Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | February 9, 2014

Two Long Months, Two Months Too Long

The night before we married.

The night before we married.

Yes, it’s about two months on this grieving road.

I’m going through more pictures to get the best I can for her video. In two weeks, on February 21st after the burial of my wife, Nellie Katherine Kyle Bowden, we’ll play the video at a reception for family and friends.  The reception and video, obviously, are for the living.  Going through the pictures for me is a huge sobfest. 

My wife died 2 months ago.  It’s been the longest two months of my life.  I thought the two months of Beast Barracks at West Point in 1968 were the longest.  Then, I thought the two months returning from CHRISTmas leave as a plebe in 1969, knowing what misery was ahead, were the longest.  Then, it seemed like Winter Ranger School.  Then, the two months when our first baby wasn’t thriving in 1977.  The two months after Daddy died and after Mama died.  The hard months after my career was crushed.  The two months and more through family crisis in 2002 and others to follow.  All the months of son-in-law’s five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  But, none of them were this long.  None.  Not even close. 

It’s been two months too long to be separated from my wife.  Separated by death doesn’t make it make any more sense.  She is still with me in my heart.  My mind.  My memories.   My identity.  Our family.  Our friends.  My love.  My desire and passion.  In my every waking moment as my companion.  But, she isn’t here in person.  It’s been too long to miss her so.  It’s been too long to be so filled with such, aching sadness.   This cup runneth over.   

And, these two long months and two months too long are just the start of the grieving path. 

Do my words sound like complaining?  Whining?  They’re not.  They’re just my words for this grief.

I can tell a difference after two months of grieving.  I don’t feel like my body is going to explode.  Literally burst open and blow up.  That feeling is gone.  My blood pressure is down.

In two weeks I have to face family and lifelong friends at her burial in Arlington.  I’m going to need a lot of Holy Ghost help.  I can do it physically.  I need His help to love the people who loved my wife.  To be a blessing to the living – to love one another – as we honor her. 

Some day after her burial, I know I’ll feel my love for my wife and it won’t be this sobfest.  It will be the sad pain of missing and wanting, but it will be much more bearable.  God makes time do that to us. 

Along the path to whatever God wills, please let me share some pictures that speak so clearly – to me – as to why I grieve.  And, truthfully, why I feel such joy and gratefulness – even as I cry – when I see these, remember all and feel them in my heart.  I hope they help someone else grieving or sad for other loss. 

When you see these pictures, you feel them.  You remember your own – which are like these.  You can feel your own.   And, we have shared a bit of life.

Thank You, Lord Jesus Christ, for giving me my Nellie and our life here.  Through all the ups, downs, challenges, blessings, true hard times and unbelievable Grace – there is love. 

The pictures from our younger days stir me so.  I spent my entire adult life with her.  I thought we had more years ahead together.  She did, too.   

My parents, who loved her and were loved by her, and us

My parents, who loved her and were loved by her, and us.   My Dad didn’t wear all his ribbons – so like him. 

 

 

First husbandly duty.

First husbandly duty.

 

Holding her as we watch our first baby.

Holding her as we watch our first baby.

Look at her arm touching - with second baby now.

Look at her arm touching – with second baby now.

Holding  hands - even with those glasses on my face

Holding hands – even with those glasses on my face

Look in her eyes with youngest baby.

Sweet smile with youngest baby.

On the road of life with kids in the back.

On the road of life with kids in the back.

I wish we could look at these pictures together.  It would be such fun. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. James, You & your family are in my thoughts and prayers… she was a lucky girl to have you and your eternal love… and Im sure I can say you were hers also… May the Lord comfort you and your family during this time of such sorrow and grieving…

  2. Thank you for prayers. Thank you very much.

  3. Lovely lady. I can see why you miss her.

    When I looked at your pictures, I considered the fact my lady and I have similar photos and memories. Then I thought. In all likelihood, one of us will leave the other behind for a time, and all the one left behind will have are memories and a little more time with our children.

    My father had some talent as a poet. One of his poems marks his grave.

    Epitaph
    When I give up this life for good
    I’ll need no marker made of wood
    No monument of polished stone
    My children are of flesh and bone
    Perhaps thru them some part of me
    Will live until eternity.

    When we love each other, we leave someone the welcomed memory that we passed this way. We also leave something more substantial in our children. It seems that with your lady you have good memories and children who make you proud. God bless you for sharing.

  4. Thanks, CT. Your father’s poem is good. Thank you very much for your comments and sharing.


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