Thursday, January 16, 2014

...whose heart has been broken in two?

It is January 16, 2014.

I am sitting on the hospital bed left behind in my living room by my beloved...

my husband...

my very, very, very best friend.

I am seeing the room from the angle at which he viewed it for the last month before he went to be with Jesus.

I lost him officially today at 1:39 PM.

My heart is broken - shattered, really, into a bazillion teeny tiny pieces.

I've lost so much.

I've lost the last date night the hospice nurse had planned for this coming weekend.

I've lost Michael's gentle touch.

I've lost Michael's spirit which was so incredibly sensitive to my every mood and emotional need. 

I've lost a future with the most wonderful man ever created.

I've lost a wise and Godly father for my children.

I've lost my haven...
           my person that was "bigger than me" - who cared for me as I cared for others.

Yet in the midst of that loss, I have gained so much.

I have gained a most beautiful five months of precious, sweet, and invaluable time with my dear husband.

I have gained a new knowledge of what it means to really serve another person...and feel it's an amazing honor to do so.

I have gained an intimate knowledge of how God's grace can be, will be, and IS sufficient for each and every need I face.

I have gained new friends and renewed acquaintances with old ones.

I have gained a new appreciation for my amazingly spectacular children.

I have gained skills and abilities I never thought I'd need.

I have gained experiential knowledge of the generosity with which good people shine in time of crisis.

I have gained a deeper, more dependent relationship with our most gracious and loving Heavenly Father.

I have gained a beautiful forgiveness for my faults and failures and shortcomings.

I have gained an appreciation for the comfort good music can bring to an aching soul.

I have gained a stronger sense of the value of the family support network.

I have gained the marvelous honor of watching God work out HIS purposes and plans down to the tiniest I sit and watch! 

I have gained a new reason to fight my way through this sin-blackened world to the reward of Heaven's gates - with my children in tow!

I have loved very very deeply...more deeply than I had ever imagined was possible...and I've been loved more earnestly than I ever felt I was worth.

I. Have. Been. So. Blessed. have known Michael. have been known by Michael...inside and out. have been loved by Michael...for exactly who I am. have been known by God....inside and out. have been loved by God...for exactly who I am in Him.

What an amazing crazy ride we have experienced! And what an amazing God we serve!

These are my thoughts this most tragic of all days...exactly six months to the day away from our twentieth wedding anniversary.

And now, I will in the peace of knowing he died as he would have wished...and in the comfort of knowing Michael has been blessed beyond measure today with the reward of meeting his Lord and Savior in that most beautiful of all havens, the "Haven of Rest!"

You deserve it, baby!  You fought hard!  See ya soon!!!!!


  1. Shawna, your words are beautiful and your tribute to Michael so loving and honoring. He was indeed an amazing person and how great your loss must be! Yet, I know that our Father in heaven is holding you up and I am praying you will feel His incredible grace and presence close to you. Thank you for loving and caring for Michael and helping him finish well. Love and prayers.

  2. WHAT AMAZING CHRIST LIKE LOVE....that you will hold in your heart until that glorious day when you are together again with the Lord. I LOVE YOU DEAR SHAWNA & wish I could give you a big hug that would take your pain away. We continue to pray for all of you....Love from both of us, Janine & Gary

  3. What a awesome tribute! It is so hard to realize that Michael is really gone, wasn't it just days ago that both of us had our weddings at Mt. Zion just days apart? You both have shown us how to live when the world caves in on you. Your children have shown beauty through the hard times with a sweet spirit even when we knew they were breaking inside. We love you and our prayers are with you and your families. God will take care of you, through all of life's bumps. And soon and very soon we she all be together NEVER to have to say "good-night" again. Love you all!

    1. Dear Shawna: My name is Patty Emerson. I am friends with Heather Smith. I just want to reach out and hug you as I read your blog post. On February 20, it will have been three years since my precious husband left this earth into the arms of our loving Father after a 2-year battle with cancer. I can't say that I know exactly how you feel, because one thing grief has taught me is that there are no two people who grieve exactly the same way. I can tell you that the first year without Mel is a blur to me, although I vividly remember the pain. It felt like an amputation and I was having phantom pain all through my body from losing Mel. I was also very, very angry, and mostly at God. I am now a widow and a single mother of two, never anything I had in my hopes or dreams for my future. Please make time to rest every day because grief is exhausting, and you need to be there for your children. Take time to do a little exercise every day, even a few minutes. Take the time you need to grieve. I am just now starting to feel alive again instead of just going through the motions of living. I think about Mel every single day, I still miss him horribly, and I still grieve for my children having to lose their father. I think the hardest part is trying to find your "new normal". Everything is different when we lose our spouse. There is a great organization called GriefShare who does a 13-week series on grief. In time, you may want to see if there is a group in your area. In the meantime you can get daily emails from them by subscribing at Somedays those emails were the one thread that I held onto to get through another day of pain. Please know that I will be praying for your and your family. If you ever feel the need to talk to someone who "has been there" please feel free to contact me. My home number is 719-543-7497, my cell is 719-225-6835. I also have a blog You and your children will survive this by holding onto God and his promises that one day you will be together for eternity.

  4. Shawna: You don't know me, and I don't know you. But I am a sister in Christ, and my heart hurts for you and your family. We too, lost our husband and Daddy at a young age.
    May you feel Jesus arms wrapped real tight around you.

  5. Shawna, I don't know either you or Michael personally, but you know members of my family so I've been following your journey and praying for Michael, and you and your children. I do so appreciate the example and testimony of your's and Michael's love for God. I will be praying for you and your children as you grieve the loss of your husband and father and at the same time rejoice that he is in Heaven with Jesus. Ellen (Thompson) Dickinson

  6. Beautiful words! May Jesus hold you and your family in His arms.

  7. your words are beautiful and full of grace!! This story (full of both tragedy and joy) has been so meaningful to me, even though we do not know each other. Many, many prayers and blessings for you and your children in the days ahead....

  8. What a beautiful tribute to your husband and also to the grace of God. May God continue to hold you and your children in His loving hands and shelter you always under His wings.

  9. Beautifully and wonderfully said Shawna. God is certainly guiding your mind, heart, and fingers on your keyboard. Michael was one of the purest and truest Christians I have ever been blessed to know, along with you. You are such a strong and amazing woman, and I am so blessed to call you and the rest of your gang my KC family. Lots of love to you and we will see you soon. Sending prayers to Heaven for your comfort and healing.

  10. Beautifully said. So wonderful to be able to hear what you have gained thro this experience. My 15 y/o son died in a farm accident in central KS about 28 y/o. Shortly after, I started a list of the positive that had come out of that incident for me, my family, his friends, and our community.

    I had to find the positive or I felt that we had lost everything. In reality we had (as you have eloquently written) gained many things. I will be praying for you.

    1. I also meant to include the fact that it was so neat that you could also immediately admit to all that you were missing and going to miss.

  11. So sorry to hear of your loss but so glad he's in heaven now. We will be praying for you and your family. God bless you. Janette Castle

  12. Dear Shawna, I really appreciate the beautiful spirit you portray even in this time that is so heart-breaking and has changed your world forever. I know that God's grace is sufficient and I know you are finding it so. My heart aches terribly for your loss. I am praying for you and your precious children! So thankful for the hope we have! Love, Adrian Arender

  13. Thank you...each of you...for the precious and kind words of comfort and encouragement you have left here. It amazes me that so many have read these words...God bless you all and encourage your hearts just as you have mine...