Months

As of yesterday, I’m able to talk about the last time I spoke with Stephanie in terms of “months.” I went to a GriefShare group a couple days ago, and we all said who we lost and when they passed. For some people, it has been a year or more. It really got me thinking about which date is more significant to me: the day she had her cardiac arrest and I last talked to her, or the day she officially died. I guess I especially wonder since the date on her death certificate is not the date I think she actually passed, so it seems like it has less meaning to me. And, it’s her I really miss, so even though I had hope while we were in the hospital, it has still been two months since I got to really be with her. I’m sure I’ll probably just recognize both dates, but these are the things I think about.

As for how I’m doing, it’s hard to really describe. Getting along each day is overall okay. I have a bad moment at least once on most days. I stop what I’m doing and will either take a short walk (if I’m at work) or just take some time to cry as long as I need. I put in a full week of work this week. Again, it went okay, but I also didn’t have any big accomplishments expected of me, so there was little stress related with that. I’m making it even though there’s not a moment that goes by that doesn’t suck. I’m always keenly aware of how miserable I am, although there are times when I would say I’m doing good.

The other night I pulled out a picture of Stephanie and just stared at it for a while. It’s just so hard to believe she’s gone. I’ve never known disbelief like this before and I don’t know how to even express it. But I look at her picture, and she’s real. She’s alive in the picture and she’s as beautiful as ever, and even seemingly more beautiful than ever. And my brain can’t even process that a picture is the only way I can see her now.

She feels so tangible, I can almost reach out and touch her. And yet, I haven’t been able to hold her or touch her face or feel her lips on mine in so long. I’m not going to lie – it sucks so bad. She absolutely was my best friend and we did everything together. And, this last year when she couldn’t drive because of having seizures, we especially did everything together because she didn’t have a choice. So many things happen throughout the day where I want to call her up and tell her about it. And talking to her by just talking to myself is only helpful in certain situations, and paltry at best.

Another month gone by and before I know it, I’ll be saying “year” and then “years.” I’m just stunned – still.

18 thoughts on “Months”

  1. Brad, I think this is very common how you feel. When my best friend from high school passed away from Crohn's disease, I was stunned also. She was just 40. How come I get to live and she doesn't? Only God can answer those questions some day. It took me a couple of years not to automatically go to the phone to share stuff with her. How much worse for you, when it's your wife and best friend. I work in healthcare and I've seen many young couples come in together, always one of them fighting cancer. It touches my heart so much, how they do everything together, even medical tests. We cling to each other for every dear second. God gave us innate love of life, and to lose someone so young, is just almost unthinkable. Cling to God, your children, your family and remember to stay in the shelter of your Christian friends. I think sharing your thoughts and feelings is very therapeutic for you. Your wife is alive and beautiful…in heaven. Cling to that thought and hang in there. As always in my prayers, Barb

  2. I have the program from Stephanie's memorial service tacked to the refrigerator door. I looked at it a couple days ago – really stopped and looked at it – and I couldn't believe that it all happened. God so blessed us with her presence here on earth and even the mere thought of who she was is a gift that will always light up the room. Thank you for continuing the blog; it's a privilege to be able to lift you up in prayer!

  3. Brad, I think this is very common how you feel. When my best friend from high school passed away from Crohn's disease, I was stunned also. She was just 40. How come I get to live and she doesn't? Only God can answer those questions some day. It took me a couple of years not to automatically go to the phone to share stuff with her. How much worse for you, when it's your wife and best friend. I work in healthcare and I've seen many young couples come in together, always one of them fighting cancer. It touches my heart so much, how they do everything together, even medical tests. We cling to each other for every dear second. God gave us innate love of life, and to lose someone so young, is just almost unthinkable. Cling to God, your children, your family and remember to stay in the shelter of your Christian friends. I think sharing your thoughts and feelings is very therapeutic for you. Your wife is alive and beautiful…in heaven. Cling to that thought and hang in there. As always in my prayers, Barb

  4. You are awsome at how you can write and Im thankful for you keeping up the Blog and being real it allows us to know how to pray. We are there for you…..

  5. Dear Brad, I’m glad Thanksgiving went well. Holidays are hard even during good times, let alone after losing your “soul mate”. I’m glad you’re back to work, that will help fill some of your day. All of your emotions are normal. Sometimes we expect to “get through things” fast so we don’t have to feel the pain. Like everyone has said keep close to your chidren,family,and friends. It sure seems like you have a lot of support which is great. Stephanie and God will get you through this. The picture books are a great idea. It will help keep Mommy alive for them. Love to you and your family.

  6. I have the program from Stephanie's memorial service tacked to the refrigerator door. I looked at it a couple days ago – really stopped and looked at it – and I couldn't believe that it all happened. God so blessed us with her presence here on earth and even the mere thought of who she was is a gift that will always light up the room. Thank you for continuing the blog; it's a privilege to be able to lift you up in prayer!

  7. Hi Brad, thank you so much for keeping us updated on your life and family. Little do you know that this blog you are writing is an isnpiration to all of us and you are helping us understand life to its fullest. Everything you say makes us stop and think about our own life. Your children need you now more than ever as you need them. Stephanie was a wonderful mother you can tell that and no matter how much pain you have you are truely blessed.

  8. No matter whether it’s an entry here or a facebook post I always, so desperately, want to say something that will help you or make you feel better. It is so crazy how God made us to feel for one another. When I noticed your new picture on facebook, I just start crying…I don’t know whether because of it’s beauty, for your sadness, or a lack of understanding. Sometimes I feel like this is so silly because I am so far removed from your family, and especially your personal pain. I guess, it is just so amazing how God has made us relate to one another on such a deep level. I know that I can never say anything to relieve your pain, but I pray that all of your friends and new acquaintances that feel for you help in some way every now and then.

    1. Nate and Jackie, I agree. I met Brad at the funeral home having never known him before. A friend asked me to pray for his wife. I started reading his blog and have continued to read it and/or his facebook page often. The love that Brad and Stephanie shared is amazing. I continue to pray for God to wrap His arms around Brad, Brady and Halle and rid them of their pain, replacing the pain with joyous memeories.
      Love to the family.

    2. I love what you said, Jackie. It’s so true the way God intertwines our lives with others. We, as the body of Christ, hurt when another part of the body is in pain. I really appreciate all the emotion and feeling so many people have for me. It has really helped me to be more sensitive to others, as well – something Stephanie was so good at and that I wanted to learn from her. Thank you for your prayers and for your constant thoughts and notes to me.

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