The Hole of Grief

I found this quote and really like it: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” ~~ Dr. Seuss

This is where I truly believe I am in my grieving process. When visiting a high school dear friend in Dallas a few weeks ago, she shared her thoughts about grief. Her husband lost his battle with cancer a few years back. She said grief is a hole in your life. It can never be filled and your life moves around the hole. Wow–that is profound for the way I am feeling. My 50-year marriage to Jerry was a huge blessing to me. The hole he left could never be filled by anyone except Jerry. Does that mean I can never have a relationship with anyone else? Not at all. It just means the relationship would be different totally from what I had with Jerry.

I am truly smiling because I had a 50-year marriage with Jerry and even because I had the amazing 22 months in his caregiving. Yes, I did say I am smiling because the 22 months happened. It was such a blessing to be able to end my marriage with a special time of loving and pampering my sweet guy.

This does not mean I don’t cry at times over his death. Of course I do. However, I choose to focus on all the good of our life together rather than on what I am now missing in my life. Jerry’s hole is always in my life and always will be. What a blessing he was not only to my life but to the lives of so many others. I am smiling Jerry and I know you are too (between songs!).

God also gives me my garden to smile at His creations every day. Here is a picture of my garden this year.

God’s Beauty at it best!

I Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” God knows my grief, loves me through the grief, and is giving me a new life along with the grief. He is the one who helps me smile because I experienced life with Jerry and holds me while I cry through the difficult days. How marvelous to know He truly does care for me.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The beauty of my garden.
  • Smiling because of the joy of my life with Jerry.
  • Living my life around the hole Jerry left.
  • Enjoying the time spent with my boyfriend as he lives around the hole left by his wife.
  • Sunshine coming after being in the monsoon season here in Oklahoma.
  • Memorial Day dinner was great for about 18 at my boyfriend’s house.
  • Enjoying my roommate for the summer, 18-year old Isa, a student intern at Tim’s coffee shop this summer.
  • Delicious mashed cauliflower last Friday night, a new dish for me to make.
  • Also delicious chess pie, another a new dessert for me to make.
  • God’s care for me every day of my life and wanting to take my anxiety on His broad shoulders.

Pray for my sister’s family. She passed away May 11 in Boerne, Texas. It is still hard to imagine she is no longer in my life.

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Lois Cox, Ph.D., has roots in Dallas, Texas, but met her husband, Jerry, at Oklahoma Christian College, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1966. They married in 1967 and started a life together of serving God in several locations. Seven of their years were in full-time ministry in churches in Midwest City, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Ft. Collins, Colorado. Most of Lois’s career has been spent in education at the high school, technical college, and university levels. Lois holds four degrees in education including a Ph.D. completed in her late sixties in instructional technology and online learning. On February 24, 2016, Lois was plummeted into the role of caregiver for her husband who suffered a rare and serious bilateral thalamic stroke. The next 22 months were spent in full-time care of Jerry in skilled nursing, hospitals, and at home. Jerry passed away December 30, 2017. Since that time Lois has been focusing on sharing her experiences with others to encourage and teach them to depend on the Lord during similar stressful times. Her book, 22 Months with Jerry, will be available soon.

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