The Intersection of Grace and Grief: How Grieving for My Husband Is a Daily Struggle

BY: - 22 Oct '12 | Marriage

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During a business meeting today in regards to my husband’s recent death, I was stunned by the comment that a stranger directed at me. Through eyes glistening with tears, she said, “My heart aches for you and I’m so moved by your grace during this difficult time. It’s obvious that you are sad and grieving, but your composure is amazing.” Hmmm. I’ve heard a variation of this a few times over the last 26 days from family and friends, but hearing it from a stranger gave me pause. I can hear my husband’s voice in my ear, as if he were still lying beside me in our bed. “Girl, you’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever known. You don’t see it, but everybody else does.” Ironically, one of MrTDJ’s favorite Whitney Houston songs was, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”. That’s one of the songs that has been on repeat over the last couple of weeks.

I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster that seems surreal and dizzying most days, but I suppose my internal struggles aren’t visible to the world. I feel as if my heart has been shattered into a trillion pieces and there’s no such repair kit available. I’ve always heard the term that everyone grieves differently, and now I actually understand what that means. As the minutes, hours, days and weeks begin to pass, the loss of my life partner has actually gotten harder. Since I’m an event planner by trade, my brain outvoted my heart and I put on my business hat to make it through the moments and days right after his death. I’ve not really allowed my deepest emotions to show because it’s been easier to focus on the “to do” actions.

Our love was strong, flaws and all. There are moments when I simply crave the perfect imperfections of my life prior to June 9. Allow me a few minutes to talk about my dear MrTDJ. Often in death, the deceased is unintentionally canonized into a model of perfection. Um, no. Not gonna happen here. No one walking this earth lives as such and I don’t seek any such illusions for my husband. My statement isn’t meant to color him in a negative light, rather to say that he was as imperfect a creature as any of us.

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  • Niambi

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May God give you strength and comfort during this time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful love story and family with us. God bless you.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks for commenting Niambi and I appreciate the kind words.

  • Jacqulyne

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony on the journey of life and love. May God bless and comfort you and your family during this most difficult time. May God be pleased with the life of your dear husband. May He bless you to fill the seemingly empty moments with great memories. May He bless you to endure and overcome knowing that God is always with you.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thank you for the prayers Jacqulyne. I definitely feel the presence of God and my husband.

  • Monique

    Mrs.TDJ, your story filled my heart. I send my most earnest prayers to you.I pray that God will give you comfort for your heart,and peace in your mind.Thank you for Your courage in sharing your story. It reminds me how precious every moment is.Im sending you all my sister love.

    • MrsTDJ

      Aww, thanks Monique! “Courage” is not a word I normally associate with myself, but I’m adjusting. The sisterly love is appreciated.

  • Samantha

    Such a beautiful story. I will make sure to share those sentiments with my loving partner today and someone I have not spoken to in a while.

    • MrsTDJ

      Spread the joy and love Samantha!!

  • Kimberly

    loved ur blog.,loved ur heart and ur willingness to share it with us. I’m from Virginia too..in fact, we were football “rivals” – west Potomac!! Keep ur faith and keep loving God!!

    • MrsTDJ

      Argh, a Wolverine from the “other” high school in Alexandria! =) Thanks for the love Kimberly.

  • Mrs.B

    Your words reeled me and tears abound both for sadness for your loss & joy that two people shared such amazing journey….Your story brought laughter and smiles but the underlying messages were many. Such as love like there is no tomorrow, encourage each other to grow beyond their imagination & laugh through it all…lt was as though I knew you both and witnessed your love. What an encouraging story to love without limits….Many prayers to you and your loved ones…be well.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thank you for reading Mrs.B and I appreciate the heartfelt comments. May love and laughter sustain us all!

  • CreoleInDC

    She is so loved.

    • MrsTDJ

      I am and I feel it! (((Hugs sis)))

  • Pingback: I’m Guest Posting at Black and Married with Kids | Just Another Day with MrsTDJ()

  • Dana Cooper

    Taya you are a true inspiration among women and mothers everywhere. God bless you!

    • MrsTDJ

      Aww, thanks Dana! (((Hugs)))

  • Sunny

    It made me tear up the first time I read her story, and again just now. MrsTDJ is truly a beautiful person and a fabulous writer. I am continuing to pray for her strength.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks for making ME tear up Sunny! I appreciate the prayers.

  • Britton

    Beautiful, beautiful story. MrsTDJ thank you for sharing this. Prayers to you.

    • MrsTDJ

      The prayers are accepted and appreciated Britton! Thanks for reading.

  • GrowItGirl

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your story was touching and heart warming. I pray for your continued strength.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks for reading GrowItGirl! I’m glad that I can reach so many and touch them with our story.

  • HimzNaNa

    I witness your grief and strength daily and hope that you sharing your story will be a healing for you, as well others.

    • MrsTDJ

      Aww, thanks Mommy!! You are the wind beneath my wings. Love you tons!!

  • Quiana

    Stopping by to re-read this again from your blog. This is such a beautiful piece and I am so glad we were able to meet in person. I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Your story is an important one to share for the BMWK family.

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks for reading again sis!! Yes, finally meeting IRL was great and I appreciate the prayers and support!!!

  • Des @StressFreeBaby

    I love your story of love and send you hugs and strength. I personally believe when people we love die they become like little angels on our shoulders, whispering to us bits of wisdom and encouragement the rest of our lives…and sometimes tripping the people who are mean to us along the way. :)

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks Des!! I love the way you think of the departed. And, I know that my husband is still the class clown and helping to gently push a few of the meanies.

  • http://www.smartnsassymom.com/ Sheree Adams

    My thoughts and prayers are with you MrsTDJ. I can tell that you and your husband shared a love supreme. Know that he is with you always. Stay strong and God bless!

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks Sheree!! Our love was truly something special and I appreciate the prayers.

  • QueenSha

    Peace to you and may God continue to comfort you and your son. God is love..peace

    • MrsTDJ

      Thanks for reading and for the prayers QueenSha!

  • Seamona Stewart

    Hello your post is both inspiring and touching. You and I are walking a similar walk I lost both my husband and my 4 year old son on June 19th 2012 in a fire . I know the pain you speak of in all the words you wrote ring true to me everyday. My husband I also got together while young we would have celebrated 20 years together in December 2012. Now I find myself 9 months pregnant with our second child, and longing for my husband and my son daily. Like you I’m determined to hold my head high and to keep moving forward. My gentle giant would have expected nothing less

    • MrsTDJ

      Sending you the tightest, most genuine and heartfelt hug that I can muster. If you’d ever like an ear to listen to your words, screams or cries, please let me know. Although we are strangers, the unity that such a tragedy evokes is universal and our pain is unique. tayadj@gmail.com

  • Joanna

    Taya, This is a beautiful story. True love is so empowering! You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • MrsTDJ

      True love is the ultimate!! Thanks for the prayers Joanna!

  • Kenya

    Thank You for sharing your story. You are truly an inspiration! Please continue sharing your story and you will continue to touch and change lives/marriages. May God bless you and your beautiful little boy!!

  • Mrs. Jones

    My heart goes out to you for your loss. I competely understand when you truly love someone and then lose them, it’s a unspeakable pain, but God will give you the strength to keep going for you and your child, stay strong and in constant prayer.

  • Roxy

    I’m so touched by this, thank you so much for sharing and opening up about your husband.

    XOXO

    Roxy

  • Margarita Henry

    I took a few minutes this morning to read your story, and it was a sad and at the same time inspiring. You are a true demonstration of God’s strength in your weakest season. May God continue to bless you as you walk out a life journey without your partner. He is with you ALWAYS!!!

    This journey has forever changed your life, but will also change many going through similar loss. God bless you and your son!!!!

  • Nichelle Jones

    Thanks for sharing! Your history reminds me of my husband and I. May the grace and peace of God continue to be with you.

  • https://www.facebook.com/zisanda.jalavu.3 Zisanda J

    Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. May she be given strength to cope with this hardship.

Am I The Only Husband Who Missed Sweetest Day…Again!

BY: - 23 Oct '12 | Home

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Photo Credit: Kalilo

For the husbands who didn’t realize they missed Sweetest Day, it was this past Saturday, October 20th.  As the title of this post says, I missed it too…again!  I have been married for 11 years, and I have to confess (shamefully) that I have never remembered Sweetest Day.  Before you all go jumping on me, and calling me the bad husband, let me present my “case.”

No Google, No Go!

When I am looking for information, all things Google is my go-to source.  I can search for Sweetest Day and find something written about it, but it is not listed in my Google calendar.  Now, if Google does not have it listed as a holiday, what does that mean?  I’m just sayin!

A Hallmark Holiday

A Hallmark Holiday is typically referred to describe “a holiday that is perceived to exist primarily for commercial purposes, rather than to commemorate a traditionally significant event.”  That is according to Wikipedia.  Made up day for money…hmm.

Even with that statement, this blog post says that even Hallmark doesn’t list it as one of it’s holiday choices on the actual day.  No Google, no Hallmark…hmm.

Legitimate Reason Excuse

So, Sweetest Day is not in my Google Calendar.  When in the store I do not even see a Sweetest Day section while walking through passing by the greeting card aisle.  There are no Sweetest Day sales going on that I’m aware of.

So how am I to know it is Sweetest Day?  No wonder I have yet to remember it in 11 years!  Nobody, I mean nobody is helping me to remember!

Playing It Cool Doesn’t Work

I typically “realize” I missed Sweetest Day when my wife says, “Happy Sweetest Day babe” or when she indirectly refers to it.  Sometimes that is her mentioning what somebody said on Facebook about their gift.   This is usually about half-way through the day.  After she has given me plenty of time to figure it out, and do something about it.

My response?  Although I have a legit reason excuse for forgetting, I play cool, and do say too much.  Why?  I have no idea!  I might as well just break down and apologize.

Fortunately, I have a special wife who is so forgiving of her man.  But I know, I know she is disappointed that I missed it again!  Pray for me y’all!

I’m No Dummy!

Yes, I have an “alibi”.  Yes, my wife is very, very forgiving.  But I am no dummy!  Well, it least after 11 years I am no dummy!  I know it disappoints her when I miss it, and it would make her day if I remembered.  Probably even more so, after going zero out of 11.

Sweetest Day is now in my calendar.  Manually added to my calendar, regardless if Google does it or not.  Next year, I will get a reminder, and I will not miss it.

For “Forgetful” Husbands Like Me

For the other husbands who have missed this wonderful day like I have, Sweetest Day is the third Saturday of October…every year!  Next year it is October 19th, all day.  If you need more dates than that, there for a link that lists every Sweetest Day for the next 10 years.  Do not miss it!

For My Wife

This is my public apology and plea for forgiveness.  I will not forget anymore.  It is in my calendar!  Now, you know me and good gift ideas, so please show me some grace with my Sweetest Day gift.  😉  And thank you for being so forgiving of your work-in-progress husband.  Love ya!

BMWK Family:  What are your thoughts on Sweetest Day?  Is it a legit holiday to be celebrated, similar to Valentine’s or your anniversary?  What have you or your spouse done for Sweetest Day?  (I need some suggestions)

About the author

Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. wrote 62 articles on this blog.

Jackie is an author, blogger, and speaker who helps men better love their wives and lead their families. He is the creator of The 7 Rings of Marriage™. You can receive his latest BMWK posts in your inbox, plus his latest marriage and parenting posts from around the web by subscribing to his weekly newsletter!

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