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My story, yes – is about loss but it is also a story about a life and a great love that filled my world and my heart.

… A love story by God’s design.

I have learned to live and mourn simultaneously – both sorrow and hope have come to reside in my heart today. It is the memories of my past – my life shared with David and the love he gave so freely that has given me the strength to fight for that delicate balance of holding on and letting go in order to become healthy and whole again. I’ll never get over the loss of David’s life in mine – the sorrow is a reminder, that for a moment in time this beautiful, wonderful man graced my life. But I have had to integrate my sorrow into my life and allow it to become apart – a painful part of a healthy whole.

It’s not enough to say that he simply loved and accepted me for all that I was – wasn’t. I had always felt misplaced, misunderstood – apologetic for how I saw the world.

It was how he loved me that changed all of that – and I began to see myself and who I could become reflected in his eyes. He was gentle and I always found the needed assurance in his gentleness to overcome challenges and obstacles. He was a man of character and integrity and his words had value, I was very careful to always listen. His humor gave way to laughter often – lots of laughter. I miss hearing his laugh … it was just as unique as he was. The simplest of things shared brought pleasure, the comfort of curling up next to him and the rhythm of his breathing – was a safe place and I always felt like the world was exactly as it should be. He gave with purpose and intent and I cherished what he gave to me knowing that it came from the heart with no expectation but simply that it made me happy. I was content in my life with David, I was fulfilled in every way possible. I was loved beyond measure every day and I knew it – and I valued the gift of his love his unconditional and complete love for me. He rescued me and brought me out of the shadows of my own life it was then that I first experienced grace and forgiveness in a very real and tangible way in my life. It made it possible for me to truly understand God’s redemption – it was the greatest gift David ever gave to me in our lifetime [of 30 years] together.

I remember my first thoughts on the night David died, “this cannot be happening” the first responders to our home politely ushered me out onto the balcony while attempts were made to revive my husband. I paused for a moment trying to catch my breath. The lights that lined the street, the moving vehicles hurrying to their destination. It seemed there were no stars in the sky that night when I looked up and perhaps there weren’t any – maybe it was God’s whisper that blew them all away? as He softly whispered a promise of hope into all of the shattered pieces of my heart. It was a gentle invitation to simply rest in His Grace; His Mercy and I found peace in my surrender.

“Gifts of Grace come to all of us. But we must be ready to see and willing to receive these gifts” – Gerald Lawson Sittser, A Grace Disguised

– in his presence you just wanted to be a better person … “come as you are” was his philosophy and people came. My husband lived his life with an open heart and he was loved by many –

“If some lives form a perfect circle, others take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been part of my journey. But it has also shown me what is precious. So has a love for which I can only be grateful.”