February has been a special month on my calendar ever since I met Pam. Her birthday is February 21. As February arrived this year I was taken back to February 2013. That month began with Pam fully engaged in work and managing her pain with pretty strong medicine but on the surface everything was running pretty much as normal. It is interesting, comforting and, not surprisingly, sad for me to look back at my communication with Pam at that time by reading through text conversations and old emails. It is like stepping back in time. It also reminds me that we had no idea at the beginning of February how near she was to the end. The texts at the beginning of the month were more about work appointments and real estate logistics. As the month went along the interactions gradually changed. They became less about work, although, she was still helping me with work up until the last text just hours before she left.
I can say honestly that I have never struggled with the “why” question and neither did Pam. Looking back at the way she passed, it ended so fast, it was all such a blur. My best friend, the most significant human relationship of my life, my sweetheart was gone. In the aftermath, I was left with a different question. What? Not what did she die from but rather, “What just happened?” From the time we learned that she was sick we spent all of our time and energy trying to determine if there was any way to save her life and seeking out the best treatments to prolong her time here and provide her with as much relief from the pain as possible. And then at 9:00 that Sunday morning it was over. Shocking. It was just shocking. There I sat looking at her knowing it was over. “What just happened?” More importantly, “What happens now?” Those are the questions I have been wrestling with since that day.
The purpose of this blog is to share with you my experience of learning to live after devastating loss. I don’t have an outline and the story isn’t finished yet. Each month is an entry from the midst of the storm. So I am just chronicling the journey so you can walk with me as I experience the faithfulness of Jesus, the truth of God’s Word and the comfort of God’s Spirit. More than anything Pam and I want everyone to know Jesus. When people say things like, “I don’t know how I would get through this without my faith”, you may have thought it was just a cliché. I am detailing the struggles, hurt, pain as well as the peace, calm and healing not because it makes me feel better or because I like to talk about myself. As hard as it is, this is an opportunity to reveal in a real way what a relationship with the creator God of the universe looks like. Not that I’m perfect but that He is.
So why after two years are these memories all filling my mind? Why haven’t I moved on? There has been plenty of time to heal and put things to rest, right? We are so busy in our lives that when we encounter pain or sorrow we distract, deny and medicate to try to get relief. What I am here to say is don’t do that. It is in the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death that I have experienced the true ministry of God and closeness with Jesus unlike any other time in my life. I want to follow Him out of the darkness. When I refer to the darkness I am talking about the question “What now?” The rest of my life without Pam seems really dark. He will lead me where He wants me to go and I have no desire to run ahead. He gave Pam to me in the first place, He can be trusted. I am still mourning, still missing Pam every day in countless ways. She truly was ALL THAT. And yet, even after losing her, I am content. I am content in Jesus and His plan. He is enough, I don’t need anything else.