After writing a post about worrying less and focusing on hope and health only 24 hours before, I found myself at my lowest point last night.
My back pain had drastically increased and I had been prescribed a steroid pack that didn’t seem to help the pain but just heightened my emotions. Returning from a quest to find an easy meal, I pulled back into my garage and lost it. You know the real bad, ugly cry. My back and leg were aching and as I sat for another moment to rest, I looked around the cluttered garage into the sea of boxes and mementos of our lives. You know the stuff that goes in the garage or attic in plastic totes – old pictures of Josh and myself as a kids, lots of theology books from Josh's most recent office, the wedding tote, etc.
All of it made me beyond sad. There I sat as a crumbled mess. I didn’t recover much more from that moment through the rest of the night. A lot of tissues and puppy snuggles helped some; sleep helped more.
Waking up this morning, I still had lingering back pain but felt a bit more emotionally stable. I also went to physical therapy which also provided slight relief and new strategies for the pain. As I walked through my day, I found myself thinking, “What happened yesterday?” That was a really low point. If I was grading myself on grief I might be tempted to say that was "very poor" "D-" – although grades are not allowed in grief (in my opinion).
My grief journey is complex and confusing. No matter how hard I try to figure it out, I often find myself at a loss. I look for patterns, triggers and more but still, at times, it just hits like a big crashing wave out of nowhere or maybe like that piano dropping on someone in the old Bugs Bunny shows. (That's all, folks!)
I do think the mix of physical pain, meds and lack of sleep had a lot to do with yesterday’s incident, but there's also still the baseline fact that here today, nearly five months after losing the love of my life, I am still hurting deeply. The physical pain only amplifies these emotions.
I share this today, as just another attempt at being real and honest with the yucky side of grief. There are times when I don’t know if I am okay or will be okay. I dip into new lows and find more tears – when I thought for sure they had all leaked out.
Now that I have thoroughly analyzed this, what do I do? I lean into prayer, trusting that God's strength is still there, always. I re-listened to one of Josh's sermons today, and in it he encourage me (the listener) to pray the simplest of prayers when at a loss or really low point:
“God, help me be brave in this situation.”
This is from the same message that we used in the opening of Josh’s celebration of life service, where he said.
“It may not feel like good today, in fact today what we’re getting from God it may suck, we may not like it all, we may want to chuck it across the room and say I don’t want this. But our God gives us good and even though it is bad today, I promise it will be good someday." (52:00) - such treasured words!!
I am holding on to that promise of good from both God and my late husband. Yes it is tough but I’m trying. Reading a bit of Hebrews this evening, the reminder of God's presence carried on:
"Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need." - Hebrews 4:16
View Josh's full message here
(teaching begins at 22:00)
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.