Darkest Night

Jana died. She has died… The combination of these two words was, arguably, the worst two words one could have put together. I felt this brief sentence to my very core. Days, months, and, now, a year, I have considered these two words and what they mean. I still do not fully understand… And if…

Grieving? Throw the Clock Out.

I’m in pain! When will it stop? In one form or another, the question of “when” comes up. When will I feel better? When will this intense hurt go away? When will I feel normal again…? I started looking for published grief timelines almost right away. I knew I couldn’t live forever under the soul-crushing…

Praise for Life

Life is the feeling you get when your car begins to slide on ice and you lose control. There’s no stopping it, you have enough time to get a pit in your stomach, and anything can happen. Either I need to change my view of who’s in control or I need to get used to…

Anything Can Happen

“It could happen.” This was a thought that I held loosely, almost with the same grip that I held on to World War III. Yeah, anything can happen but, it won’t. Then, the whole concept was shattered when…it did. I guess I played the odds. Odds were, my wife and I would live happily for…

What Happened?

Time incessantly keeps marching. “Time heals all.” I am coming to believe that time, itself, doesn’t heal…it simply dulls. My memories of Jana are not exactly clear…and they feel more distant everyday. What happened to my wife? Tonight, I looked back at a series of selfies that Jana took while in the hospital and just…

First Thoughts – From 8/12/19

The following is journaling that I did 5 days after Jana died. I want to add these journal writings to my blog, they are hard for me to read…but, it’s good to revisit. I can see the despair in my thinking. Thanks be to God for bringing me along and not leaving me there. Reminders…

Walmart

You may or may not like Walmart, but Jana and I enjoyed it. There is a strange warmth and familiarity in going to Walmart, now. The familiarity was always there, but even in different cities and different stores, the memories come flooding back. I can remember so many occasions over the course of our time…

Poem “Comes the Dawn”

“And you learn to build all your roads On today because tomorrow’s ground Is too uncertain. And futures have A way of falling down in midflight. And you learn that you really can endure . . . That you really are strong And you really do have worth And you learn and learn . ….

The Path, Part 1

Along the path were walls and ceiling made of crushed glass, the floor a mix of thorns and jagged rocks. All sides were close to my body, sharp to the touch, and cutting me as I rubbed against them. The horrible way was well defined. I could not stray or escape to a different route….

A Shaky Thumbs Up

Hey, Chris, how are you doing…? Not a bad question. Stick around, if you’re willing, and I will tell you exactly how I’m doing! I was talking with a good friend on our walk around the 4 mile track in our local state park. I was trying to explain how I feel like I am…

I Just Gotta Be Me

God speaks to me through all manner of experiences, and in no way least of these is through my pastor on Sunday! He discussed identity… I have been wrestling with this term for weeks, now. Generally speaking, my identity has been “Chris and Jana.” And, I was quite satisfied with that. Now, to many, I…

Life Sucks

Sometimes my own counter-productive thoughts get me down. This is one of those times. I am not in a good frame of mind. These times come and go, and I assume (at least I have read) that it comes with the territory, but I feel low. I was reading about situational problems and self-imposed problems….

Thoughts on Thanks

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 Thankfulness is tricky. Give thanks in all things. How do I apply this, and do it authentically? I think it is important to differentiate between being “thankful” for the results of a fallen world, i.e. death of Jana,…

My Smudge of a Life

At times my life feels like a blur. It’s as if I parachuted into this spot and I am looking around at things I don’t understand. My years are like a dream and I can’t focus on any one particular time of life, or follow the chain of events that got me to where I…

Struggle with a Memory

At times the vision of my sweet wife in death won’t leave my mind. I will think of her last breaths, and that is the memory that comes to mind. Yes, it was shocking. We don’t see our loved ones so still. Yes, in a weird way, I am glad that I was there, and…

And, Mizz Scarlett…I don’t care either.

How about anger? Anger hangs just under the surface. It is ready to leap out and bite, but for the most part, I don’t have the energy to really act on it. Occasionally, if I am letting my words fly you’ll hear my misplaced frustration. I’ll attack unwary, unknowing individuals for no reason…even behind their…

God is Not Far From Any of Us

Keeping my mind occupied with activities almost helps dull my pain. As I meet new people or go to places that I haven’t been before I engage my mind with the different stimulus. Although, as unique as these experiences are to me I am constantly thinking of Jana. I wonder what Jana would think about…

Does God Even Care?

Ultimately, somebody must be responsible for the things that happen on this planet. And, if not responsible, capable of laying out the course desired for all things. So, it’s not unnatural to look to God for answers. At times I am simply looking at Him as if I have been betrayed by a good friend….

The Remarkable Warmth of Routine

Got up this morning and got ready for church. The usual banter accompanied our preparations; “Does this look ok?”, “15 minutes till we go”, “Do we have everything?” Arrived at church and took my usual seat next to the guy in class that always gives me a hard time, in a good way. Moved to…

Significance

It’s 2am and a thunderstorm waters the trees and grass all around our house. The cycle of life and death continues, as it has for thousands of years. In 1971, I was born, she was born in 1972. We grew up, far from one another, experiencing the same things our entire cohort did. We enjoyed…

New Is Not A Bad Word

A couple of days ago, I had to get up early to shuttle Allyson to her practice at 6am. I got up, just like normal, put on the outfit (shorts and a t-shirt) that I laid out the night before, grabbed my keys, and started my coffee… Then it hit me. I had not thought,…

Do You Believe This?

How can I exist? How can I continue? I cannot have the past, and I cannot see the future…at least not right now. My day-to-day is sustained by prayers, words of encouragement, keeping myself from a state of panic… Pain, pain all day long. Always on the cusp of tears. With a few words or…

Short Prayer of a Heavy Heart

My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and find rest. How far away I would flee; I would stay in the wilderness. Selah I would hurry to my…

Entertain the Future

New things. God is apparently doing new things. Previous things must change, in some regard, for Him to begin something new… “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 I…

Old Voices

Jana and I began our relationship with letters and emails. We wrote back and forth for about 2 months before we ever met. Sometime, after we were married, Jana had the presence of mind to print all of those emails and store them away. Last night, Allyson found them and we read a little. I…

Not Ready for the Fade

Why am I so anxious? Just looking around the house, I see so many things that need to be done. My energy is gone. I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything. I have been able to walk, which has been good, but tasks at home are suffering. My anxiety rises as I think…

Hit me with your best shot

Standing at the coffee bar at a hotel the girls and I stayed at for a night, I heard Pat Benetar’s, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” over the speaker in the lobby. I could see Jana singing along with the chorus, because that’s all we really know of the song anyway, and putting on…

You Can’t Go Back

I went to the park that Jana and I had walked at years ago. Before teenagers, before ministry, before toddlers, before marriage and honeymoon…we just walked and talked about the potential future God may have for us. Such an exciting time in our lives. Learning somebody new, sharing our thoughts and passions. We enjoyed being…

Hope for the Future

How about a word of hope. This characteristic is swimming in the convoluted mess that is my brain. Occasionally, I grab hold and find peace and comfort in God’s promises. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to read a little scripture and offer any kind of prayer. I am considering what Jana experienced, at the…

No Escape

How does this state of emotions envelop me so tightly? I feel trapped and I am only able to do what grief will allow me. It has taken over every part of my life – I can’t escape it. My entire body is feeling my sorrow. I have carried a pit in my stomach for…

Young Love and Harsh Realities

Jana and I had moved up to the 6th floor of Liberty Hospital after being discharged from the ER. We were not exactly aware, at the time, but it was the oncology floor. We sat in our room and a doctor that looked like he was in his late 30’s or early 40’s came in…

To Know and Be Known, A Joy of Marriage

Jana, I miss you. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen 2:24 Let no man separate. To have and to hold from this day forward. For better or for worse. Till death do us part… I look…