The anniversary of my husband’s death is coming up in a couple of weeks. The thoughts I have this time of year are involuntary. It reminds me of a car wreck I once had where I pulled over against the guard rail and watched the out-of-control car spinning towards me. It is a captivating moment. The thoughts bombard my mind. They crash into my routine and disrupt all order. Life would be so much easier if he were here. He would know how to fix that. I wouldn’t be working two jobs. He could make that decision. We would be going to Christmas parties and having fun. He would take me out to dinner. He would laugh at the cares of life. He would encourage me. He would pray for me. Why—no, I won’t go there.
I am bothered by the fact that I cannot hold on to him. I can’t imagine so vividly the sound of his voice any more. I wear his socks in the winter, and they are now badly worn out. His two favorite shirts still hang in the closet, and his picture sits on the dresser, but he is profoundly gone with the rest of his belongings. We don’t sing his favorite songs at church any more. The gifts he bought our children don’t fit their age and interest any more. His car is sold. We have moved from the house we shared together. I couldn’t keep up the yard he loved. This time of year, the intensifying ache is inversely proportional to the fading of his earthly existence.
I can’t hold on to anything that brings him back. The stuff wears out. Our bodies wear out. Not only is he gone, but life as we knew it is gone. I have no place to take these thoughts, except to God, who promised me, “I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
New hope came alive as I talked to Him this morning. He reminded me that He has given me an inheritance that is “imperishable, and undefiled, and will not fade away” (I Peter 1:4 NASB). As my stuff and my body decays, God is calling me to what is real. It never gets ruined or torn or faded. It never wears out, even a little bit. No holes in God’s socks. No weeds in God’s yard. No roof leaks in God’s house.
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