Today marks one month since the love of my life left my side and took his place amongst the angels. There aren’t words to describe the past month; the pain is ever-present and the sadness never leaves. January 12th was by far the hardest day of my life, but the subsequent days have certainly left me feeling simultaneously numb and ripped to shreds. I cannot possibly describe the agony in having the love of your life pass away in your arms at the age of 25. I won’t try to describe it because that would require reliving that day and that is something I do in my head enough- every single day, in fact. There are so many impossible parts of grief and absolutely no way to prepare for losing your spouse. I am forever aware of his absence and the silence is deafening. I still instinctually wander towards the “Big and Tall” sections of stores and catch myself scouring the shoe racks for a size 17. I do so many things to only be reminded that I heartbreakingly don’t need to anymore. And the waves of grief…they wash over me and hardly let me come up for air. It feels much like I would imagine drowning feels like- a piercing blow to the chest, lungs feeling both as if they’re combusting and collapsing, a gasp for air, for relief. I feel like I’m suffocating. I feel like I’m dying. And then I realize it’s because so much of me did die that day. Andrew and I used to sing along to a song called “Home.” The chorus sings, “Home is wherever I’m with you…” We’d sing and smile at one another as those words resonated between us. We spent so much time in hospitals and we were desperate to be in our home in Irvington, but at the end of the day, if I was sharing a bed with Andrew- be it in our own or a hospital bed like the one pictured above- I was home. Home was wherever I was with him. And now, I am left feeling homeless. My home is now in ashes. I try and think of his perspective, though (as I often do). Home for Andrew was wherever I was. I’m still here. I’m still breathing. Albeit barely, but I am still breathing. Where I am, he will forever be. He will always have a home in me.
The most tragic and difficult moment was holding Andrew in my arms as he died. There is not a single person on this earth that should ever feel that pain and heartache. But as he took his last breath here on earth, I know that his next was breathed in Heaven in the arms of our Savior. As a devoted wife and caregiver, it is so hard to think of Andrew being better off in anyone else’s arms but mine. But, I’ve had to realize and accept that in the arms of our heavenly Father is the safest, most comforting place to be. In His arms, not mine. Andrew loved me so dearly, to the innermost core of his heart. I love that I can say that with so much confidence; he made sure I knew it every single day. He loved me a lifetime’s worth in our seven years together. And while I am so terribly sad that seven years’ worth will have to last me a lifetime, I’m so lucky and so blessed to have been loved that much. Life with Andrew was a glimpse of Heaven; it was beautiful, joyous, and unparalleled. I am devastated that my glimpse has departed from me, but I’m so happy that Andrew now lives in the constant state of perfection that is Heaven. I know I only got a taste of it, but it gives me so much to look forward to. I cannot wait for the day that Andrew greets me at the gates of Heaven, gives me one of his crushing hugs, and says, “I’m so proud of you. You were great, my love. You did great.”
“But our citizenship is in Heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)