Grief is Ugly, but God is Good

Grief is ugly. It’s brutal. It shows up with force when you least expect it and brings you to your knees. It’s unapologetic. It’s relentless. 

I’ll give you a glimpse into it. I could never truly describe it in words that could make you understand unless you, yourself, have been through it as well. The other day I was driving and BAM, it showed up. It came fast and hard and it came in the form of an anxiety attack. I have experienced anxiety attacks in my life from time to time (if you have never had to deal with those before, you are so lucky!) and they are horrible, but this one was epic. Since Erik passed away I have had a handful of anxiety attacks that are far worse than anything I have ever experienced before. When they hit, they truly HIT, and HARD. 

One moment I was fine, I was just driving in my car, and then in a moment I thought I was dying. I knew I wasn’t really dying (most likely) but it takes over your mind and body. I became dizzy, completely panicked, my left arm was burning and I just felt this intense anxiety. Those who experience anxiety attacks know what I mean, those who never have usually don’t understand how horrible they truly are. I tend to have them exclusively when I’m alone. It seems to be when the world quiets down and I’m left alone with my thoughts, my true reality. I usually can control them, I know the signs and I know what helps me get to the other side during one. 

I didn’t want to call anyone, I knew it was anxiety and I could work through it (I usually can) but I was really scared that day, they can make you so scared, so I called my mom. She continued talking to me on the phone until I reached the cemetery (which is where I had been driving to). 

I immediately started crying when I arrived, but it was good, it was a release that I very much needed in that moment. I still was upset but I think I realized I would be ok, physically anyway. Sitting with Erik always brings me peace, a calm comes over me. I laid my blanket out and sat down with him and cried. I felt him all around me. I also prayed. God let me know that I would be ok, that He would take my burdens and give me rest. I felt His peace and His love. My mind and body went from feeling completely chaotic to quiet and calm.

My mom & dad drove to see how I was. I’m so lucky to have them as my parents. It’s hard because in moments of pure panic and frustration I want to call Erik. His voice comforted me so much, his touch…just him. But he can’t be there for me in that way anymore. I am so thankful I have two parents that are there without a doubt. They can’t replace my best friend, my soulmate, but what an amazing gift to know that if I call and need them, they drop everything and come, they always have. They do it for me and my siblings, and honestly for anyone that needs them. It’s who they are. (Side note- Mom & Dad-You are amazing and I wonder daily what I did to deserve such giving and selfless parents! Thank you!) Sometimes you just need someone there. 

So, I made it through that day. I survived. I may have had moments of feeling insane, I may have cried, screamed and wondered how I would make it through, but I did. I made it through. This journey isn’t easy, I don’t expect it to be, but I plan to continue to wake up each day and fight. As I said, grief is ugly, but there is a lot of love surrounding me. I have family and friends who are there no matter what, I have the love of the Lord who stands with me and gives me the strength to fight and when I don’t have the strength, He carries me. I have the love for and from my stepchildren that fills my heart up daily and I have the love that my husband and I share. He may be gone but that love lives on. Love and faith is everything.

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