My grief journey has taken many detours. From the morning I found my beloved had left for his heavenly home, to the managing the mundane details of saying goodbye and the ongoing mourning that emerges with vengeance at unexpected times.

          Before I discovered his cold, lifeless body, I had spent time with the Lord in another room praying. and Jesus said to me, “There is enough of Me to take care of every person on this planet.” He added, “I know your needs and I care about each of them. Trust me to lead you into right decisions and choices.”

          He knew my life was about to shatter into a thousand pieces and was preparing me for a great loss and everything that would come after. The buckets of tears that followed were God’s way of washing the beginnings of sorrow from my heart. Ten days later, the last of the family left for home and that morning an overwhelming sadness enveloped me.

          I wondered how to find joy in such an overpowering heaviness. I longed for the familiar intimacy with the Lord that I normally found in my quiet time with Him. It had been neglected during all the preparations and company, for which I was grateful, but now the house was silent. I knew the prayers of those who loved me had carried me. Had their concerns turned to new, more pressing needs? I felt alone until a shaft of sunlight hit the leaves on the tree outside my window. That light I look for every morning shone brightly, affirming God’s presence and never-ending love.

          But the next morning, griefs roller-coaster brought such a longing for my husband’s presence that I began to sink into the “what if’s.” What if I’d insisted the nurse take further measures to get him on an antibiotic sooner? Why didn’t I realize his nearly comatose state was more than a reaction to the infection? Surely the Holy Spirit knew he was dying—why couldn’t I hear His quiet alert whisper that Ken was about to leave his body?

          As I poured out my agony of not being there when Ken left, I cried to the Lord, “I should have been there, holding his hand, assuring him of my love. He died alone!” But the Lord brought me up short. “No, he didn’t,” He said. “I was with him. It was his time, and I took him home.” His message chastised but also comforted me.

          Staring at my precious picture of Kenny jumping over the clouds, I thought about the many times he would say, “I just want to go home.” I’d say you are home, feeling bad that he wasn’t comfortable in the home we’d shared over fifty years. I’d point out familiar things, but it never satisfied, and he had no answer when I’d ask him about the home he envisioned. How dull I was to not realize it was his final home that he longed for. Heaven is more real to me now that I have a special deposit there.

          Still struggling with wishing I could have been there I believe the Lord revealed to me that if I had been there, I would have franticly tried to keep Ken from leaving. I would have been consumed with how to get help, crying and calling out to him and robbing him of the peaceful homegoing the Lord laid out for him. It wasn’t about me. Kenny’s eyes were wide open and his face was relaxed in peace. It was about him and his time had come to peacefully leave with the angels.

          Six weeks have passed but the tears haven’t. One step at a time I am seeking God’s “new normal” for me. What is His plan? How does one live alone? What will this season be like? What is my purpose, no longer a “couple?” My time with Him is more precious than ever as each morning He wipes my tears and gives me a Scripture to cling to, never letting go of my hand.