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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Thursday, August 2, 2012

silent August night

     This Sunday, August 5th, will be the second anniversary of Corey's passing. It has been a tough few weeks. Two weeks ago we celebrated what would have been Corey's 37th birthday while at our annual vacation spot in Maine. We spent 3 family vacations there while Corey was still with us and it became a special spot for our family. We always went the week of Corey's birthday (July 20th) and typically enjoyed his favorite meal, Mexican, for his birthday dinner. Just 12 days after arriving home from what was, what I believed to be, our best family vacation yet, Corey left his life here with us and went to be with Jesus.
      It has been just about a year since my last blog post. I have started posts on several occasions since then and have struggled to publish them. It feels harder now to write about my grief. My thoughts feel scattered, and I just can't seem to put a post together. I think I just don't feel much like writing about the pain of my loss anymore, and despite knowing there is no standard timeline for grief, I really had hoped to be further along in this process by this point. There have been some really big blessings this year for the girls and I, but the waves of grief have continued to roll and being a single mom has brought many moments of feeling overwhelmed with all I have to manage and feeling insufficient for the task. I know God has been and will continue to give me the strength to do what He asks me to do, but most of the time His strength is not something I can feel or see in myself. I just have to trust it's there and that can be very hard. I know God will never leave me but most of the time faith isn't about how you feel or what you can see. It's about what you know to be true. Aside from God's presence, I am alone in my grief journey, and I think as time has moved on I have felt that loneliness to a greater degree. (Please know, by alone I do not mean unsupported. I have had wonderful family and friends in my life to help me get through this, but no one else can "be in my shoes" and experience my emotions and the pain of my grief with me). Life for me and for others continues to move beyond Corey and beyond the life I had with him, and that is so painful. His name does not come up as much in conversations now and it takes a more deliberate effort to keep the memory of him alive for Abi and Ali. His birthday felt harder for me this year and there are hints that this second anniversary is going to be harder for me than last year. It's painful just to think about the fact that we have been missing him and living without him for 2 years. It doesn't feel like that much time has passed.
      Corey passed away on a Thursday night, so in a sense tonight is another kind of anniversary for me (with Sunday being the actual date). It has been hard not to relive the nightmare of this week 2 years ago. To think about the "lasts" I had with Corey. The last kiss he gave me before leaving for work that last Thursday. The thought that he already knew what he was planning to do and knew that was the last time he would kiss me goodbye. I remember the afternoon phone call I had with him as I was heading out of town for the night to pick up the girls. I remember feeling the need and being intentional about saying 'I love you' as we ended our conversation.  And then there was that dreadful final phone conversation when he called me one last time to tell me good-bye.
     I found a poem a couple of months back (ironically, the poem began the chapter titled, 'August') that brought me back to the moment after that phone call. The moment when I stood outside of my mom's RV trailer in the darkness of night under the coverage of trees (I had gone outside to take his call because my mom and the girls were asleep inside and my reception was cutting out).  I remember kneeling down in the dirt and pine needles to pray and plead God to spare Corey's life; to let him live. I remember feeling a calm in the midst of my fear; a peace at the thought of Corey being in God's presence and free from his struggles and pain. It was such a strange mix of emotions. I remember wondering if Corey was watching me from above as I knelt praying desperately for him to live. I prayed that his attempt would have failed and would find out 90 minutes later that it had not and he was gone. In those moments, God gave me what he promises in the Bible, a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I knew in the midst of my shock and heartache that all was well with my soul. Here's the poem written by Joyce Rupp:

silent August night
the words I'd long held
surged out in whisper;
almost as though rustle
of the forests' oak leaves
bid the truth be told;
"I am so afraid."

words of truth, air-suspended
softened by tender-rounded moon,
sparkled on by a million stars.
suddenly night seemed so bright.

the wind that rustled oak leaves
was wind moving through me.
the tiny trickling stream
was bidding me to kneel,
to be humble-poor before Holy,
to lay my overwhelming fear
in gentle, outstretched arms.

oh, for a moment, swept up in God,
stilled, awed, and quieted.

this presence is Holy, Holy, Holy.

God has taken my fearful heart
and wrapped it in deep love.

As I remember that night, I am ever thankful for the deep love that God has wrapped me in these last 2 years; sometimes not felt but still known. Please pray for me these next few days, that through this grief journey God would continue to lead me toward healing.

1 comment:

  1. I am speechless, but love these past few posts. Thank you for sharing a little more of Corey and a little more of your heart.
    love you, Stacy