Now and then I would forget that my husband’s absence was permanent. One morning I woke and wondered if he’d already gone to work. Another day I was putting dishes on the table and realised that I has set too many places. Once I heard the garage door open and thought, “Oh, Tom’s home!”

You may have had similar experiences and wondered what was going on. What’s wrong with me? Is my memory going? Do I not really miss my spouse? Then, if you are like me, you felt the loss all over again – the ache, the sorrow and loneliness, or maybe anger. It takes time for the loss of a spouse to truly sink in. A little denial may be your mind’s way of protecting your heart from absorbing too much all at once.

I hope you can be patient with yourself as you wander through the wilderness of grief. There’s no straight, well-lit path. Your heart and your head might take different directions now and then. You might feel as though you are going around in circles, or even backwards. Your thoughts may not make sense, your feelings may be exhausting, but they are normal, and you are not alone.

Take some time in silence, aware of your breathing getting slower. Patiently wait for the Lord. Listen with your heart for God’s voice. When you are ready, you may conclude with:

Eternal God, I know that (my spouse) has died, but sometimes I don’t fully believe it. Is that okay? I haven’t done this before, and I sometimes get confused and lost and tired. Walk with me on the journey through grief. Light my path. Give me patience with myself and let me place my trust in your constant love. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Send your light and your fidelity, that they may be my guide. – Psalm 43: 3a