“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
In many ways I’m looking forward to being completely past this first year after Becky’s death. We’ve just come through a weekend of ‘firsts’ without Becky. Jacob experienced his first anniversary without Becky. Thirteen years ago on September 4 they were married. Coincidently our worship on this Sunday, September 4 included two songs from Becky and Jacob’s wedding and one from her memorial service. There is no way that our Worship Minister knew this, but Steve was preaching on heaven and the songs fit that theme. Steve and I also experienced our first anniversary without Becky on Monday, September 5. We couldn’t help but think ‘last year Becky was still with us’. Our granddaughters went back to school for the first time without their Mom’s excited preparation and partnership. In all of this I remember ‘Becky was still alive at this time last year’ and it hurts.
We have some hard firsts yet to come – our first Thanksgiving without her, the first time we remember Becky’s birthday in her absence, the first Christmas without Becky, the first anniversary of her accident and death and, of course, all of the ‘firsts’ yet to come in two young women’s lives. Sometimes I’d really like to stop the forward progress of time today and not face these chronological time bombs.
It helps to see so many I know, some quite well, who have gone through all of this ‘first’ stuff ahead of us in their own grief journey. I can tell that it is hard traversing this unmapped territory in a griever’s life, but I can also tell that one gets through. Dreading the next ‘first’ isn’t the best preparation for that day, so I try not to dwell in a future I can’t change. Preparing for the next ‘first’ is a fine thing and we did that as we faced the first wedding anniversary since Becky died. I hope to continue successfully walking the fine line between ‘dread’ and ‘preparation’ as time moves on.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23:5-6