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