The question lingered in my mind all night. It was a simple question that caught me off guard and stuck like glue.
“How long has it been?”
My response was delayed as I considered other possible answers. How long has it been since I last drank coffee? Lived in Missouri? Seen you last? . . . Yep, no. None of those answers were the intent and I knew it.
I filled in the blank with my answer . . . “Since Josh passed away?” The gentle head nod, confirmed my instinct.
At the moment of the question, I did not have the exact day count at the tip of my tongue, but merely answered, “It will be a year on September 30, so about 11 months." The conversation continued on as we talked about grief, widowhood and life in this new season. It was a good conversation - even if complex.
From that moment, however, the question remained lodged in my mind. It sounded like an echo . . . “How long has it been?” . . . an echo that grew louder on the drive home and in the quiet of my home. Six hours later, still pondering this question, I determined the specific number of days: 315. (There’s even a website that can tell you the answer to this question precisely: howlongagogo.com. However, I am not sure that this is really helpful or healthy for those grieving.
I digress . . .
In my previous post, I talked about the time warp of grief and how curious it is - as days and years seems to blur together. It has been a while since I specifically counted how many days it has been yet within my story nearly every action and decision within the past 11 months relates to the loss of my spouse. Big decisions, little decisions alike.
During this period, much has happened in the world, friends have had babies, my friends' kids started their senior year and graduated, friends moved, changed jobs and so much more. On top of this our world has encountered a new way of living with Covid-19 dominating everyday conversation. It’s been a wild ride from 2019 into the thick of 2020 and I think we all feel a bit beaten down.
For me, the reality check of grief still happens often. Life is different. Time is still moving forward, my heart still is healing - this still takes a lot of time and thought.
As that question continues to linger in my head I feel the sorrow hit and I think of another answer that feels a bit less technical.
How long has it been?
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.