Archive for the ‘loss’ Tag

OPENING   Leave a comment

Have you been opening your gifts this month?  The gifts that God is waiting to give you, that He has all ready and wrapped for you?

I had a small gift opening last week. I have a friend, a former co-worker.  She is out on disability, which is a long story I won’t get into.  She was raised Catholic but rejected that once she became an adult.  Now in her 60’s I’m not sure what she believes, but she has stated clearly that she thinks people who go to church are stupid.

And yet she does not object to my asking her if I can pray for her, or telling her I prayed for her.  She admits she prays.  At any rate, we recently had a bad wind and rain storm and during the course of about an hour and a half the power went out and came back on several times.  The longest time was about 25 minutes.

I realized how grateful I was that Randy was not there.  My dear husband, the past few years of his life, was on supplemental oxygen.  When he was in the house we had an oxygen concentrator and a long tube (really, a series of tubes) that connected to his cannula and he could be on the oxygen anywhere in the house.  When he had to leave the house, he used portable tanks.  He could last about 45 minutes without oxygen, but that would be cutting it close.  It was always very, very stressful and frightening when he ran out of oxygen when we were going somewhere and we had to switch tanks.  And ditto for when the power went out, or the concentrator died for other reasons.

And now I don’t have that worry.   Now my stress and anxiety don’t spike when the power goes out.  I shared this with my friend, and I told her that it was a little funny to me that after almost 10 months of him being gone, I could find something to be grateful for that he was not there.

She wrote back and thanked me for sharing that, and told me it gave her a new outlook on her own situation with work and being on disability.  I really felt that was a gift from God.  Out of my pain and loss, I was able to help someone else.  It blessed my heart.

Posted January 18, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Stories

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Sometimes I Just Give Up   Leave a comment


Poor widow, her husband died.

Lots of prayers and cards and visits and meals.

A memorial service, phone calls, emails, condolences.


Empty house, empty bed, empty heart.

Keep busy, widow.

Keep working, take care of yourself,

do the shopping, cooking, cleaning …

all by yourself.

Keep busy, widow.

Go outside, talk to people, go to church,

do your hobbies, reconnect with friends,

pet the cats, feed the cats, groom the cats,

do your job; stay busy, busy, busy.


Sometimes … I just give up.

It is just too hard to maintain the façade.

I can’t do it.  The grief, the loss is just

too overwhelming.


Sometimes … I just give up.

I stay home.  Don’t drive.  Don’t talk to anyone.

I stay in my PJs.  I cry, and cry, and cry.

I go back to bed.  I immerse myself in a book

or a TV show or stupid computer games;

anything, anything so I don’t have to think

about how much I desperately miss my most

wonderful husband.


Sometimes … I just give up.

I get so tired of people saying I’m strong.

No, I am NOT strong!

I don’t know what you see, but you

don’t see me if you think I am strong.

My only strength, my only source, is my Lord

God Almighty.  I can do nothing without Him.


He wants me to stay, He wants me to carry on.

He wants me to work as if I’m working for Him,

and shine my light for Him and be the best

person I can, for Him.

But sometimes … I just give up.

Posted July 17, 2016 by Maureen in Musings, Poems

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Still Breathing In and Out   Leave a comment

My husband’s service was last Saturday.  For days beforehand, and all day that day until 1:00 pm I kept saying to myself, “I DON’T want to do this!”  But I did.  Because he was only going to get one memorial service, and I wanted to do it right.  And it was done right.  It was a fitting, moving, unique memorial of his life and the person he was.  And we had lots of food afterwards, which he would have enjoyed very much.

I was totally spent the next day.  And the day after, truth be told.  Not only sad and feeling the loss, but drained from all the emotions of Saturday.  And yet God gave me strength.  He gives me strength.  Just enough to get through each day.

On the Friday before the memorial, my little sister sent me flowers via FedEx.  It was a dozen of the same kind of orchids I had in my wedding bouquet.  I burst into tears when I opened the package.  Sad, but also very happy memories.  I so appreciated her doing that, and remembering me and my husband that way.  Monday, after a long day and being very very tired emotionally and physically, I got an email out of the blue from the property management company that runs the apartment complex where I live.  “Maureen,” the email said, “we don’t want you to worry about anything.  Next month we’ve taken $1,000 off your rent.”  Who DOES that?  I never asked them to do something like that — never even thought to ask for that.  But God knew.  God does stuff like that.

I saw a friend at work this week.  She had never met my husband, but she knew me and had been very happy about my engagement and then marriage.  She gave me a sad smile, and then just hugged me. That’s it.  She didn’t say anything, she just gave me a big hug.  I’ve had people at church come up and take my hand and tell me, “I know what you are going through – I lost my spouse.”  And that is all they say.  Just that.  That is all that is needed.

I’ve been getting cards in the mail from people.  I know a couple that have been missionaries to orphans and widows all over the world.  They have a terrific ministry and I have been on three missions trips with their group.  I know them personally and have been in their home.  They sent me a lovely card …. and a check for $100.

I’m moving from strength to strength, taking each day in whatever sized chunk I can handle at a time.  Resting in God’s grace and His foundation.

Posted April 29, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Married Musings

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Struggle   Leave a comment

Every day since my most wonderful husband passed away has been a struggle.  I feel like I am in a horrible, deja-vu, unreal nightmare.

I met with my Pastor this week and we went over the service and also where tables would be laid out for the reception.  It made me so sad.  I kept saying to myself, “I don’t want to do this.  I don’t want to do this.”  And yet – this is the only memorial service My Randy will have.  I want to do it right.  So I made decisions and I made choices and I am doing the things I have to do.

I will have to move out of our apartment, which has caused a lot of stress and anxiety in me.  Our property management company is being very nice and accommodating and I won’t have to move until this summer.  I have been reminded again of how God has always looked after me and taken care of me.  He has always provided, just what I needed, when I need it.  Sometimes my flesh gets in the way and I stress or get anxious, but the steady, unchanging, persistent love of God never leaves me and I find myself resting on that rock.

I don’t want to be a widow. I don’t want to be alone.  I want my Randy back.  But things don’t always turn out the way we want them.  Things happen, life changes, time moves on.  I just cling to my rock, and hold onto my faith in the great creator and provider, and I get by day by day.

Posted April 16, 2016 by Maureen in Married Musings

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Never Ending   1 comment

My only son was killed 15 years ago.  It was devastating for me, and I plunged into two years of deep emotional shock.  It was only by the grace and love of God that I was able to get through it and come out of my shock slowly.

Every year, around his birthday and the anniversary of the day of his death, I have had problems.  I get so sad.  I get very emotional.  I feel myself slipping into shock and grief again.  It has been overwhelming at time, and feels never ending.  I just don’t want to feel this way. I want to remember my son and his life without all the sadness and loss and grief.

But it seems I am destined to feel this way.  I get through it every year, twice a year, but it is never pleasant.  It has gotten a bit better every year (I used to have to take days off to be by myself), but all the feelings come back year after year.  I have not thought of anything to “do” with the feelings and loss.  Perhaps that is why they keep coming back.

My husband has never wanted children, and has none of his own.  I told him about my son being killed early in our relationship, and he is one of the few people I can talk to about it, and even if I cry and even if he doesn’t understand from the perspective of a parent — he has always been supportive and he feels comfortable talking about it with me, and can even bring my son into casual conversation.

This year, perhaps because it is the 15th anniversary, and 15 is kind of a milestone, I had more problems than usual.  My husband sent me an email, part of which is quoted below.  I love my husband so much, and thank God for him.

“I know that you know how much I love you, and that I am here for you. But I also want you to know that I will be thinking of John as well as you, because he helped make you into the woman I love so much.”


Posted September 26, 2015 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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‘Tis the Season   Leave a comment

I work at a school district.  I am in the district office of a high school district.  I have been overwhelmed with emotion at the news from Newtown, CT.  Everyone in the office was quiet and weepy eyed as the news unfolded on that Friday.  We also lost two of our high school students this month.  One to an inoperable brain tumor, and the other killed herself.

I have more posts to write.  I have things swirling around in my head that I’d like to share.  But this month has been a hard one, and I find I don’t have the emotional strength to write.

There may be evil and violence and sadness and loss.  Yes, we have that and more in the world.  But this thing I know, and this thing I am sure of:

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.  On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

My prayer is for you to have all the peace and comfort you can scrape together during this holiday season.  Peace.

Posted December 20, 2012 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Part of my own Exodus   1 comment

In the second thru fifth books of the Bible, we read about how the Israelites left Egypt, wandered through the desert, and were brought into the Promised Land and finally settled down.  It is an epic true story – filled with all those human things that are still with us today.  Sin.  Rebellion.  Worship.  Love.  Killing.  Plagues.  Whining.  Complaining.  Compassion.  Acts of God.  Miracles. 

The Jews — the chosen people of God — dragged their feet, complaining and whining and looking back, all through the 40 year journey they took through the desert.  And most of us are no different today.  Certainly I am not!

Coming up soon will be the day my son would have been 30.  He was killed 12 years ago, so to everyone but perhaps me and his father he will forever be 18.  But I still think of what he might have been.  What he could have been.  How our relationship would be, was he alive and turning 30.  Every year that comes brings me another year further from when I last saw him and talked with him.  It is said that time heals all wounds, and it is true I have been healed of the horrible aching emptiness and loss that racked me for years after he was killed.  But ….. the sense of loss, the looking back, the feeling that something is missing — has never left.  I think about him, want to talk to him, miss him.

One of the things an exasperated God kept telling the Israelites as they wandered was “Remember, but don’t look back”.  God didn’t want His people to forget what they had in Egypt.  Nor the way they had been treated in Egypt.  He didn’t want them to forget that awesome journey through the walls of water when He parted the Red sea, or the way water sprang from a rock (a rock!) when they had cried out to Him how thirsty they were.  No, they were not told to forget, nor were they expected to.  But — God said — don’t look back.  Keep moving. 

So I am on my own Exodus.  With all my own times of rebellion and whining and feet-dragging, but also joy and worship and peace and oasis refreshing.  I am on a journey.  To a time and place I can’t see, that is far from my days of motherhood and seeing and talking with my son every day.  And God promises to be with me on that journey.  He has already been faithful in thousands of different ways, and I know He will be until the end of the journey, whenever and wherever that may be.

Remember — but don’t turn back.  Keep moving forward.

Posted March 7, 2012 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Overwhelmed   2 comments

I have been overwhelmed the past couple of weeks.  I had another unwanted advance (well, a few) from an old boyfriend.  One of my long-distant friends stopped contact with me, but thankfully it wasn’t anything too bad and we are talking again.

But what has overwhelmed me more than anything else is that a lot of people I know are hurting, and struggling.  They are out of work, they have had traumatic break-ups, they have serious health issues.  They have terrible family issues.  They have lost loved ones.  They are living paycheck to paycheck – just barely. 

It is so hard to see my friends and family go through this.  I can help very little.  I always feel inadequate.  I do what I can, but it never feels as if it is enough, or the right thing.  I don’t know what to say.  I pray for them, but I feel I should/could do more. 

All of it makes my petty little single lady troubles seem very, very insignificant.

Posted April 23, 2011 by Maureen in Being Single, Musings

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