When I received the call that he had passed away my heart was breaking for her. As a wife and a mom my thoughts and tears were tied up in these thoughts: she did not know it would be their last week together. Yes, he had cancer and was very ill but no one thinks this is really it, not that quickly. Decades together, 3 children together, grandchildren, marriage and life together for more than half of their lives, then she had to say good bye. She will never hug him, kiss him or be able to physically love him again. There will be an empty place in her bed and her life. She will bury her husband, her sweet heart, the love of her life, father of her children and grandpa of her grandchildren. She will have to come home alone. After the funeral and the family peels off one by one she will have to find a new state of normalcy.
However, with prayer I began to think this way: with the faith she holds on. With God next to her she talks to him. With Jesus Christ as an example she knows that He is raised with Him. She has no proof but she knows that her husband is now held in the arms of Jesus instead of her own. Instead of her home he now shares heaven with so many loved ones that went before him. She believes with all that she has that the pain is gone for him and eternal bliss has begun.
But right now all I can think about is how I would feel if I were her: all I would want to do is go back to last week. Last week when he sat in his chair and talked about the choices they would make. When she could hear his voice and look at his face. When she could still make him dinner and cuddle with him at night. Right now she cannot think about heaven she can only feel the void that he has left behind. Right now she hurts and cries and is walking in a daze.
My husband’s grandpa endured the pain last year, as did my aunt and my neighbor. All three of them said they never thought they would make it this far but it has been a year now. They still hurt and miss their loved ones but time moves on and they adjust. The best explanation I have heard for such a separation is that of an amputee. One can live without that arm or leg but their life will never be the same again. One can adjust but nothing will be as it once was.
Prayers for her, hugs for her family, notes of encouragement, hot meals cooked with care, visits talking about the memories of him and love for her is what we can do now. We will love her through the loss and the wounds and faith will carry her on in her life but he will never be replaced, forgotten or loved any less now that he has left this earth behind. May he rest in the eternal peace of Christ this day and every day for all of eternity. Please pray for her and her family but most of all love them through it.