The week after Chris died, when I was still numb and moving through my days by sheer adrenaline, a counselor called me from MD Anderson. During our conversation, she gave me some practical advice about taking life moment by moment, day by day. I had forgotten one thing she said until tonight,
“sometimes, all you will be able to do is breathe, so make yourself take deep breaths to calm your panic and the overwhelming emotions that hit you. It is normal to feel this and the wave will pass if you will just breathe through it. “
I hadn’t thought about those words until tonight. If a person experienced the same waves of emotions in the normal course of life, I have no doubt doctors would medicate them and lock them away. One moment, I am thanking God for being trustworthy and the next moment I hear a song and my heart pounds so hard I can feel it, the racking sobs come , the intense body shakes, the panic, the crushing pain in my gut and I can hardly breathe and feel like I am losing my mind. Actually, there are times when losing my mind would make it easier so I would no longer be aware of the pain.
If you’ve never experienced grief like this, the description might disappoint or shock you. The battle of whether I need professional help or does God just want me to shoulder the burden and press on…..it’s a daily struggle. Is it a weakness to admit that you need help? Are you saying God isn’t enough? Would Chris be disappointed that I’m struggling so much? I honestly don’t know…I’m still working that out in my heart and mind.
As I frantically cried guttural moans to God tonight and told Him that I miss Chris…I need him back…I can’t do this life without him… I don’t want to do this life without him…I was made to be his helper and now he is gone…I remembered the counselors words… “breathe.”
So I sit here taking deep breaths and the shakes and sobs have calmed. She was right…when those intense moments hit, one of the best things to do is just breathe. Hopefully, I can remember that the next time the crashing wave hits me full force.
Blessed to be the wife of my childhood sweetheart for 29 years before he was ushered into Heaven after a year long battle with pancreatic cancer. Now I pour myself into our family legacy; our three children, grandchildren, ministries and trying to figure out how to do this new normal. Chris is my forever love and lives on through his family. Until we are reunited one sweet day, I will press on.