This morning at 1:00am I woke up from a nightmare in which my husband had died. For me, that’s one of the scariest dreams I could ever have! I was visiting everyone I knew and calling everyone on my phone list to tell them. I couldn’t tell them how he died, I just knew that he wasn’t there any more. And that I was sad. And angry. And confused. And lonely, even with friends and family surrounding me. Some were more sympathetic than others. Some fell to the floor with grief while others simply said, “Well, he lived a long life” and didn’t really offer any more comfort than that.
I was telling people that my biggest fear had just come true. His absence and the loneliness of it felt so real. The nightmare was probably only 5 minutes long, but it felt like one horribly long hour. When I finally woke up, I was in shock. I stared at my pillow while the waves of emotions I felt in the dream came crashing to the surface.
When the emotions finally hit, I began crying and mourning so loud that I scared my husband awake. “What’s wrong?” he said. “I had a nightmare that you died,” I managed to say through the tears and the snot. He comforted me and said that he was still here and that God wasn’t ready for him to go, yet. I knew that, but my heart still had to go through the grieving process. It had to have closure with the nightmare.
A few minutes, a damp towel and one half-soaked pillow later, I finally settled back down. Some aftershocks came through and even the fear of falling back asleep crossed my mind. I finally decided to trust that I wouldn’t fall back into the same horrible dream.
I think the best way to punch this fear is to go on with my day, find more ways to love my husband and thank God for what He has given me.
Unfortunately, I know some wonderful people who are getting closer every day to living this nightmare because their spouse is ill. Finding more ways to love them during this time of sadness is what we as Christians are called to do.
I challenge you do stop and love on someone you know is grieving or soon will be. A shoulder to cry on, an arm to hug and an ear to listen may be just what they need to make it to tomorrow.
Then, do it all over again.