Author: Pami Clark
Mother’s Day, Without Their Daddy
I didn’t really expect this.
Tomorrow’s supposed to be “my day”.
I don’t have to be sad at EVERY holiday, do I???
I really do.
I try to think of how AMAZING my children are.
They totally are!
Macy and Micah are super compassionate kids, and both have a knack for sarcasm, for which I’d like to take credit.
And they both really and truly LOVE me.
Almost as much as I love them. It’s a huge competition around here…
“Who loves who more?”.
If I could let it stay right there, I’d be fine.
I could THINK about Mother’s Day without crying….
If I could….
If I could think about tomorrow WITHOUT thinking about one of the main reasons why I’m a mom in the FIRST PLACE….
If I could think about Mother’s day without thinking of their daddy,
That would be great.
But I can’t.
When I was in labor with Macy, he was my partner. His was the hand I squeezed through every contraction.
His was the face I saw, with tears flowing down his cheeks,
When he carried her over to my face so I could see my daughter for the very first time.
He said Macy had “strong legs”, because Jeremy noticed she was kicking wildly when they pulled her out of me.
He said she had fire.
And he was right.❤
I can’t think about Mother’s day without remembering how fast the contractions started to come immediately after church that Sunday, with our second child.
On the way home, Jeremy knew this baby was COMING!
And he said to me, a fellow “foodie “, “If we’re going right to the hospital, you KNOW they won’t let you eat.
….,Do you wanna get a sandwich?” 😂😂😂😂
I love that memory.❤
You didn’t mess with either one of us, when it came to food.
Well, just a few hours later, Jeremy was holding his brand new son.
He had so much joy that day.
He thanked me for the gift of his children.
I thanked him, too.
Every Mother’s day since my kids were born, Jeremy went
He wrote letters to me, telling me I was a great mom, and how much he loved me.
He never failed to deliver on Mother’s day.
I wish I could stay in bed tomorrow….
I wish I didn’t have to feel the absence of his love tomorrow…
Or ANY day, really.
But I have to get out of bed..
I have two kids depending entirely on me to do so!
They will have gifts and letters…
And I will love them, as always.
But it will never be the same.
And that’s GOT to be okay with me.
Jeremy is gone.
But he left me with the VERY BEST PIECES OF HIS HEART!!
Macy and Micah.
And I will truly treasure his most extravagant gifts EVER!!
On this day, and on every day we have together..,
The three of us.
We might be sad tomorrow, but we will ALWAYS be grateful.
And we will ALWAYS be
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.
1 Samuel 1:27,28
My kids are professional button pushers.
I mean, they are phenomenally good at it!
Macy can push her brother to the edge of sanity in two seconds flat.
Just the other day, she pulled out a verbal slap to Micah’s face.
( I have NO idea where she got that from.)
Well, there was nothing verbal about Micah’s response!
He didn’t waste any time, but just smacked her, and walked away.
My daughter came running to me, very dramatically (Again, I have no idea who she takes after.😉),
She told me Micah smacked her…
Then she paused for a second, eyes wide open, and kind of whispered,
It’s clear that Macy feels that when somebody hurts her, that it is much worse when they do it intentionally than if it had been an accident.
I guess I feel that way, too.
When it comes to God….
I don’t ever want to think that God allowed me to go through something
That one wasn’t meant for you.
That would be just awful. And I would never trust Him again.
But that’s not my God.
He makes no mistakes.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
Every horrible thing that happens to us…
When God was just casually having a conversation with Satan, GOD BRINGS UP JOB!
God seemed to have given the idea to the enemy to test a man to which God knew He could entrust great and terrible pain.
Job trusted Him!
That doesn’t mean he didn’t have questions for God.
It doesn’t mean it was a walk in the park!
He was almost destroyed by the magnitude of his suffering.
But Job was comforted by the fact that God was in charge of EVERYTHING, and that even if Job didn’t understand the why’s or the how”s of his pain…
He could trust that God makes
Listen, these last few months have been…..
I’ve never been this sad,
I felt myself these last couple of days…
Just kind of unravelling,
But this word came to me while reading the book of Job…
That what has happened all throughout my little insignificant life…
All the scary stuff,
All the painful stuff,
All the incredibly sad stuff….
It was all given to me, or permitted to me, by my Father.
He’s perfect, by the way.
He can’t mess this up!!
If He wanted to mess up my life, all He would have to do is put ME in charge!
I’d be over and done with in about a minute.
He decided which experiences I would have to walk through, and He sort of put a stamp of approval on the “final plans”.
GOD leaves nothing to chance, because
THERE IS NO SUCH THING.
There is a kind of peace that I have when I am aware that God has allowed all of these crazy things to happen in my life.
He wasn’t asleep when my husband died on that icy road.
He wasn’t distracted when we lost a baby on Christmas Day.
He wasn’t busy with something else when I was laying, paralyzed on my living room floor from a massive stroke.
The same way ANYTHING happens to ANY of us.
God never stopped paying attention to us when the bad stuff took place.
He didn’t doze off during the worst moments of your life!
ALL of it…….
Every last painful bit of it…..
He KNOWS what He’s doing.
Guided Through Grief
In my family, there were three girls.
I was the the middle child…which explains ALOT!😊
But the oldest is Vicki.
You know what?
I was never jealous of her, I don’t think.
She was the first to experience switching from grade school to middle school.
She was the first to start high school.
She was the first to move away from home.
Vicki was the first to get married, too.
I never WANTED to be first, when it came to any of those experiences.
I was nervous and scared, but I could look to her to get a “lay of the land”.
I never entered anything scary without some tiny tidbits of info from my awesome big sister.
Having those who have already walked the painful road you find yourself on….
I have this t-shirt someone gave me recently.
These words are on the front:
“I’m a LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER..
Unless it’s a dark place, then screw it. YOU’RE going first.”
You see, I’m definitely not the first.
Not the first to be in this horribly
You won’t make it through your time on this earth without having front row seats to the worst day of your life.
That dreaded front row at funerals.
Jeremy’s was at the building we use for church services.
Every Sunday, I am reminded, when I look out at everyone from the front of the room…
I’m reminded of the seat I had to sit in with my two babies next to me.
There is a woman who sits in that spot, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop this bit of sadness that creeps in every Sunday and Wednesday,
Each time I steal a glance at that chair.
It’s a pain unlike any I’ve ever known.
My husband’s death has set me on a CRAZY journey!
A journey filled with heartbreak,
Filled with questions that I feel I need answered…
Filled with anger…
Filled with fear of holding my family together on my own…
I would be very lost without a special group of people…
People who have lost what I’ve lost.
These special brothers and sisters come in the form of Griefshare.
This is a program available at many churches, and we began implementing it a few years ago.
Honestly, I don’t like going.
The first few weeks, it was torture!
I was the petulant toddler, pouting with her arms folded…
As if to say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m here, but I’m not going to like it!”
I just really didn’t want THIS STORY.
I didn’t want to face that my husband, and the father of my children,
My heart opened when I heard others’ stories.
They were so much like mine.
The group leaders have also walked this road, and their guidance…
Their constant reassurance that every crazy thing a person says they are feeling, is NORMAL….
Is so NECESSARY!!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:3,4
In Griefshare, we are directed primarily to the Word of God for direction,
And for TRUTH.
I am not alone.
Sadly, there is plenty of pain for
ALL OF US.
But I’m so grateful that I have this group of family members, who encourage one another,
Who cry with one another,
Who pray with one another.
It truly is the Word of God, that mystically transforms into the hands and feet of Jesus.
I’m so grateful for Jesus’s
And His arms that hold me…
Through people who have felt
His arms, too.
Wish I Could
Recently I watched the movie A Star Is Born.
Essentially, it is a story of a woman who loved this super-talented man, who was loving, a hard core alcoholic, with a ton of demons as his only friends.
He dies, unexpectedly, towards the end of the film.
A little warning that THIS was the storyline would’ve been nice!😊
But I had only heard good things about the movie, which is why I watched it.
Her story was, in some ways, very similar to mine…
Some things this man did while under the influence of alcohol and depression,
Was something I was all too familiar with, in my own marriage, too.
The character fiercely loved his wife, but the disease…
After his death,
His wife sings this song, and the opening lyrics are these…
” Wish I could, I could’ve said goodbye
I would’ve said what I wanted to
Maybe even cried for you
If I knew it would be the last time
I would’ve broke my heart in two
Tryin’ to save a part of you”
Those are words my heart understands.
I think back to the night of Jeremy’s death.
I was soon going to be driving our kids to his parents house to visit, and he had gone out for the afternoon.
It was cold outside, and raining, and the roads looked slippery and slushy, to the point I wasn’t sure if it was safe to make the trip.
So, I texted him a question about the roads.
About the roads.
If I had only known this would’ve been our VERY LAST exchange,
It wouldn’t have been,
“How are the roads?”
And if Jeremy had only known he was about to say or write his FINAL WORDS on earth…
It wouldn’t have been,
You see, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve witnessed someone lose a loved one..
It doesn’t even matter if you yourself have had a brush with death!
The sad fact is we all get too comfortable in THIS LIFE.
So comfortable, that we’re not thinking that our lives could be overturned in just the few seconds it takes to slice a vehicle in half on an icy road.
It seems to always have to be a lesson we learn
AFTER we’ve lost what we’ve lost.
That’s the most tragic thing about a sudden death, like a car accident, a heart attack, overdose, stroke, or suicide.
You beat yourself to a bloody pulp over what you said last to someone,
Or what you never said at all.
So, my point in saying all of this….
Let’s do better at loving each other,
At saying, “I love you. ”
At saying, “I’m sorry.”
At saying, “Thank you. ”
At saying, “You MATTER.”
Because, my friends,
You NEVER KNOW when
Is your last chance.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
When it comes to discussing my husband, Jeremy,
I am usually very conflicted.
I desperately want to tell others our real story…..
But I don’t EVER EVER EVER want to dishonor him!
So, I don’t say much.
I have young children, too, and they have to be my main priority.
And they ARE. I have always been very honest with them about their daddy, applying alot of wisdom in HOW I explain things to them.
But if I’m going to have any shot at genuine HEALING,
I’m going to have to tell the truth….
Sometimes, he would “jokingly” refer to me as his “third child.”
Sadly, I think that’s how he saw me much of the time.
It had to be very frustrating for him to try to adjust to all the dramatic changes he witnessed in me, and to pick up the slack that my new condition created.
I loved him for that.
When you say “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse”….
It’s no joke when those vows hit very close to home.
I didn’t get the miracle that I wanted.
My best friend/pastor did this really cool thing at a wedding once. He probably did it lots of times, but it’s the only time I can remember.
The bride filled a jar with white sand.
The groom did the same with black sand.
During the ceremony they each poured their sand into the same container. Then my friend mixed it up.
Then he challenged the couple, and the rest of us, to perfectly separate the sand back to all white and all black.
His point is that it is impossible to ever perfectly separate the two,
This is my struggle.
This is my pain.
I combined all that I was with my husband almost twelve years ago.
He is gone.
But Jeremy has my sand.
And I have HIS.
The night he died…
The night when the red and blue lights of the state police car out front
Illuminating and flashing all over my haunted living room….
The night I had to identify that it was my husband…
The owner of ALL of the black sand that is in me…
Completely and totally mixed in with my white…
It crushed me.
How do I keep going??
This is not a question of desperation.
I just really want to know.
I’m not just ME anymore.
“ME” became a “WE” a long time ago…
For better or for worse.
Just because someone dies…
It doesn’t mean the black sand in you gets magically removed,
And it doesn’t mean you get all your white sand back, either.
A part of you just….
Dies with them.
And I really don’t know where to go from here.
But I know there is One who POURED Himself out on that cross…
For you, and for me.
I know He has all of our white and black sand all over Him, and INSIDE of Him!
He carries us with Him..
I’m really seeking after the God of all my sand in me.
All the sand that was my husband’s…
The sand that I vowed to become mine.
The God who makes Broken
The God who heals and mends all day long.
I sooo want to feel “whole” again.
His black sand in me hurts me now.
Because I know
That’s all that is left of him.
Just his sand.
But God can take care of a little bit of sand.
He can make it not hurt so bad.
I am LOVED by the God who thought up the very idea of sand on the beach!
And when He sees me, He doesn’t see ANY sand.
He just sees ME.
He can heal me.
He WILL heal me.
And one day, his sand won’t hurt….
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled; But You, O Lord—how long? Return, O Lord, deliver me! Oh, save me for Your mercies’ sake! For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? I am weary with my groaning; All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears. My eye wastes away because of grief; It grows old because of all my enemies. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; For the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping. The Lord has heard my supplication; The Lord will receive my prayer.
A Word That Hurts
Recently, a very close friend of mine texted me to invite me out to dinner with her and some other friends.
When I read the names of the other women invited, I realized they had all lost their husbands through death.
And then, I thought…
“This is a ‘WIDOWS dinner’.”
It felt like somebody kicked me in the stomach.
Man, did that word HURT!!
I couldn’t really ignore that THIS is who I am now.
I’ve actually been trying to find some cooler, hipper names for us.
But I guess, if I’m being honest…
I don’t WANT that title at ALL…
No matter how you dress it up.
I just don’t want to be THAT.
But since that’s the only word for it (yet!😊😊),
I guess that’s now a part of who I am.
How do you go on by yourself, after vowing to become “One”,
In front of God and family???
When you’ve made CHILDREN with this person??
When, whether things were good in your marriage or even really horrible, you made a LIFE with this person???
I really don’t know how to do that yet,
But I know it’s going to be difficult,
And just like every other difficult thing God has permitted me to go through,
I can trust Him with this new name…
This new normal…
This new challenge.
I have already had plenty of people ask me why I continue to trust in a God who seems” to like watching me suffer.”
First of all, I DO NOT BELIEVE HE LIKES TO WATCH ME SUFFER!!
I do, however, think He likes to watch me CONQUER!!!!
My God is not stupid.
He is not weak.
He is not clumsy,
He is not callous,
He LOVES me!!
So, because I know that to be true,
I am looking for lessons.
I am looking for nuggets of wisdom to glean from all of this.
Some days, I am so desperately sad, that it’s hard to BREATHE, let alone get my kids ready for school in the morning.
Some days, I just want to punch somebody, because I’m so angry and hurt about how Jeremy left this world.
Yes, I have those moments…
Because I’m human.
I’m trusting God with every breath.
I’m trusting God with every big and small decision I need to make.
I’m trusting God, that when He planned my life before there was ever ANYTHING created…
That HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!…
THAT He has a plan to make me and my two babies THRIVE!!…
That He will ALWAYS comfort me and be my peace.
So, “widow” or wounded warrior”….
That is just a small part of who I am now.
And it’s going to be okay.
One day, I won’t feel like the wind was knocked out of me whenever I hear that label.
One day, it will get easier to walk on
Without my Jeremy.
The LORD appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3 AMP
I can truly count on a God who LOVES me like this….
Who “draws” me ….
The Hebrew definition of “draws” is to “drag or seize”.
He SEIZES me!!!!!
Jesus grabs hold of me with His everlasting love,
His everlasting kindness,
With His everlasting faithfulness!!!!
I. AM. NOT. ALONE.
Widow or not…
His love is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS
Three p.m. came,
This was the time my husband usually arrived home from work.
I’ve had a whole week of 3p.m.’s.
Actually, I’ve had FOUR weeks of 3 p.m.’s.
It hit me.
Jeremy is gone.
Jeremy is dead.
And he will never walk through our back door again.
I didn’t even realize that tomorrow marks one month since he last
It still feels like it only happened just a minute ago.
I’m still frozen in place…
Or maybe by alot of things.
But the world’s little obligatory pause is over.
But now, that’s over, it seems.
And everyone is moving.
Moving by me,
Moving around me,
I want to ask people to slow down a little, so I can catch up.
I want to do whatever it takes to just
Or, what little is LEFT of me.
I know that’s just a feeling, and that I’m as WHOLE as I EVER was!
But it’s a whopper of a feeling.
I feel like one of our jack-o-lanterns we threw out around Thanksgiving…
The insides were scooped out awhile ago.
I loved him HARD.
Sometimes he was hard to love, and to be fair,
There were times I was, too.
But I loved him with everything I could think to give.
I’m just exhausted.
I just need a minute…
I just need to catch my breath…
To some, it probably seems like I’ve had plenty of time.
But, THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH OF THAT STUFF.
My thing is, I’m trying.
I’m trying to move…
I’m trying to take care of my kids, and my home,
And my LIFE.
Raising my kids on my own,
With lots of limitations,
Well, I’m terrified!!!
I’ve been searching for verses to give me a special kind of courage to force me to MOVE my feet…
To not be frozen and stuck.
I mean, I think it’s okay to be still for awhile , when we are in deep pain.
But I probably shouldn’t be frozen in FEAR.
And there are so many things I’m afraid of.
Jeremy did so much for us!
Maybe too much….
I’m afraid to leave the stove on, afraid I’ll blow up the house with my kids inside.
I’m afraid I will forget to take my meds and stroke out, leaving my kids with
I’ve never been this scared.
I’ve never been this…
And God led me to this beautiful, amazing verse… jam-packed with comfort!:
The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
Oh my goodness!! Is there a better scripture for me???
I do not think so!😊
HE is my personal (my very own) bravery!! My own special brand of
He will make me walk, and NOT STAND STILL!!
He will also cause me to IMPROVE spiritually, even in the midst of great loss and suffering.
If I EVER wondered if He loved me…the wondering is over!!!!
God, You are so amazing!!!
Thank You for speaking DIRECTLY to my broken and fearful heart!!!
I’m going to…
I might even RUN…with the Father…
My very own personal bravery!
Because I am on my way.❤
Taught By My Lot
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.
But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
I’ve always kind of identified with the role of a “student”. I’ve always loved learning new things, and even though my brain is a little like swiss cheese now, I find I still want to keep learning.
But now, they are more like heart lessons instead of head lessons.
Well, this is, RIGHT NOW, the toughest assignment I’ve ever faced.
The visceral pain I’m feeling…
It’s like nothing else.
When I went into that hospital room to identify my husband’s broken body…
A tiny flame of POSSIBILITY was snuffed out in me.
The possibility of so many things.
My friend had to literally PEEL me off of his frigid, bloody body.
And in that one moment, my entire life changed.
I’ve had ANOTHER moment similar to this, looking back, but it was nothing…
Compared to this.
Jeremy was a…..complicated….broken…..
Often tormented man.
But when I saw him that night, all I saw, with his beautiful, enviable (on my part) eyelashes….
Was a lost, little boy.
And all I really wanted to do was
Rock him in my arms, and make him
With the days that have passed since November 24,
New, painful information has surfaced,
Making it so much harder to grieve the way I would have wanted,
if given the choice.
I do realize that ALL grief is messy.
All grief is raw,
And strangely beautiful.
One thing I always pray when I’m in pain of any kind, is this:
“Please God, don’t let me waste one single bit of this experience! I want to learn and grow from this as much as possible.
At Jeremy’s service, we sang, as we usually do, It Is Well.
There is this one line that always gets me..
“Whatever my lot
Thou hast taught me to say
It is well,
It is Well
With my soul.
Everywhere I go,
I miss him there.
I miss his big shoulders…
The ones that tried as hard as he could to carry my burdens and pain throughout the years.
Today, it’s so strange…
Because, even though I’m facing one of the worst things that can happen to a person…
I STILL see God’s VERY BEST for my life in this tragedy.
I’m so thankful that I have a God who SEES me, and who is working EVERYTHING…
For my ultimate good.
It doesn’t take the heartbreak away…
It doesn’t mean I’ll cry any less than anyone else would.
But it DOES mean there is hope.
And it DOES mean…
It is well.
My special and unique LOT,
Has TAUGHT me that.
I love you, Jeremy…..