February 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Forms that include marital status still make me cry. How do you re-program your perception of your identity? When do you accept that life has a new normal? I continue to base decisions around what my husband would have done if he was here. But he’s not here. Or is he?

Hospice offered quality of life for my husband to be at home without pain. Holding his hands, I watched him leave. I felt the energy in the room change. His presence in the room was gone.

A close friend sent me a card that read “Richard is now sitting with the Saints and Angels and if he had a choice he would not return. Richard is holding you now and loving you the same as when he was here.” Obviously meant to offer me comfort, yet that first sentence broke my heart. What on earth was she thinking? Why would she say that to me?? As a little girl I always thought of heaven as this magical place behind the clouds. Angels were playing harps and there were flowers everywhere. Heaven was up there in the sky, surrounded by the twinkling stars, in this galaxy far far away. So if he had the choice, he would not return? He would rather be in this magical place behind the clouds than be here with me?? That hit me hard.

My thoughts took me into a fog of confusion. Feeling powerless in dealing with my husband’s death, I shut down. There was a disconnect going on in my heart. My thoughts finally took me back to my core. What did I really believe about death, a chapter of life we will all face?

I finally realized that my little girl perception of heaven didn’t fit me anymore. I understood why the words written in that card upset me so much. That little girl believed that when my husband left with the Angels and Saints, he couldn’t be with me. He was gone. He would be in heaven, a place that was far far away.

So my perception of heaven had totally changed from that little girl. I believe in heaven on earth, Eternal Life. My husband lives in my heart now as he did when he walked beside me. He will always love me and hold me tight. He will always be with me. Four years ago, we walked a labyrinth out in the hill country of Texas. This past July, my daughter and I walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Feeling his presence walking with me, emotions swirled… creating a peaceful comfort deep within my soul.

The thoughts we have as children are still there. They can make us question who we are now. They continually challenge us. We learn to stand strong, to ignore and eventually face our past insecurities and fears. Why does this seem to be a lesson we have to learn, over and over again?

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.

Kahil Gibran

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