A couple of months ago through Care For The Family, I met a lady who's husband had died young some years ago. She described how, 4 years after his death, she completely 'crashed and burned' and couldn't even get out of bed in the morning. Strangely it comforted me as it helped me to understand that the journey is really not straightforward, definitely not linear, and the days which feel overwhelmingly hard are fairly "normal".
Nowadays, it seems fairly odd to me to think back to my expectation that when Karena died, I would first fall through the floor, then gradually get better over time. It's really not been like that at all. You don't "get better", you just gradually learn to live with it all.
The hardest part of it all for me, 2 and a bit years since the worst day, is just how emotionally draining the whole journey has been. If you were to ask me how I am right now, I'd answer one of two ways - either "fine" (in true English fashion which is code for, "I really don't want to go into it"), or if I was being more honest I'd probably say, "I feel so emotionally drained, it feels like there's not much left of me". Ellie gets it of course which is just great, and she's a simply outstanding lady, wife and mother !
So....the picture above was given to Karena by a very dear friend of hers on 15th Nov 2009; the message on the back of the photo reads, "Wait in hope for the Lord. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us O Lord, even as we put our hope in You (Ps 33)....Dear Lovely Karena, Praying for you - for comfort and strength as you trust in Him...Love you lots....."
God was with her. God is with us. We grieve as those who have hope. Tomorrow is another day.