Maybe it was waking up to a memory on social media that had me a little off-kilter today, or maybe it’s just that grief reaches out and snags your heart unexpectedly at times (also true). But throughout my day, I had an unshakable weight that rested on my heart –– much like an elephant sitting on my chest.
My heart still aches. I miss Josh.
Even in acknowledging the maybes listed above, it's clear that this morning's social highlight anchored in my mind as the day wore on. I couldn't help but think about what I was doing last year. The memory that my own media channel presumptively assumed I wanted to see: “We thought you’d like to look back on this post from 1 year ago,” it stated.
My sarcastic response, “Oh really . . . is that what I wanted to see today?”
Yes and no. Of course, I want to remember our last road trip adventure together. A special journey as we made our way north to Mayo in search of hope and answers. We shared music, laughter and tears along the way and embraced the beauty of the upper midwest and even some baseball. Those memories are good and treasured. Yet, along with those memories are also some I’d rather not remember. The look in the doctor's eye as he patted me on the back and said, “I’m sorry.” This memory still brings tears to my eyes. I had hoped for more.
So, today as I sit in my home and reflect on a year ago, the absence of Josh is duly noted. I glance around the room and still wish he was here. Will I miss him forever? I can’t help but think a piece of me always will. Even as I continue to find hope, joy and threads of new, I encounter the weight of grief often. It's part of my ongoing story.
I don’t really like having to navigate these moments but I also know it's part of the healing process. The photo highlights will continue to appear, I might be ready for them, I might not, but they will happen. Some will bring a smile others, will bring tears.
While it's not quite the same, my mind thinks about the stone memorials referenced in the Bible. The ones established to remind the people of God's faithfulness in good times and bad -- and how he cared for them and provided. In my sorrow, I am reminded of God's faithfulness then and now.
And even though I can't completely see the full picture (because there's a grief elephant on my chest), I chose to trust that God is still at work. Hope remains.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful."
- Hebrews 10:23 (NASB)
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.