Well….the prompt for Day 6 of the 31 Day Five Minute Free Write Challenge is: Heal.Whole. How I got heal from whole I do not know. But then again, I guess you can’t be whole unless you heal.
I had another verse in mind that applies to our country’s need for healing. But upon finding out someone is in the middle of planning her husband’s funeral, I decided to focus on healing of the deceased and a widows healing.
The King James Bible is being used today because of the beautifully written verses on healing I found while doing my research.
Today’s verse speaks healing to me because when your spouse passes away, his light breaks forth in heaven and his health springs forth speedily. What he did not have here on earth, God speedily gives him in heaven.
The righteousness of your spouse – His faith in Jesus Christ – goes before him when he moves to heaven. Upon arriving in heaven he gets to see the glory of God. What a reward!
As for widows, one morning light will break forth through your grief, healing it. Grief is darkness and darkness will never overcome the light of your faith in Jesus Christ. That light will precede you while living your part in God’s story and you will see God’s glory here on earth.
Take a plate of cookies to a widow along with the recipe.
I rarely bake anymore. However, if someone was kind enough to bring me a few cookies they baked along with the recipe it might inspire me to get out the cookie sheet. Plus it would warm my heart that during this busy time of year someone thought of me.
It might only be baking but it gets you trying something new and life after the loss of a spouse is filled with doing new things, so you might as well start somewhere.
Send a grieving person a Christmas card so they know you are thinking about them.
Christmas can be a lonely time for widows and other grieving people. The focus is on kids and their toys. There are lots of lonely, grieving people who feel invisible and getting a simple card in the snail mail will brighten their day.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Bah Humbug!
My first Christmas after Joe’s passing, I was in a locally owned grocery store and heard this song as I went down the chip aisle. Then as I am walking down the baking aisle, it came over the loud speaker again. Finally as I walked up the dish soap aisle and headed for the check out line, yet another dead singer was crooning it over the loudspeaker. Three times in the 30 – 45 minutes from the time I entered the store until I left. After barely making it home, I laid down on the couch and had a meltdown.
Let my heart be light? Nope! Troubles miles away? Nope!
So lower the music and let the grieving person and other guests can focus on and enjoy conversation.
Invite A Grieving Person To Your Holiday Party
But do not expect them to stay the whole time. There comes a point during the festivities where it is just too much merriment for the widow. The length of time they can handle the merriment will vary because each widow is unique. It is alright for the widow to leave early. Just appreciate the time and effort it took for her to step outside her comfort zone and attend.
Speak about their deceased loved one.
It is alright to speak about the deceased loved one. We want to know they are not forgotten. It comforts us to know that people remember him. Society wants widows and other grieving people to put there loved in the ground, walk away from the grave, and act like the deceased never even existed.
So think and speak fondly of the deceased.
Do Not Quote Any Bible Verse or Get Theological
This is simple. If you look in the mirror and see Billy Graham staring back at you, then go ahead and use Bible verses and theology to comfort someone. However, when you look in the mirror you will not see Billy or even Franklin Graham staring back at you -so zip it.
Do Not Say “If you need anything, let me know.”
By saying this you are placing the burden on the widow or other grieving person to wrack there brain about how you can help them. They have enough on their plate.
You have a house and know what tasks need done everyday and the tasks associated with the different seasons so just call a grieving person up and ask “Who is shoveling your driveway this winter?” or “Who is raking your leaves this fall?”
Go to GriefShare.org
The GriefShare program helped me immensely after Joe’s passing. It is Christ-centered, Biblically based program by Church Initiative. I looked forward to Monday nights. Those nights were more important to me than church on Sunday. Those Monday meetings became my rock, my foundation for the week because I was with other people who were grieving.
While we all lost different loved ones and the causes of their passing were different, we all knew the pain of grief and supported one another. The conversations we had after viewing a different video every week for 13 weeks left us uplifted and encouraged that grief was survivable and our joy would return.
This is not the entire list of advice for helping grieving people but it is a good starting point. Below are links to additional blog pages where you will find links to books, websites, articles, music and recipes.
May all this information help you this Christmas season whether someone you know is grieving or you yourself are grieving.
Today is the 10th anniversary of becoming a new creation. Ten years ago this morning Joe suffered a stroke caused by a blood vessel rupturing at the base of his brain.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
I went kicking and screaming into this transformation. It is the day I came home from work, pressed the button on the answering machine and found out what Non Sum Qualis Eram truly means.
The History Behind Non
My coworkers and I were sitting at our desks working crossword puzzles on a winter day when I worked for a savings and loan. I do not remember the clue for the answer, but I looked up “Non Sum Qualis Eram” in the dictionary (this was BG – Before Google) and I discovered it meant
I am not what I used to be
I cracked up laughing. I told my coworker that is what I want on my tombstone – I am not what I used to be. It is true. When you die you are not what you used to be. You are a new creation.
Well, that is not what is on our marker out at the cemetery.
Putting This Post Together
When I started putting this post together, I thought it would be how I summed up the last 10 years of being a widow instead of a wife.
Instead, it begins a series of lessons, opinions, and observations based on my experiences during the past 10 years. They are a mixture of good, bad, and ugly. They are intended to prepare you a teeny, tiny bit for what you mayface if and when you become a widow. Because that is what I do best, educate, inspire, and train – just call me your Grief Cheerleader.
So come along with me on a journey of looking back and fondly remembering while moving forward with life as a new creation.
Oh and if Non Sum Qualis Eram is not on our marker – what is? A line from Joe’s favorite song from The Phantom of the Opera:
Think of me, think of me fondly when we’ve said goodbye.