I’m sure my friends wondered why I still had the sympathy cards up 6 months after my husband died. I found them comforting. It visually confirmed all our friends and family that cared for my daughters and me. I wasn’t ready to put them away. I needed to find a special place for them and decided one day I’d get around to it.
The closets were still untouched. One of Nelson’s shirts had a musty smell. Had it been that long? My husband died in April and now it was October. Many friends offered their help. I knew they just loved me and wanted me to move on. Was I afraid that if I moved forward I’d have to let go of the past? Material things weren’t important to me, however, I felt very possessive with Nelson’s belongings.
Perhaps I was stuck in grief at this point. I think God knows how to nudge us when it’s time to let go. Mornings were getting a little chilly. My friend, Dinah, called me one day to ask me what I was planning to do with Nelson’s leather jacket. Dinah and her husband, Arturo, had been our very close friends.
My hand clenched the phone. “I hadn’t thought about it,” I said. “Well, Arturo was planning to buy a leather and if you’re not keeping Nelson’s, could Arturo have it?” Dinah asked. Our conversation caught me off guard. What if I wanted to keep it? But it was too big for me. The sleeves covered my fingers. I had no reason to keep it other than for sentimental reasons. It was Nelson’s favorite coat!
Of course I gave the coat to Arturo. But when I did, I felt a part of Nelson go. God knew it was time and I had been holding on as long as I could. When Arturo picked up the jacket, my tears came later on that evening. In the midst of my painful cries, I suddenly felt God’s peace flow through my body. He was my comforter.
The process of letting go became easier after this point. Closets got cleaned out and I felt like it was the right time. Now the cards were a different story. I waited until Christmas cards came in, then I replaced the sympathy cards with the Christmas cards. This was my way of adjusting. And I always did things my way! (With God’s gentle nudging and guidance of course!)
Cindy Adams 2012