Friday, July 26, 2013

Stealing My Grief

This post started out as another part of my trip report from our Coaster Summer.  Instead, though, I was reminded tonight of my wife, who passed away nine years ago, and continues to play a major role in my life.  And my grief still hurts.

I was watching FALLING SKIES earlier this evening.  It's a science fiction series that airs on TNT on Sunday nights dealing with an alien invasion on Earth in the near future, with surviving humans fighting the aliens for survival.  It focuses on Tom Mason, played by Noah Wylie, who lost his wife in the initial invasion, and fights against the aliens alongside his three sons and others.  In the most recent episode, he is having a flashback of his life before the alien invasion, and when he finds out he's still in the future and the events of the invasion have occurred, he struggles with remembering his wife and the life he had.  As I watched this, I was overwhelmed.  This happens every once in awhile, usually when I least expect it, and other times when you might expect it, like now.  And it hurts.

My wife's death was sudden, occurring during a walk with our infant daughter, when she collapsed without any warning from a major heart attack.  Though we had said, "I love you," during our walk, I didn't get the chance to say goodbye.  We had been married for less than five years, and our daughter was only five months old.  I've struggled with depression and grief, off and on, during the time since her death, and am currently dealing with a bout of depression.  I've never gotten professional health, except in conversations with pastor friends, but I recognize that I may need to go down that road to pull me through this.  I just hate how this makes me feel.

Depression is such a debilitating illness.  I've watched it affect so many others in my extended family.  When I'm in the midst of a full-blown case, I don't want to do anything.  I'm overwhelmed by everything.  It's all I can do just to get out of bed in the morning.  And even though I have everything in life I could ask for, and God has blessed me so much, I can't shake this oppressive feeling that comes over me and causes me to feel so rotten.  It hurts that my daughter has to go through her life without a mother.  And she has this father who just can't get past this feeling of being overwhelmed.

I'm not looking for sympathy.  In fact, that's the last thing I could want.  There are friends who I won't mention by name who feel like they need to say how sorry they are every time we pass a significant date.  July 24 was our wedding anniversary, and I received two messages from friends who just had to mention it, and it bothered me.  On the anniversary of her death, another friend posted on Facebook how much she missed my wife, and how much it hurt, and how bad she felt for me, and it hurt me that she felt that way.  I wanted the grief to myself and hated that she posted how much it hurt her, when it was MY wife who died, MY best friend who was taken from me.  I realize how selfish that sounds, but that's what depression has done to me.

I loved my wife like I've never loved anyone else.  Our marriage relationship was Christ-centered, and was an almost storybook-like affair.  My marriage was such a wonderful experience that I can't help but want to find another relationship like it.  I have had serious relationships since her death, but they have not been the same.  Nor should they be, really.  Every relationship should be judged on its own, not being compared to others.  I just know that God ultimately will guide me.

I realize that this is a very selfish post for me to write, and though I usually write with an audience in mind, this post is very much for myself.  So I apologize to you, the readers, and I don't blame you for skipping this post completely.  I'm hurting, particularly tonight, and feel like I just need to get this out of my system.

I'm so thankful for my life.  I live only to serve God's will, and to care for my wonderful daughter.  I only want what's best for her, and I pray that God will bring me out of this depressed mess my mind has become.  Your prayers are welcome.

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