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Closure

Monday Doesn't Look So Bad Anymore Widow Repaired

Not Your Typical “Monday Blues.”

This morning, my FB news feed is flooded with silly memes about the “Monday blues.”

I see it every week.
But there’s one Monday I’ll never forget: March 20, 2006.
It wasn’t just the worst day of the week. It went down as the worst day of my life.
It was the day Jason died.
Today I’m waking up to the 11 year anniversary, and here it is falling on a Monday.
It’s like a mean little twist. I’m starting the week with a double shot of reminders on the calendar.

When Every Monday Was (pretty much) the Same…

Every Monday about 11 years ago I was waking up at random hours to make a bottle for my baby Caleb.
Every Monday about 11 years ago I was kissing Jason goodbye (if I was awake) as he left for work.
I watched tv shows while rocking Caleb in the recliner. We went out for a walk in the jogging stroller. I wrote the bill schedule on the calendar and balanced the check book. I drove Caleb to Beaufort so we could spent time with my parents.
Every Monday about 11 years ago was pretty much the same as every other day of the week.

…And Then It Wasn’t

On Monday morning, March the 20th, 2006, Jason went to work. I took Caleb to a babysitter and went job-hunting in town.
I spoke to Jason in the afternoon to tell him I was hired at the vet’s office. He was on the way home. I went to the babysitters’ house and lingered when they offered me lunch.
When I finally got back home with Caleb, both company vehicles were there. The person who was working with Jason was in the back yard throwing debris from his work van into the waste receptacle.
I handed him some mail, and I was told that Jason was inside. He wasn’t feeling well.
I twisted the knob on our back door. It was locked, even though it was never locked before.
I will forever hate coming home to a locked door.
On Monday morning, March 20th, 2006, I was a married mom looking for a job. That night I was a widow. I cried myself to sleep because he was not beside me.

I Think About All the Mondays He’s Missed

I wish that Jason was here on Monday nights to talk about the past weekend watching Caleb’s football games. I know they would rehash every detail, and Jason’s eyes would be sparkling.
I wish that Jason could be here to see Caleb at his karate Hyper class.
I wish that Jason could tell us about his day at work.
I wish these things and more for him and for Caleb.

Monday Doesn’t Look So Bad Anymore.

Today is Monday morning, March 20th, 2017, and soon I’ll wake Caleb up for school.
At work, Monday passes quickly with phone calls, email, tons of sales and some of the best co-workers that I could ever ask for!
Monday nights are set aside for relaxation. It’s my night off from working out. I look forward to cooking (which I definitely did NOT love 11 years ago)!
I text my family for requests before stopping for ingredients on the way home.
My fiance takes Caleb to karate and picks him up if I’m still cooking.
We watch our favorite shows on Netflix while we cuddle our chihuahuas on the couch.
I’m sure we will talk about the movie we saw this weekend, the live music at the restaurant and the “championship” air hockey games at the arcade.
Monday doesn’t look so bad anymore.

It’s Not Monday Anymore

Now I can look past Monday, March 20th.
I’m here with a man who encouraged me when I doubted myself.
I’m here with a man who said, “Jason would be proud of how far you’ve come.”
Ten Years a Widow Closer Widow Repair

On March 20, 2006, I became a widow of suicide.

Ten years later, I’m thankful to write that I have closure.

It wasn’t a countdown. Ten years is not the magic number for peace.

Peace and acceptance came to me gradually.


 

How do you find closure?  According to the textbook definition, you must have an answer.  

But there was no answer.

Jason did not leave a note. He did not explain why he left the world in the way he did.

At my worst moments, I screamed out loud, “Why did you do this to me?”

Jason had the answer which could set me on track to heal my heart…but death made him unreachable.

I feared that I would never have consistent happiness again.

 

Early Widowhood

Even in tragedy, I am fortunate to be emotionally balanced.

Immediately, I began writing in journals and diaries. Although I could not make sense of his loss, writing made me face it. Writing helped me to organize my thoughts one day, and it gave me a private outlet for confusion and pain the next day.

Friends from my childhood set off on trips with me, or they simply listened any time that I wanted to talk about Jason.

Step-by-step goals gave me a reason to be here: Get a job. Learn the history for the tours. Make the tourists smile. Go to college. Finish the paper, and the next one. Get a degree. Pay off credit card debt. Pay off the truck loan. Go to church. Read the entire Bible. Read it again.

Succeeding at these goals made a better future for me and Caleb.

My parents prayed for me. I have a strong foundation and a strong support system.

Over time, I let go of my feelings of abandonment. I no longer clamber after Jason’s memory, begging him to help me understand.

Little by little, I was distracted by life and the wonderful people around me.

 

Finding Closure

In 2015, it was on my heart to walk to Jason’s gravesite. The amount of time caught in my throat—here it was nearly ten years, and there was no headstone.

I set a new goal—to have a memorial completed for Jason before the ten year anniversary of his death.

I was still struggling financially because my family was harassed with litigation in 2014, but I wasn’t alone in seeking to make this happen.

Many wonderful people stepped in to help, and we also received messages of encouragement. I met some of Jason’s old friends, and they shared memories. These memories are so important because they help Caleb to know his father.

Ten Years a Widow Closure Widow Repair Jason Drew

I never imagined it would be so hard to decide on a particular stone or engraving. We settled on something very traditional, yet the words are so candid and so absolute after everything we have been through:

Loving Husband and Father

I no longer question, “Why did you do this to me?” I believe that when Jason died, he was incoherent, and his mind was in a state of imbalance. He was not fully conscious of what he was doing. I know this because I know Jason. He would never cause us pain if he could help it.

I also chose a verse:

John 10:28

According to some Christian denominations, suicide is an “unforgivable sin.” I struggled with this until I spoke with a counselor at church who gave me examples of the correct theology.

The words of John 10:28 always gave me peace:

 

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;

no one will snatch them out of My hand.

 

We will see each other again because Jason asked Christ to save him, and that made him a child of God. No one and nothing could snatch Jason out of God’s hand.

No longer do I burden myself to discover an answer based on the minutiae that I can dredge up in memories. Closure is not dependent on that textbook answer.

Closure, for me, came with the peace of the verse.

Closure came with accepting and embracing the changes in my life.

I feel closure in reading Jason’s memorial because the words reflect his heart. I feel closure for Jason because the verse is a reminder that he is singing in heaven.

And I will always remember the life, the laughter, the love.