Something old, something new…

God has put upon my heart to share a entry with you, dear friends, from my personal blog.   It is from September of 2011, not even two months after my sweet husband’s death.

I had something totally different in mind to post, but circumstances changed all of that.  A friend my age lost her husband last Saturday, after a long and difficult illness.  It caused me to take stock of my life, and look back on my journey, which I call “unimagined” ( ).

What I want to say to her, and to each widow reading this today is this:  God is enough.  He will pull you through.  I read my earler blog entries, and I see God’s footprints, walking along beside me.  More often than not, I see only one set of prints, because He carried me for months.   His handprints are all over my heart.

Even though my sons and I are doing well, we still hurt.  We cry.  We reminisce and wonder what could have been.

In the midst of pain, I continue to cling to the promises of God, and to songs like this, which is still my all-time personal favorite to run to:

 Strong Enough by Matthew West


In great contrast to the joyous entry I had earlier in the month, I open my heart to let you see something totally different–anger.

And here, 1 1/2 years after beginning this journey, I can earnestly say that in time it can get better.



Paralyzed in the car…

 September 18, 2011


Today stinks.


Yep, I’m just laying it out there. Went to Sunday School & church, had great messages both places, learning about leaving a legacy after you die.


That’s something we should all strive for as Christians, to leave this place a little (or a lot!) better than when we first arrived.


But I find myself really angry today.


As we drove home in the car following church, the boys were, well, being boys, playing with two balloons in the backseat. Their playful banter and laughing sounded so much like their dad’s.


The closer we got to the house, the angrier I got. As we pulled into the driveway, I glanced at that truck that he loved to drive. I parked the car beside it, as I’ve done thousands of times.


The boys scurried out, worried that one of the wayward balloons would find its way to the dog, never a good combination.


I had my door open, purse in hand…but I could not move. Must’ve been 5 minutes before the boys realized that I wasn’t behind them, coming back to witness their mother with her head against the steering wheel of the car, sobbing.



I am so mad, God!


Why did you take this wonderful husband and father? He had his whole future mapped out, our future, and now he’s gone. Is the future he planned for the four of us the future path I continue to follow? Or is there something else that You have in store for us?


It’s hard being three when you’re used to being four. I know where he is, but I want him here with me, with our boys.


God, I’m not mad at You, I’m just mad about the change in our plans. Guess they didn’t coincide with Yours.


But I’m struggling. Struggling to find a routine that makes sense, that moves us in the right direction, and that keeps us looking toward You.



When does this get better?


Everyone says “give it time”. Well, I don’t have alot of time. I have two boys depending on me to be both mom & dad for now.


And for every good hour I have, I seem to have 4 that are not good. If my math skills don’t fail me, that’s only 20% of the time that my life doesn’t suck.


Sorry about that word, ‘suck’, but it’s how Mark himself described his dilemma, only 2 days before his death. He raised that oxygen mask with just me in the room and said, clear as day, “This sucks!”


My response? “I know it does, sweetie, but all we can do is fight & try to make tomorrow suck a little less.”


Those words spoke volumes about his situation. He knew he was in the fight of his life.


And I thought that this strong healthy man would pull through.


Now I’m the one who has to “pull through”…


the one that is determined to make “tomorrow suck a little less”. And it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in my life.


Part of me wants to close all the drapes, go to bed, and curl up into the fetal position…for days.


But I can’t do that. I don’t have the luxury. I have the two most important parts of his legacy looking to me for strength & guidance.



And I couldn’t even get out of my car today.



Dear God in heaven, I know that when I am weak, You are strong.

Today, at least during this hour, You must be enormously strong for all three of us.

Thank you, God, for the gift of hindsight today.  Sometimes we tend to get caught up in the daily process of “being” and don’t take the time to look back to see where we were in relation to where we are now.  By Your grace we are growing in faith.   
For those in deep dark despair, those who are angry, in shock, unable to feel like they can take a breath, be there.  Just be. 
For those who are catching glimpses of happiness, of a new normal, we rejoice and give You all the glory.
For those who feel all alone, we pray they find solace and friendship where they need it.  We especially thank You for leading them here, to this site, where they will hopefully feel comfort and companionship.
Help us to be strong enough for whatever our futures hold. 
In your blessed Son’s name we pray,

13 replies
  1. Pam Clark
    Pam Clark says:

    I think my situation is a little different than those whose post I have read. My honey hubby was 22 years older than I. We knew when we found each other at 76 and 54 we knew we would not have a long time together. We decided to get married AFTER the doctors told us he had less than 2 years to live. We knew but he still wanted to give me the one thing that was the worth the most to him……HIS NAME. We only had 4 months and 17 days as legal man and wife before a massive stroke took him away from me. BUT we had 17 months living and acting as man and wife before we married. He became my entire world. He never failed to let me know how much I was needed JUST BECAUSE he loved me. He would sit at our table with his chair pulled out and whisper, *I have nerve deafness so hearing aids don’t help* I LOVE YOU gradually saying the words a little louder. MOST of the time, what got my attention was that I could feel him looking at me. One look, seeing the smile on his face, I knew what he had been saying. HE would open his arms to me as I walked across the kitchen and sank into his lap.
    Even though we knew he was going to leave me….we hoped that we would have MUCH longer than we did. Right now, I am really “Learning to Lean” on the Master. Thank you for this story.
    The only thing is, I don’t understand the anger. Maybe it is a state of grief that I have not gotten to yet. I just hurt!

    • Nancy
      Nancy says:

      Dear Pam,

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet husband. I don’t think that your situation is that different from the rest of us. Age is just a number, and it sounds like you two were so good together. You may not have had him in your life for as long as you would have wished, but oh what an impact he made on your life! You were loved. And that is the most important thing of all. And even though you both knew you didn’t have alot of time together, you made the most of it.

      Anger is a part of many’s grief process. I personally went through a phase of where I was so angry at my husband. In our case, he was scared to death of having the surgery he needed. He had it, and he died from complications and sepsis. We had 16 hours to say goodbye, and it tore my heart out. I hurt so badly that I could not hardly catch my breath. No matter what I did, I could not rest. I counted minutes during the night, unable to sleep from the raw, angry grief that coursed through me.

      All I can tell you is to keep leaning on our Master. He will not leave you. He will not put you down as long as you cannot walk on your own. He will be your saving grace and the Healer that you need.

      I am so thankful you have found this website. I hope that it can give you some comfort. Sometimes it just helps to know that you are not alone. Other women are going through or have been through many of the emotions you are experiencing.

      God bless you and your family,


  2. Lori Askew
    Lori Askew says:

    To all of you especially Christy….It has been 18 weeks…3 days since my husband was killed in an accident. And yes I know that God is good and He has been by my side all this time but I am hurting so very very much! Your words Nancy hit home in this blog as well as some others I was reading this morning. I never knew you could be in so much pain and still be breathing….which I frequently have to remind myself to do. I get up every day and do what I have to because of my children…but there are some days (most) that I would like to curl up in a fetal position and just stay there. I just want each of you to know how much it means when you share on here…to know that I am not alone in the intense pain that I feel. Blessings of peace to all of you!

    • Nancy
      Nancy says:


      So glad you found us and your words have soothed me this morning. God bless you and your children….what in this world would we do without our wondrous Father? Thankfully we won’t have to find out.

      So very sorry for your loss. Please keep In touch….

      Blessings and hugs…

  3. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Dear Alison, RoseMary, Dana, Jenny, Christy, and Betty,

    Thank you for your comments, each of you are in my prayers. From being pregnant when losing your husband, to being newly widowed, to making it to the 6 year mark (and everything in between!), you all amaze me.

    God is good and I praise Him for bringing us all together in this forum.

    I pray that you find peace and space to breathe, and that your faith and memories will sustain your entire families….

    Blessings to you all,


  4. Christy
    Christy says:

    God called my sweet husband home on Dec. 19, 2012. This is so fresh and new and unbearable. I miss him with every fiber of my being, as do our 3 beautiful children. I stumbled upon this blog and entry and I just want you to know how much it spoke to me. Everything you said is exactly what I’m feeling. I don’t know what our future holds now or what God’s plans are. But I’m holding fast to His promises and pray that he is carrying me and our kids at a time I just don’t think I’m capable of walking another step.

  5. Betty
    Betty says:

    My Dear Precious Nancy,

    As you and I have shared, we started down “grief road” about the same time. There have been SO many similarities and when I saw that song, I was once again amazed because that is the song that God has spoken to me through and still does.
    Thank you for allowing us into that time in your life, it is so helpful to know that others have those same experiences and we are not alone in them. I was angry at God and not as gracious as you were. I can now say I WAS, because just this morning as I was challenging Him about a bible verse, I realized I moved from anger to just confusion about WHO HE is. Then I read your post and it was an affirmation about the growth.
    I also wanted to share that I am grateful you left the word “suck” in your note because I am reading a book called …”When Will My Life Not Suck” by Ramon Presson. It was suggested reading from the GriefShare devotional I get in my email each day. The name got my attention right way before I even knew what it was about. What a great book full of wisdom, humor and insight. It doesn’t just deal with grief but all the difficulties we face in life. It’s a great read, as are your post!

    Blessings to you and your boys!!
    Thank you Nancy for being so genuine with us about your journey, it truly is one of the “tools” God uses to get us all through.

  6. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    Thank you for being so honest! I too have cried many tears of anger at God. I love what you wrote,”God, I’m not mad at You, I’m just mad about the change in our plans. Guess they didn’t coincide with Yours.” AMEN!! Right after Sam died a good friend told me about the song by Matthew West and it speaks volumes to me as well.
    It’s been 2 years 5 months for me and it has been tough learning to live without the love of my life.
    I love this site and am grateful for the real life post…it’s not always easy, but if it’s not suppose to be easy to lose a loved one. They will always live in our hearts and we WILL see them again one day.
    Thank you again for this wonderful post!

  7. Dana Trull
    Dana Trull says:

    Tomorrow (Jan. 25th) will be the 6th anniversary of my husband’s death. Last year, when my children and I marked the big 5, I decided that from there on out this day would not get the best of me. Ha! I was doing really well with it until a new friend asked me about him a couple of days ago. I gave her the “short version” of our story….and then dreamed of him that night. That set the ball to rolling as all the memories just began rushing back in… This year is different for me. So much has changed in just 6 years time. Our children are not teenagers anymore. 2 of the 3 are married and we have one grandchild, Everyone is out on their own. In December I decided to upend my enitre life and start new… I moved away from where I have lived my entire life, have gone back to school and started a new job. I am completely by myself for the very first time in my life….I fully believe I am totally in God’s will and for the most part my life is great… but today sucks and tomorrow will too. For whatever reason God didn’t like my plan of moving past this date. Its harder this year because I can’t be around my kids and family. I have to wonder when I will ever be able to get thru these few days without the grief being overwhelming… and when I will get to stop being lonely again… I know God is in control of it all….and I just lay it all, once again, at His feet…

  8. RoseMary Andrus-Mitchell
    RoseMary Andrus-Mitchell says:

    Thank you, and your right “Life sucks” too many ups and downs, but God has gotten us through a lot. I pray for all the widows, I know how it feels. I miss Joe very much and life is just to hard. I have a friend who has been told her husband will pass in a couple weeks. Please pray for her. I recommended “A Widow’s Might” even though she isn’t there and miracles still happen your blogging still is inspirational. Thank you with God’s blessings.

  9. Alison
    Alison says:

    Nancy, I lost my husband in July, 2011 to an unknown heart defect. I was pregnant with our 5th son. Our world was turned upside down just like yours. Everything you just wrote has been my exact journey. I never thought I would find “a new normal”, I used to cringe when people would say that to me all the time. But it’s true, God is faithful to those who turn to Him for healing, it is only in His power we do come to a place where we feel healing and can look forward instead of backward and find some joy and hope in what God has for us. Thank you for your blog! Blessings, Alison

  10. Nancy
    Nancy says:


    I hesitated leaving that word in the post, but that was how it was written originally, and I want to be totally authentic and honest.

    It was my husband’s word for the situation, and he certainly hit the nail on the head (per usual).

    You are in my prayers….

    blessings to you and your loved ones,


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