You hear it said that when somebody you love dies, a piece of you dies along with them. When it is your spouse – your soul mate – half of who you were dies. You are forever changed.
Someone asked me how I’ve changed since the loss of Rick. What don’t I do anymore? I think it would be better described as “What am I like now?”
To start off, I just don’t talk to people. If I had the choice, I would stay in and never gather with others for fellowship. The fun half of the relationship is gone. I am like a pot of water on a coil heat stove – it takes me a while to warm up. Most people don’t get that. I can count, and not even need all 10 fingers, the people who still actively talk to me now that Rick is gone. And only one of those fingers are a couple.
I don’t cook like I used to. Actually, I hardly cook anymore. We don’t like leftovers. Rick would be the one to always eat them. I hate cooking, then throwing away bins of food a week later, so I just don’t.
I don’t have the joy that I used to. I normally was happy. Even when things were hard, I could see the silver lining. I really had all I needed with Rick – we could weather anything. Now, I really don’t feel much of anything. I’m emotionally numb. I’m like Riley in the movie “Inside Out” after the other emotions tried to help bring Joy back by having her (Riley) run away – back to the place they felt joy the most. Instead, her command station shut down, and everything went gray. That’s me – I went gray and all my personality islands came crashing down.
My mind has changed. I have so many thoughts that run through my mind that sometimes it’s like there’s none at all. I just sit there – blankly – like my mind temporarily shuts down. My brain is so overwhelmed with having to take on the things Rick would take care of, on top of grieving, on top of what I would normally do around the house (and in life in general); add to it making sure the girls are handling and processing Rick’s death, school, friends, and the normalcy of body changes at their ages – handling all that okay – it’s a lot. My brain can’t always process it, so it won’t. I am forgetful. Even if you just tell me something, I don’t always remember. I tell people, “Even if I write it down, it may be days before I remember it. And that’s even IF I remember!”
And this is just part of how I’ve changed. I’m sure there’s more that I haven’t realized yet.
But one thing I have realized…how much God has been with me through all this.
Zechariah 2:10 says “‘Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst.’ says the Lord.”
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
While I thought I had all I needed with Rick, the reality is, that I will only have all I need when all I have is God.
“You, LORD, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.” Psalm 16:5, GNT
“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT
Philippians 4:19 (ESV) “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
He has reminded me that my Joy comes from the Lord.
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b
“weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5b
I know that He has allowed me to be broken down, so that He can build me up.
Romans 8:28 tells me ” And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Psalm 71:20 says ” Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. “
I know He promises to restore me.
“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61: 1-3
While I know that I will never again be the person I was before Rick died, I can take comfort in knowing that God has a plan for the new person I am becoming. I don’t know who that person will be yet…my personality islands are still being built back up….
2 thoughts on “How Grief Changes You”
I loved reading this, my prayers are for you and your girls as you build your new life. Again, Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Ox
This is beautiful, raw, relatable and needed. You are stewarding this incredible trial with such honesty. Don’t underestimate how it is glorifying God. Praying for you and for your girls.