Today, is another September 30th. This day, four years ago, was the last full day I spent with Josh. Four years! How can this be!
Even so, this is the lingering question and statement. How can it be four years?! It took four years to get my college degree and for Josh to get his Masters of Theology. It’s how long we lived in Dallas and the state of Nevada. It's four years of writing sappy blog posts.
Four years, is the term of a presidency. It takes 3-4 years to grow asparagus (not that I have tried but it’s an interesting fact). A lot changes in four years, ask any parent of a preschooler.
For this fourth year anniversary, I knew I would share something specific, and have pondered and wrestled all month with my emotions - (see previous blog posts: Wake Me Up When September Ends or September's Coming How Do You Feel.
For the most part, it still feels like a strange dream. I still miss Josh; that emotion just hangs out, flaring more at times than others. In four years, my grief has in a way “grown up” like a 4-year-old child. I have learned a lot about myself and am still figuring out life. I have tried new things. For example, this weekend I hooked up the camper, drove and parked it like a pro, built a fire, and paddle-boarded (mostly sitting not standing, maybe in 4 years I can stand🤣) – all solo.
This is all new stuff. I don’t intend this to be a bragging session about all the cool things I do by myself, but really just a note to say there are many things in my life that are quite different today. These things also help with the healing process; they bring joy and peace.
It's sad and true that so much of the grief process we must navigate solo. We don't have to be completely alone in the process - this is also true - but even with supportive friends and family around, everyone’s grief journey is so unique and individualized. It’s often hard to explain the layers that reside in our minds and hearts so they just sit in there in a cloud of mystery.
I know in the first year after Josh passed I was a total mess. The days and nights were long and hard. Today, they are easier, even with the weight of heartache that lingers within. My mind and body still feel the tension, and the restlessness that September of 2019 had when we navigated a terminal illness - waking up each day to wonder, is this it? I don’t feel the same intensity or worry today, but those memories still flare up.
Four years still seems too long, but then again, everyday without someone you love is too long.
I could get stuck in this idea or pause and give thanks. It’s still a choice. Some days I want to just be sad or mad, yet still thankfulness is key.
Thanks be to God for the days and nights Josh and I had together, for the 24 years of a dating and marriage relationship (six sets of 4 years is one thought).
Thank you for these past four years filled with sorrow, joy, and new adventures.
It is still a joy to experience the beauty of this earth. This weekend’s bright full moon was a gift of its own and for me nature continues to provide healing. I am not sure I can really say “Happy September 30," but I can acknowledge that today is a special one for me and others who loved Josh as well.
Sidebar: The moon orbits the Earth just over 13 times a year creating 12 full moons or 48 full moons in four years. 🌙 🌝
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.