanita

Annetta said...

Yes, this was my experience as well, way back in 1990 when my beloved husband died after a long illness. Grocery shopping without his preferences in mind, going to pick up a prescription and hearing a song playing on the overhead, and losing it in the store. Dreams of holdind his hand and waking up with my hand empty, yet curled around invisible fingers... I so understand.

This is hard and you will bend, but you wont break.

God is with you thru it all.

So many continue to pray for you and yours,including me

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I believe the part about the 340 days of the year being life together and that is what you miss. I am sure you feel supported and loved on the big days by friends and family, but those other days must be terribly hard at points. Thank you for all of your honesty and faith.
Betsy Smith

Sharon Stewart said...

Grieving with you, in a way that only one has also walked that road, can do.
There is great comfort and joy in knowing our dear ones are enjoying heaven with Jesus, even as we miss them desperately.
Keep drawing your strength from Him, even as you are doing.

Francine Busch said...

As I read your list, I was saying, 'yes, yes, yes,' and the part about missing all the "laughing...bantering"I said a hearty "YES". I miss that the most, too. And the hugs! You have been forced through many of the 'firsts' soon after his home going, and that hurts. Be encouraged, sweet young friend..the sting of this pain lessens with time, but the memories stay acute and become more precious as things of incredible joy! I promise. May you continue to press closely to the heart of your Father for peace, strength and courage. Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts today.
You have touched me and many here with your update.
So many people are praying for you, and all of the family.
Peace Be With You.

Anonymous said...

May your thoughts be of the happiness you shared together. Maybe the times you see something of his or something that Colton does and you think of Ryan maybe those times he's thinking of you ......those may be the times he's "with" you. Continued prayers of comfort....

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Karen Webster said...

I can relate! I found that I geard myself up for the special occasions and managed to get through them. It was the every day "stuff" that got to me. There are still times, after 12+ years, when I find myself wanting to rush home to tell my late husband something that happened to me at work or someone that I had seen that day that we hadn't seen in a long time. Your faith will get you through! Hang in there.

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Bethany said...

Kendra, Just went back and read this blog. I feel like it is the small things where I miss Gabe the most, too -- simple things like only having to buckle one child into a carseat, or not hearing him babble in the morning upon waking, even washing diapers. At times there just seems to be that emptiness that hangs over me like a dense fog. I, too, am clinging to that promise of comfort in 2 Corinthians.

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Kendra you are a wise woman.

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