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heaven

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.

I'll See You in Heaven Widow Repair

I’ll See You in Heaven

In December of 2006, I had been exposed to so many conflicting beliefs and theories about salvation, the afterlife and heaven. I had grown impatient with those that told me “he’s with you,” or “he’s watching over Caleb.” What kind of heaven would Jason get if he had to stick around and watch us suffer?

My dad loved to give me books, especially those that are backed up with biblical truth, so he bought me Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It was good to picture Jason in the heaven described in the Bible, and I let my imagination take over from there- all the way to the “new earth.”

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…

Revelation 21:1

 

Dec. 4, 2006 I am bored with this life. Think of the common temporary highs that we choose- the rich travel to see the Colosseum, ancient ruins, and other people seek thrills in skydiving, etc.

I have no more desire for any of these things. I wish for the “new earth” that’s mentioned in Revelation, and I can picture walking hand in hand with Jason.

He [God] will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” 

Revelation 21:4

 

I cannot wait to hug him close again. What a fantastic relief that would give me. The thought that I will be with him again seems so unreal, though I honestly believe it. So I pray that God will put the joy back in my life.

In the meantime, how do I create a new life around simple objects like our wedding china and our silverware? Jason used to eat from that silverware. My love for Jason is so strong that it is hurting my heart.

I am tasting heaven- not really- but I understand what it will feel like, and I will bask in the relief- the safety- no more death. I’ll be able to hold Jason and be sure that nothing will be able to separate us again.

Writing My Way to Peace

Dec. 6, 2006 To feel some peace, I try to imagine that Jason is in the military overseas or that he’s on a trip…

Jason went to visit his grandmother. He hasn’t seen her since April of 2005, so he wanted to see her. He is telling her about Caleb and how he stayed with me in the hospital and helped me when I was having him.

She is shaking her head and admonishing him because we got pregnant before we got married. For some reason, it is all okay now. Talking about that, Jason ducks and holds his hands to his mouth in that adorable “I’m ashamed of myself” gesture.

Then his eyes light up, and he tells her about our wedding. He can barely contain his excitement. Her husband, his granddaddy, married us! His granddaddy is missing her so much, but he wasn’t able to come. He had to stay behind to take care of the church.

Jason is above the stars of space, above the heavens, just beyond the distance that our satellites can reach. It is a physical place. It is like Jason is in Paris, just across the ocean.

Right now I can’t join him, because Caleb needs to grow bigger. And when he starts school, it would not be a good time to travel. Life gets so busy you know. It’s even hard to get time off from work.

Jason got some time off, so there was no reason why he shouldn’t get a vacation. As soon as all these demands slow down, I’ll get my ticket too. After all, it’s not far. It’s only a heartbeat away.

When I join him there, it will be like the night he asked me for the first date.

I hadn’t seen him in two years, and he saw me come in. He rushed over to hug me. After a few games of  pool he asked, “Will you ever consider dating me?” I told him, “I don’t know. You live so much faster than I do.” He said, “I’ll slow it down for you.”

This time I meet him in a dream. I rush over to hug him, and I say, “Will we stay together this time?” And he answers, “I don’t know. Are you ready? You are living such a busy life now.” And I’ll be ready to leave. I’ll wake up and see God, and soon He will point me to Jason. And finally we are in sync, and we are both able to slow down.