Today should be our third wedding anniversary. Today should be celebrated. Today shouldn’t hurt so badly. But it does-more than you can ever imagine. Gosh, I miss my husband. I miss my best friend. I miss Andrew. I have never found happiness to be more elusive and seemingly unattainable. Every day is harder than the one before it, despite every single person telling me it will get easier. I’ve learned that grief isn’t something you get through, rather it is something that you endure and carry with you for the rest of your days. I have cried every single day since January 12th. I’m so tired of crying. I’m tired of the ever-present lump in the throat and tears constantly sitting on the tips of my eyelids, threatening to stain my cheeks over and over again. I’m tired of letting them fall but never feeling relieved. I miss joy. I miss true, belly-aching laughter. I miss quiet moments that don’t scream the truth of a harsh reality. I miss waking up in the morning and feeling anything other than exhaustion. It’s so hard to be in love with someone in Heaven. It’s so hard to be in love with someone that is never coming back. But while I struggle, while I feel like I’m drowning every single day, I would never wish this day away.
So much of me wants to run from today, but a greater majority of me wants to embrace it. May 18th, 2013 will always be a wondrous and magnificent day. The tragedy that unfolded four months ago doesn’t rob it of its beauty and meaning. Andrew’s untimely death doesn’t negate or diminish the insane amount of love wrapped up in our marriage. The fact that I’m doing this anniversary alone instead of with Andrew doesn’t make him any less my husband, nor does it make me any less his wife. Today will always sting my soul, but I still love this day and I love what it means even more. This day means Andrew Smith loved, respected, and trusted me so much that he stood before God and 300 of the most important people in our lives and said, “I take this woman to be my wife…until death do us part.” This day means Andrew was so in love that he wanted to commit to spend the rest of his life with me. This day means God saw fit to allow me to be the one to marry this man and walk alongside him in his hardest days. God found me, of all women on this earth, suitable to be the one and only woman that Andrew ever fell in love with. This day means God entrusted my arms to be the ones to hold Andrew through sickness and health, and until death did us part. This day means everything to me. So while today will be drenched in tears, I hope some of those are intertwined with tears of joy. While my heart breaks every single morning that I didn’t get 70 years with Andrew on this earth, it also rejoices that I got 7 of the most perfect years with him. Even after the hellish past 2 years, I still consider myself the luckiest girl in this world. I got to be Andrew’s wife and best friend. I got to be loved like the most beautiful example of the way Christ loves His church. Timothy Keller wrote that the purpose of marriage is to help our spouse to become their future glorious selves. He once said, “The reason that marriage is so painful and yet so wonderful is because it is a reflection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once.” How lucky was I to be pursued and adored by Andrew each and every day? And how lucky are we, as undeserving and sinful as ever, to be pursued and adored by Christ each and every day? My two and a half years of marriage with Andrew was as close to Heaven on earth as I can imagine; the love that we shared each and every day spoke so much joy and life into my heart every single day. And to think, Christ loves us so much more than an ounce of love that Andrew and I shared in our seven years together. So despite the daily heartache, despite the pain and grief I know will never go away, He is a God worth serving and loving every day. He is still good. He is still trustworthy. He is still faithful.
Happy Anniversary, my love. I miss you more than I ever believed to be possible. I can’t wait to see you again and wrap my arms around you. See you so soon, sweets.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)