[Reviewed and updated August 10, 2023]
Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. I miss you like hell. ~ Edna St. Vincent MillayA reader writes: How does one deal with the overwhelming grief at 14 months and 9 days....for me it is harder and more painful now. Am I crazy Marty? I have not dreamed of my husband since he went to Heaven, except a nightmare the night he died, that they lost him in the tunnels in the hospital. I can't feel him, no one will say his name and I am trying desperately to understand this all. Does it mean that since I cannot dream or feel him that I did something wrong? I feel that way. My doctor/therapist told me that the second year may be harder and she was so right, am I the only person that feels this way?
I go through the motions of work, of pretending I am okay, but all I want is my husband back and that will never change and it hurts so much that people tell me that I have to go on for my boys and our granddaughter, what do they think I'm doing right now? I am so tired and then I feel guilty because I could never even imagine how tired my beloved was with his chemo treatments and I feel betrayed by God so much right now. How do you get good results, stable results on the brain tumor one day and then exactly one week later the beginning of the end starts? I know I am rambling Marty, I know I should not apologize but I am. I will never understand any of this and yet I am trying, trying and getting more lost each day.
Meanwhile, where is God? This is one of the most disquieting symptoms. When you are happy, so happy that you have no sense of needing Him, so happy that you are tempted to feel His claims upon you as an interruption, if you remember yourself and turn to Him with gratitude and praise, you will be – or so it feels – welcomed with open arms. But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the longer the silence will become. There are no lights in the windows. It might be an empty house. Was it ever inhabited? It seemed so once. And that seeming was as strong as this. What can this mean? Why is He so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in a time of trouble? . . . Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not ‘So there’s no God after all,’ but ‘So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.’