Today is two years since my husbands passing. Its a world of difference since that day turned everything upside down and inside out. We’ve grown up a lot since then. Sometimes I think I’m living out one of those lifetime movies I used to see or maybe an episode of crime victim unit. I used to enjoy the mystery in those shows. Today, I couldn’t bear to watch one I’d be so triggered. PTSD is for real. Trauma knocks you flat on your back looking up and buries you half alive too. You decide how far down you’ll go and how long you’ll stay there before you’d like to begin the difficult climb to begin your healing. I didn’t wait very long. Still it took a bit for my heart to thaw from its shocked frozen state. It was so dark in my mind for quite a bit. I mean truly, how does a mind process something like murder? Especially of your husband? …and by your ex-husband. I just wasn’t equipped for all of that. I didn’t really have the capacity to process that much evil. I also didn’t like the idea of dealing with death so close to me. I hated that in fact. I’d dealt with my Dad’s suicide years before. This was different. This bore an intensity that left me groaning deeper than words or sobs could. It was depravity, abandonment and pain on a whole new level. There are issues I don’t even want to unpack. Anyhow, below is a little bit of the story of that day…that fateful day I lost him, my handsome husband and best friend. It’s soothing to write and perhaps my words make a difference somewhere I don’t know.
March 24th, 2018 I stood there facing the wall beyond it my husband lay sleeping for the final time here on earth. His last breath already taken. My mind is frozen one moment and then racing through multitudes of thoughts the next. If I try hard enough, I can see through that wall and I press myself back to our last moments together in the morning. Our customer service, our embrace, our kiss, our goodbyes. There was no thought to it being our last and forever, how could this be it? How could he be gone? Gone, just instantly gone. How does a 40ish year old lady wrap her mind around the idea that her husband is laying dead on the other side of that wall?
The place is loaded with officers, a multitude of officers. More police and county people than I’ve ever seen in one place like ever before. When I arrived back to the bakery building, they ushered me into the owner’s space at the back of ours. An officer or two passed in and out and a couple of friends and a pastor arrived that had been called on my behalf. One of the officers asked about our security system and I passed off my phone which had every possible detail recorded on it.
I watched as the two officers walked across the room and navigated the camera security app on my phone. Their faces intent and serious in deep concentration. I’d watched only bits of what was on my camera system. Enough to see my dear husband on the floor and see my 7-year-old roll him over. I saw officers later by my husband but not aiding him. Perhaps this is how I realized his passing before anyone told me. Now as I watched officers view the day’s events a serious heaviness began to fall upon me. The finality of it all. The weight of death, though no-one had told me anything yet. The world was moving around me, I stood frozen, broken and shattered. It was sinking upon me the weight of it all. The lights became dim, like shadows settling over my mind. I knew his heart had stopped beating but I had to will my own to keep on though I wasn’t fully sure why. All of life seemed futile in those agonizing moments that turned into hours. I stood and stood and waited and waited for someone to tell me something. I felt totally invisible and yet fully like the most important spectacle of all. I wanted to disappear and sleep and awaken later and this would all have been just a terrible negative vision to cast off. The ache of my body and pound of my head tell me this is real and present right now. If there weren’t so many people around, I’d lay down on the cool cement floor to weep. If only I could slip away alone. At last the coroner came in to talk with me. She talked about the time of his passing and the cause being a gunshot. All I could think was begging of her how long did he suffer? How long was he in pain before he died, and she said it was not long at all. I ached for relief of this. I physically hurt at the idea of his suffering.
Here was where I began to understand that one man had taken another man’s life. One man my husband had stood in the gap for me. My heart stood agonizingly suddenly still. I quite possibly could have died today too. We both quite possibly might have died today. I did not though, and my love quite possibly took my place. That is the greatest love I have ever known, and my heart began to groan in grief. I had immediate heavy pain in my chest. Though my eyes looked around and took in so much, my ears tuned out. Grief and shock settling in upon me was the loudest silence I have ever heard.
What do I know in this moment as I stand looking at that wall? The wall where my husband lays on the other side…I know this sucks! I know this is as bad as I think it is! I cannot make it any worse and in this moment nothing I do can make it any better. What has happened cannot be made right, it cannot be undone, it cannot be restored. I must be honest in this moment. There is no fixing right now as I step into this, there is only bearing, and I cannot. So, I must turn to God who can as I stand here still blinking in horror. I am in shock at this new trauma. I am in shock at what one human has done to others.
I am certain that there is not one human on this earth that in that moment could fully grasp exactly how I felt. Not one human who could acknowledge the fullness of the capacity of loss experienced in my mind. The ideas of the why’s and how’s racing through my mind and all the horrors combined were too much for me. The reality of it all is far different from what other people see on the outside. There are no words for explaining to children about murder currently nor what I’ll have to do when my littlest ones are big enough to ask hard questions. There is no depth or height of sorrow my mind will take me in the questions of what if I had only…could I have saved him if I had thought to do certain things. My mind was working hard to lay blame on myself. How does someone we know and were supposed to trust choose to do this? Why? Is there no mercy? Dear God, couldn’t my husband have died of a heart attack or car accident or something else? Anything else? Seriously? There is a pain in this world that you cannot be delivered of – you must journey through. This sorrow wasn’t only for me to bear, I could not. I reached my arms up to my Father God and begged of Him to be held just now. I knew there would be no fixing it, it just had to be borne. Bear it I do…God in me and I in Him. From that moment on, though my human brain experiences so many questions and twists and turns, my heart has known peace so much bigger than earth can explain. I now understand this peace beyond understanding, I live it daily.
It is shocking watching your world fall to pieces and in everything and everyone around your life goes on. People keep on loving and squabbling. The birds sing, the dogs bark, even the seasons have the nerve to change. All the while you are frozen in time and life is like a movie slowly playing around you. As time passes life begins to feel a little bit more real again, but you will never forget that moment in time where your life stood unbearably still.
On the day of my beloveds’ passing I read a devotional by Sarah Young from the book Jesus Calling. She was spot on…That is the image that is attached.