I didn’t really want to come back home. In a lot of ways it’s easier being out on the road exploring, thinking and breathing freely. As my trip came to a close, I felt a feeling of almost dread dread, knowing I would have to walk back into our home. A home where there would be no Josh smiling at me asking me how the trip was, or helping me unload the car.
My homecoming was pretty quiet. I turned on game 7 of the World Series, unloaded the car, sighed a few times and eventually settled on the couch and soon feel asleep. This is what Josh liked to call my "pre-bed nap," which is basically when I fall sleep on the couch, then wake up then go to bed. It would probably be easier just to go to bed when I felt tired but I don't.
My last stop in this grief traveling journey was in Dallas, seeing a few more friends and driving the familiar streets where Josh and I made many memories over a decade ago. I mentioned in my (road ramble) video that coming back to Dallas almost feels like home. There are so many great memories in the city. During this time, God did a lot in our life, ministry, and marriage. I drove by the restaurant where Josh gave me my "double-07" anniversary ring and where we celebrated big days only to see that it was permanently closed. It seemed almost fitting but still sad.
The two days I spent in Dallas were good and not too sad. It wasn't until I drove under the High 5 interchange that tears filled my eyes. As each Texas star etched into the road beam passed, I felt the emotions rise up. Maybe it was remembering how Josh would describe the highway system - he loved explaining just how crazy the city roads were or maybe it was just remembered the hundreds of times we drove this same route, but it got me and soon I was trying to drive with teary eyes in heavy traffic.
As I continued the next five hours home (and my eyes cleared up), I felt the tension growing, knowing I was coming back to a home that’s different. It’s not the first time I’ve been back home since Josh passed away but the first time in a while after many miles of thinking and processing.
I realized as walked back into my home that it wasn't that bad it wasn't my favorite moment of the trip. Especially because one of the first things I saw in my mail pile was a folder titled "Bereavement Welcome Packet" - who wants that!! (Not me! but it is my reality)
Even with all this, being home is good. It's good because our home still OUR home and there are good and hard memories in this place.
As I turn this corner, I pause to say thanks for the moments big and small on this journey. And for God's protection in the 4500 miles of driving and adventuring. I’m thankful for a God who hears me in all stages of my emotions and loves me deeply even still.
I’ll have a few days this weekend to goof around in Missouri but next week, it’s back to normal -- a new normal. My trip over the past almost three weeks has been just what I needed. I’ve had intentional time to talk with God, to process my thoughts and feelings, to sit in this grief and more. I needed this!
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.