Even as I write I’m annoyed, frustrated, fed up and sad. Only lasted 35 mins at church. Didn’t even make the preaching. Started crying when I left my house. When I got to church and saw my friend outside absolutely sobbed my heart out and that was before I even got in the door. Some how managed to compose myself and go in and sit down. But by the time it had got to the tithes I couldn’t handle it anymore. So I left and felt ridiculous for leaving, felt guilty and ashamed. Felt I’d let myself down, John down and the church down, so felt even worse than I had when I started out to church. Not good. But seriously I couldn’t handle it, I mean really. I wanted to have a proper full unstoppable loud wailing melt down. Can you imagine? In the middle of taking up the offering? And I knew it was coming so just legged it. The thoughts that hit me are: Am I suppressing some of my grief? Will this always haunt me at my church? Will it just pass with time, as at the moment it isn’t? What exactly is this? And another thing is people who haven’t experienced this, some of them can be very understanding and sympathetic and empathetic and I think God for them but if they have never been through it they don’t really understand the complexness (might have made that word up, sorry) of it. It is true that I can go into other worship places and maintain a modicum of composure even though I cry and there are still times that I want to leg it, but it’s just about manageable. At my church it is not. It took everything within me on Thursday when I went to worship practice to stay in the building, and I only managed that because I was hidden away at the back. Is it a pride problem? Don’t know. Could I cry like this at home?  There have been many times when I have yes, of course, but it’s ok I can just go to bed afterwards when it’s all over and sleep, at church I cannot do that I have to face people I have to walk out the church drive or be driven home and it’s messy and horrible and maybe it is pride but I don’t want people to see that and think I’m a lunactic. “Remember the time that person had a meltdown during a random moment of the service and had to be carried out?” Is not a line I want spoken about myself. Not everyone knows me in church and knows what I’m going through so to them it would be random and highly inappropriate. But there’s more to this. I moved to my church for John, not that I didn’t want to or that God didn’t say to, all of those things are true, I knew John was a leader so I asked the Lord whether it was right for me to go, and He gave me a visible unmistakable sign, that it was right while we were dating to move across. It was a smaller church then and everyone knew who I was, the moment I walked in people said “And you must be John’s girlfriend?” When we weren’t serving which was very rare, we would sit together. So now I walk into church and what? It may seem like a minute detail, but to me it’s massive. Where do I sit? I have been offered a place at the front but I can’t sit there, it’s too much, it’s too unnatural, and maybe it’s pride, it’s too on display, crying in front of everyone STILL. Nope not happening. John used to sit in more or less the same seat, so every time I’m there I look over expectingly to find him he’s not there, obviously that helps the emotions…. Lovely kind people offer to sit with me, which I am grateful for but you know what, make the most of the time to sit by your spouse, cause I would give anything to sit next to mine. So I sit mostly at the back, I try to sit with people, but when I cry people either have no idea what to do, want to comfort me which is impossible, or move away. So what do I do? Someone said to me “You’re lost here aren’t you?” What a precise remark. Yes I am lost, and not just here, everywhere I go. Totally lost without John. I have no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I’m going to do it. Now you may ask “What about the Lord?” Good question, “Surely you are found in Him, He will direct You, and sort it out.” And that is true. He will but right now it certainly doesn’t  feel like that. Not that I live by my feelings although this post would suggest otherwise…. see how complex this whole thing is? I feel like a walking contradiction. And what’s weird is the only song I have in my head is James Morrison “Undiscovered” and the chorus says “I’m not lost just undiscovered.” Helpful. Not. 

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At church worship practice again. Trying to work my little complex self out. Every time I come to church I am just overwhelmed with sadness….but when music is played tears are unstoppable regardless of whether it’s upbeat or slow and emotional. I mean is it just cause I miss John so much when I am here? Is there a weird emotional attachment to this place that means that the grief is more intense and unavoidable? Is it just a matter of time, and eventually I shall feel better? I’m worried that I will never feel different when I am here and I desperately want that not to be the case cause I love my church and all the people here so much and that is why this is even harder and more upsetting. I’m really not sure what to do, so I came to see if I got some of the tears out on a day when no ones here, maybe I might be better on Sunday by then. Having just thought that I didn’t cry at my lodgers wedding and there was music at that…but then I had a reason to be strong then. Logical conclusion is to have a task on a Sunday but I can’t handle any ministry weight at the moment, just the thought tires me out. Maybe there is just no rhyme or reason to grief…. maybe this is just one of those things, and that might well be but it really doesn’t help me, as I can’t do that every Sunday, as it exhausts me and it’s very unpleasant. Crying out to the Lord for wisdom and peace. 

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Theology Degree Residential was AMAZING! The support I received there was overwhelming. People prayed with me, cried with me, laughed with me, talked with me, ate chocolate with me, checked on me, everyone was so kind. And that’s only all the positives from outside the classroom. The lectures were awesome too, I learnt so much about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Bible, and I got to encounter God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit in new ways. 

Now I’m back I honestly feel refreshed and energised, like I’ve drank from a stream while being in the desert. Was it still hard, yes, there were moments that when the grief came it was all consuming and overwhelming, however I have left with a sense of hope which has been alluding me. I am acutely aware that I may not feel like this tomorrow, but for now I’m enjoying it. 

On the last lecture the lecturer prayed and felt that there was someone in the room who was overwhelmed with fear about going home (Which I knew was me straight away as I was absolutely dreading it with every fibre of my being) and that God wanted to swop that for courage, and when she said that, that is exactly what happened in me, the fear left, and something else was deposited, so I walked out of there with my head held high, instead of with fear and trembling. This is the first time since John died that I have felt hopeful and alright. And I thank God for His mercy and Grace. He is the Ephesians 3:20 God. 

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Love my degree course and my Theological College and my lecturers, because they all teach me how to discover more about The Lord. Navigating this Residential while grieving is interesting, I won’t lie, it’s hard and yet I’m still enjoying myself 🤔 It’s draining seeing everything through the eyes of loss, and I almost want to push it one side but I know I can’t do that… and I realise God is working at my pace regardless of whether it feels like He is or not… if that makes any sense.

Interesting to still feel the weight of grief and loss so heavy, and at the same time feel exhilarated about what I’m learning about God despite all the massive questions I have. 🤔 And to feel massively frightened and unsure about the future and at the same time ever so slightly tinkering on the edge of a chink of something that feels like possible hope….which feels like an alien feeling, and it’s fleeting. 

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Quick post. At Theological Degree Residential. Have been honestly looking forward to this for such a long time. Genuinely excited about it. Got up this morning to travel down and wanted to burst into tears the whole way down, now I’m here I am still on the edge of tears and I have no specific explanation, other than – Doing things when you are married is one thing, doing the same things when you are widowed is VERY different. It’s like the loss of John is highlighted, which feels strange as John never came here. I think it’s cause it feels different not being able to “feel” his support backing me up. My world is so different without him…. 

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Complicated attending Part 2

Cried all the way to church today. Cried when I arrived, cried through the worship, and when I really cry, tears come even when I’m not crying… that’s a bit weird. Cried during the announcements as they announced something that John did last year and spent so much time and money on, and it’s just another reminder that he is not here and doing it, it’s so unfair. Being widowed is so crap. Everything in church reminds me of John and I’m not sure I can take it. There so many things coming up that will remind me of him 😦 I absolutely love my church to bits but it just feels way too hard at the minute and I feel like I cant stand it, which makes me even more upset :(. Don’t know what I’m gonna do 😦 Totally fed up. Feel down and out 😦 

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Bereavement counselling was rough yesterday. I think cause the week had been filled with loads of emotions, happy and sad that going through it all with my counsellor felt like I was swinging through a weeks emotions in an hour. Feel knocked about today. Keep going from wanting to do stuff to really not wanting to do anything within the space of a few seconds. Got someone staying with me again tonight, which I’m grateful for. Can’t believe how tired I feel. 😦 

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Without You

I’ve said before that grief waits for you. It not only waits but it attacks when it has the opportunity. Had a rough week, spent a lot of time alone, watching tv, totally rinsing the detective box sets on Netflix, but grief has waited to get me when I’m not occupied. Driving to a friends house suddenly overcome with grief in huge sobs, the pain totally unbareable. Struck with how I can’t believe I am doing things without John. It’s so wrong. Walking our lodger down the Aisle for her wedding on saturday and John was meant to be doing it. Just can’t believe he’s not here and not doing it. It’s heartbreaking. How can life be carrying on without him? I really don’t want it to. We had our faults and we didn’t have the perfect marriage but I LOVED being married and loved him being my husband, it made me so happy. It devastating that I’m alone and without him. I hate it. I also have realised I am getting overwhelmed really easily and I really don’t like it. Just the thought of doing more than a few things in one day makes me freak out, what is that about? Like I had a very boring list of things to do, like pick up something from the shops, go the post office, go the bank and I felt exhausted just thinking about it. Part of me wants to crack on, and another part of me just wants to stay in bed and never get out again. Didn’t go church again this week, there was a bbq and I couldn’t stand to face he fact that John wouldn’t be there doing it. Overwhelmed again. Felt like I was giving in, but I just couldn’t go, it was too much. I wanted to, but I couldn’t handle it. How are things getting harder? And that horrible feeling of wanting to go home even when I am home is haunting me. Sigh. 😦 

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Circus Monkey

Been knocked about by grief this week. It’s been beating me like a circus monkey. I look dreadful. Bags and dark circles under my eyes after terrible nightmares when I’ve eventually got to sleep. Feel wretched inside. Should be John’s birthday tomorrow. Can’t handle it. People say the build up is worse than the day which to be fair is what I found when mum passed away. Doesn’t make it any easier though… overwhelming feeling of despair, and thoughts of “What’s the point?” “The worlds going to hell in a hand basket anyway with all the crap on the news that’s happening.” Just want John more than anything ever, life is crap without him, truly. 

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The grief at the moment is crushing. I’m trying to do stuff and get on and it just keeps knocking me down. It’s the unbearable, breath taking away kind. Trying to sort out John’s business even the first few bits has wiped me out. I don’t know what it is about doing official stuff but it’s like the grief heaps upon me gigantically. On the way home from the bank I almost had to pull over as I was crying that much I could hardly see the road. It’s 10:35am now and I feel like I’ve been in a fight with a heavyweight boxer. Definitely the morning is a write off, hard not to write the rest of the day off, but I’m trying not to. Banging headache, horrible heartache. Think I might be dehydrated too. Water, tea and some crap tv in order. Dogs have just smothered me with kisses and cuddles, which lifts the gloom for a moment or two. Grateful for them. 

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