I’ve had two great losses in my life.
My husband died when our son, Jeff, was 1 ½ and our daughter, Kate, was 4. Not too long after his death I remarried my wonderful husband, Charles. He adopted the children and together we had Peter.
That was the first lost. The second came five years ago when our son, Jeff, died of a drug overdose at the age of 22.
The grief of those losses was very different. Both deaths were sudden and shocking. My husband’s car was hit by a truck and he died three days later. Both times the grief came after the shock wore off and the realization began to sink in.
My son’s death brought a grief that only a parent, perhaps especially a mother, can feel. I don’t know that there are words to express the depth of that sorrow.
But when my husband died it was a double loss – I lost him and I lost my identity. Along with the sorrow came the realization that I was a different person. I was no longer a wife, someone claimed and cherished. I was no longer part of an “us”. I was no longer the same person in the eyes of other people.
Both times, Jesus was real and present to me in ways that sometimes took my breath away. He comforted me profoundly in the loss of my son and when my husband died he anchored my identity in Himself and in his husbandly love for me.