Our lives were forever changed the day we lost Corey. He was an amazing man who loved the Lord and his family with all that he was. The pain of losing him is like no other. Our only comfort comes from knowing we will see him again someday.

I have moved the slideshow played at Corey's service to it's own post page above, titled "Corey's Memorial Service - August 10, 2010"

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Friday, August 5, 2011

One year out...still praising His name!

     My clock reads 10:10 pm. That is roughly the time last year that I got off the phone with my neighbor, Mark, after he told me he had to hang up to call 911. That was approximately the same time that Corey met Jesus face to face in Heaven. One year has now passed since Corey's death...and we made it! I feel like I've been running a marathon this past year, and while I will never reach the "finish line" until I reach Heaven, this leg of the journey feels to be coming to a close. The dawn is near. I can feel it.  I know my journey through my grief is not over yet. I guess I’d be naïve to think that. The average time for someone grieving the loss of a spouse is 3 to 4 years!! Add an unexpected suicide as the cause of the loss and that number is supposed to increase. I do, however, feel like I’m in a different place then I was even 2 months ago with my grief. I believe my weekend away in May was a turning point in my healing. My heart feels lighter these days and I've had people tell me I truly look happy again; that my smile seems genuine, not just an attempt to put on a happy face.  
     Today was a positive day. I won't say it was a good day but it definitely was positive. I had minimal expectations for how the day would unfold but believed God would lead me in the details...just as he has been doing throughout this past year. He is SO faithful and as I've said before, I owe him a life of gratitude...I owe Him my life. So in my long list of thanks, I first want to thank my Great God. As I said in my eulogy for Corey, "... God is awesome. He is pure goodness. He is holy and he is sovereign. He has authority over everything including life and death." He has been ever faithful to us this past year. I also want to clearly reiterate that any good that has come out of Corey's death has come from the hand of God. 
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows."(James 1:17) 
Any strength you have seen in me has been more than a positive attitude and it has not come from me. It is God's strength given through the gift of His Holy Spirit. And I have Jesus' sacrificial death on my behalf to thank for that! If you have never grabbed hold of God's love for you and the gift of his son Jesus, what are you waiting for? It will mean a life filled with purpose and true joy. Your life won't be free of suffering but it will be a life filled with great peace and hope. I was thinking today about the reflecting pool that is part of Corey's gravestone. I remember that when I was planning the engraving for it I had wanted to try to put a verse on the side about Christ being the living water. There wasn't going to be enough room on the stone, so I'll share Christ's words here: 
John 4:13-14 "Jesus answered...'whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'" 
Revelation 22: 17 "'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." 
     Consider this my invitation to you and also God's invitation to come. God is waiting with open arms to welcome you into a relationship with Him through his son, Jesus Christ. I would love the opportunity to "chat" with anyone who wants to know more about how to receive this free gift of grace. Feel free to email me at corjilly@gmail.com
      I also thought a lot today about the people in my life I am thankful for. There are so many. I always hesitate to mention specific names out of fear that I will forget someone but on this important day I will make an exception. 
     I want to thank my mom and dad who have never ceased to love and support the girls and I, especially over this past year. My mom was by my side that awful night one year ago when I was told the news that Corey had indeed passed. She cried with me and I told her there was no one I would have rather had with me at such a time. And my dad...He, along with his wife Peggy and my sister Jami, upon receiving my phone call with the news at almost midnight that night, got in the car and drove 4 hours in the dead of night to help us try to pick up the pieces. My sister was like my personal attendant as I planned the funeral in the days that followed. She practically followed me around with a notepad recording all the important details and making endless phone calls to get all the arrangements into place. After hanging up with Mark that night and dialing the Milton Police, my next call was to Corey's parents asking them to be praying for the situation. What an awful phone call to have to make...to tell my husband's parents that I didn't know if their son was dead or alive. It wouldn't be until 90 minutes later that I would call them back with the grave news. They immediately started trying to find a flight to get them up to NH as soon as possible. They left early that next morning and spent the next day...the entire day...in flight having to make at least 3 plane changes/connections to get here finally by that next evening. I can't imagine what that 24 hours must have been like for them. They blessed me with their full involvement and support in all my decisions relating to Corey's memorial service and burial. 
     I have many more thank you's to express, lots of photos from today to share with you all as well as details about how I spent the anniversary today. And most importantly I want to honor Corey's memory...not by focusing on his tragic death but by remembering how special he was to me and so many others. Unfortunately, all that will have to wait until tomorrow. It's almost midnight now and I need to get some rest. 
     One final thank you for the night...Thank you all for helping me feel SO loved and supported today...my inbox was filled with facebook messages from you all. I received several cards in the mail and had beautiful flowers delivered this morning too! I love you all! Can't wait to share more about how good God was to me today :))