Disclaimer: This is not directed at everyone in my life, so please don't over-analyze anything you've said to me. I have received wonderful support from many friends who let me be real and make me feel normal, at least for a little while. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't know what I would do without you. #FBG
I'm Not FragileSometimes I almost want to laugh at people who apologize after they either say or do something that brings up a memory, or even just say something about dying in general. You don't have to handle me with care. I'm already broken - shattered really - so you can't break me any more. I get it, sort of. If I'm functioning okay for the moment and something changes and my emotions show, maybe you think you did/said something wrong and should apologize. But it's always there even when I'm hiding it, and if I get overwhelmed and let it out sometimes that's not actually a bad thing. So don't apologize. You didn't hurt me and you aren't making it worse. Just let me be real for a moment.
I Like To Talk About KevinDon't be afraid to say his name. If you knew him, tell me a story about him, especially if it's something I might not already know. If you didn't know him, ask me about him. A few weeks ago I was at an event with some new friends, and one asked me how Kevin & I met. Just like you would ask any wife about her husband. That made me feel so good, and I loved telling her.
No, Everything Doesn't Happen For A ReasonOh, this might be my biggest irritation. If you say this to me you might get a long rant back, or I might just say okay and walk away. Just depends on how much energy I have at the moment. I know you probably mean this to be comforting, but it's not. My life is not some Hollywood movie where Kevin as the Hero sacrificed himself to save everyone else. We live in a fallen world full of sin, disease, and sadness; a world where bad things just happen. I am working on accepting this. If you tell me Kevin died for a reason when I see plenty of other people surviving heart attacks, plenty of other overweight smokers still walking around holding hands with their wives, I am either going to get really angry or I'm going to ignore you.
But God Will Use This To Bring About GoodThis is what I think you actually mean when you say things happen for a reason. Kevin didn't die for some grand cause. But God knew Kevin was going to die and so God will use that to bring about good things for those who love Him. Do you see the difference? I have a friend who is also a runner, and we used to talk about how we worried about our husbands' health and we wanted to find ways to encourage them to be active with us. After Kevin died, my friend's husband started eating better and running with her. He's lost almost 60 pounds and now runs faster than she does. Kevin didn't die so that my friend's husband would live a healthier life. To say that would imply that God values one man over the other, or that God is just capricious and mean. I reject both of those ideas. Kevin died because bad things happen. But God knew it would happen and so he placed my friend in my life so that He could use what happened to bring about something good.
You Don't Have To Do, Just BeYou can't fix it. It's not fixable. Kevin's going to stay dead and there is no way to avoid the pain of that. I just have to move through it. God will bind up my wounds in time, and He still has a plan and purpose for me, but all that takes time. You can't make me feel better, but I don't expect you to. That isn't your job. Just be present, be there with me sometimes.
He [God] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3Don't worry if you think you have done or said something I mentioned in this post. I know it's all from a place of caring, so it's all good. I just wanted to get this out there so you'll know.
And whether you know Kevin or not, I hope you will enjoy this video his friend Darrell made.