Waves of Grief

10 years ago today Adam lost his very short and valiant battle with cancer. Together for almost 16 years. 4 dating, 1 engaged and almost 11 years married. I woke up this morning with him on my heart. I think of him daily and see reminders of him in our children, both in looks and in personality traits. Today I have reminisced on so many good memories. Grief is a strange beast. Today it overwhelmed me.

When Adam and I were first married, I was obsessed with dragonflies. I had prints of them hanging in our kitchen, canisters and dishes with bugs on them. Adam gave me a hard time for years about letting me have bugs in our kitchen as decor. It became a ling standing joke. After he passed away, I began seeing dragonflies everywhere. They would visit me and land on my toes while laying by the pool. Or I would see them in random places. I always felt like they were him just checking in on us. Little God moments.

Today while Matt was out on the back porch with our friend Todd, a huge dragonfly flew into the screened in porch right to Matt and landed. I was able to snap some pictures on my phone. This was the biggest dragonfly I have ever seen in my whole life. Matt caught it and released it back outside so it wasn’t trapped on the porch. Matt knows all about my thing with dragonflies. We both immediately got teary. We explained it to Todd and when Matt released it, I fell apart. The tears came in waves. Shortly after the release of the large dragonfly, we noticed 3 more dragonflies gracefully swooping through our yard. One for each of our children. His presence being made known. We haven’t seen dragonflies in our yard for as long as I can remember. It was as if God and Adam sent us a sign that this is how things are meant to be now. A blessing. A way to find some joy in a very difficult day. A glimpse of God. A gift from Adam.

Matt is wonderful at helping us keeping his memory alive. He has stepped in and loved us in a way that healed us. He encourages me to talk about and share stories of Adam and I’s time together. Story of him and the kids. Using sayings that Adam used. Honoring the memory of someone is done in many ways. Today we will enjoy several of his favorite desserts after dinner, some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Cherry Garcia and Peanut Butter Cup, Beyers chocolate and peanut butter and a key lime pie! We shared some stories and some memories. I am amazed at how our kids have overcome such a huge loss. They are resilient and strong. They have so many of Adam’s looks, traits and qualities that show pieces of him to me everyday.

Today has been hard, I have shed more tears today than I have in a long time. I didn’t expect it. I knew this day was coming, but didn’t see the grief coming in like a tsunami. Today was a beautiful reminder of God’s mercy. He has created beauty from ashes. He turned our mourning into dancing. Today was a dance with the dragonflies. So thankful for this moment today, a husband that was a gift, and a husband that is a gift.

Hug those you love today. Cherish every moment.

"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."  Genesis 28:15

By Laurel Austin Henson

Laurel spent 8 months caring for her first husband after being diagnosed with cancer in 2010. He passed away at 33, leaving behind a daughter of 7 and 5 year old twin boys. After sowing millions of tears, Laurel sought out God daily and began to plan for a life of being a single mother, but ready to raise their children in faith, hope and love. God gave her more than she could have ever imagined when she brought Matt into her life, along with his 2 children. He was recently divorced and the providence of God had been leading up to this life for more than 20 years! Now Laurel is reaping joy with Matt and their 5 beautiful children. Thanks be to God for all the beauty created from the ashes of death and divorce.

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