Sunday, July 28, 2013

Navigating the Tempest

In memory of my wonderful wife

Some of you know this, but on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 17, 2013, I made an announcement on Facebook that broke my heart.

































I cannot begin to express the aching sorrow that flooded my entire being. Over the twenty-nine years that Myra and I were married, we had become one; one mind, one heart, one soul.

August 4, 1984

Until Myra's sweet spirit departed, I did not believe the human heart could survive this level of ache. It is relentless. A gaping hole rests in my chest, open and raw, so deep that I wonder if healing is even possible.



Her death has shattered my very identity. I now must begin the long and arduous struggle to discover who I am without her.


My children have lost their mother and my grandchildren their Maw Maw. And I have lost a wife. She made me complete and whole, better than who I was alone.


My home is now empty. I long for her touch, her laugh and her unconditional love. I yearn to see that smile from across the table, hear her voice over the phone and watch her bounce a grandson on her knee.


I'll never again smell the magic she made in the kitchen or the perfume she'd wear on an evening out. She's no longer there when I turn to share a joke or a dream or a regret.


I will persevere and bravely carry on, for she'd wish nothing less. I'll love our children and grandchildren for the both of us. I'll smile at her memory and weep for what I have lost.


Losing Myra has ushered in the darkest hour of my life. I do not know how long this darkness will last. All I know is that I'm embarking on a new chapter in my life with no idea of what lies ahead. And for the first time in three decades, I'm walking my path alone.



I am angry. I am broken. I am lost. I gave her my solemn vow that I would love and live for us both. I will not break that vow. I'll claw and crawl through each day if I must, but I fear genuine joy will elude me all the days of my life.

Family and friends have overwhelmed me with amazing support. I wear my brave face for them and try to stay strong--whatever that means. But their compassion and prayers do encourage me to face each tomorrow and for that I am thankful.

Death may have taken her from my reach, but nothing can take her from my heart.

To all who are married, I say this: cherish your spouse and make every minute count. It took just over 48 hours for me to go from concerned husband to grieving widower.


Although I've mentioned Myra in numerous posts, here are a few in which she was prominent:
August is Awesome Because of My Wife Myra
Things For Which I'm Thankful
28 is a Tough Number

204 comments:

  1. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Having read this, I also have tears for you.

    Be gentle with yourself.

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  2. When I heard about your loss, tears sprang to my eyes. I remember seeing posts you'd written about your wife because they were filled with the kind of love you can feel leaping off the screen and right into your heart. I know there aren't any words that can take the pain away right now, but please know I've been keeping you and your family in my thoughts, and will continue to do so. <3

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  3. I am so sorry Jeff, the love and respect you felt for Myra shone through your words and brought a tear to my eyes. Heartfelt sympathies and prayers for the days that lay ahead.

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  4. Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear about your great loss, Jeff. Please hang in there and take care of yourself. Keeping you and your wife in my thoughts.

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  5. I too am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family that you will find some comfort.

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  6. What a beautiful smile! Thank you for sharing Myra with us. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family during this time of loss.

    ~Shannon

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  7. Jeff, I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I will be praying for you and your family.

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  8. My sincere condolences Jeff. I'm speechless and can only say I'm so sorry.

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  9. My prayers with you as you continue the fight. Do not give up.

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  10. What a wonderful tribute to your wife, and to love. I believe you made her very happy in life, and I hope, knowing that will help sustain you in the days and years to come.

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  11. I could not imagine the hurt and feelings you are going through now during this difficult time for you and your family. I can only hope that God will direct you through this maze and provide you the guidance to go forward with your family. We are deeply saddened about your 'huge' loss and sorrow. May your days be brighter!

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  12. Jeff, you know you have all my sympathies, this so nearly happened to me some years ago. I feel for you and think of you every day. Life does go on and the pain subsides to a bearable level. Hang in there my friend.

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  13. Praying for you, Jeff, and hoping that Jesus heals your heart, mind and soul.

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  14. At first when I saw your post on FB I really did think I was misunderstanding what I was reading. You guys are so young and it made no sense to me. When I finally did understand it the first thing I thought of was your kids and how they must be feeling. Anyway, I can't imagine your grief, and I am so sorry you are having to suffer it. I'm still glad that you had those years with Myra who sounds like she was an amazing woman in many different ways.

    My thoughts are still with you and your family!

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  15. Oh Jeff-- how very very sad and sorry I am for your deep loss. We are praying for comfort and peace when you can't find the words. We'll pray for it on your behalf. I'm so very sorry your heart is so raw and sorrowful.

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  16. The ache I felt each time my husband deployed, as if half of me had been torn away, I know is nothing compared to how you must feel now. I'm praying for you for strength and courage to get through each new day. Take the time to grieve, for the healing to begin. Myra will always be with you.

    Huge cyber hug.

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  17. Life changes in one second. Sometimes we can't understand the reason behind the things that happen in our life and it takes a while to come to terms with them. You were blessed with such a gift for nearly 30 years. A gift many spend a lifetime seeking and never finding it. I'm sure you'll keep making the best of it, for Myra's love. God bless you.

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  18. May the healing come, although it may be slow. Losing one's partner is one of the great stresses in life that we have to endure.

    Commemorating that person, privately or publicly, gives some form of acceptance. It's the beginning. It takes a strong soul to carry on, and most of the time, we do it for others. Good luck, our thoughts are with you.

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  19. Jeff, I am so sorry. I never realized how much some of my blogger friends meant to me until I saw this post. My heart goes out to you. May God keep you in perfect peace as you keep your mind focused on him. In the name of Jesus.

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  20. My condolences, Mr. Hargett. Isaiah 57:1 says, "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come." The good die young because of their righteousness, if God so chooses to take them. Yet many good people must spend their years on Earth doing good, enduring the wickedness of the world while trying to put an end to that wickedness. It doesn't really matter which you are. It appears you're wife has joined the former. May you be of the latter, if God wills it so. Good day.

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  21. She has such a beautiful smile. You can see her good heart right away. I am so sorry, but this was a beautiful start to keeping her memory going.

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  22. Jeff, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I ache for you and your family. My prayers and thoughts will be with you, and I hope that you can find some way to survive. You will see her again in the next life. Hang on until then. And know that here in this life your friends are loving you.

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  23. My heart is broken. Jeff, I know there aren't comforting words right now, but I'm grateful you've shared such beautiful thoughts.This has affected me greatly--really touched me and made me pause and reflect on life. Your wife is so lovely and it's so apparent how deeply she will be missed. You have all of my heartfelt condolences. <3

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  24. I wish you never had to write this post, but you're so brave for letting us know of your loss. I hope and pray you'll be able to figure out who you are without your loving wife. People like her are the ones who should last forever.

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  25. Condolences. Your words and those photos contain a lot of love. Courage to you, Jeff.

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  26. This news is simply tragic. No one should ever have to experience a loss like this. I'm glad you at least have the love of friends and family right now to help ease you during such a dark time...

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  27. Jeff, I'm sorry that your wife was taken so suddenly from you. I have no doubt that she knew how much you loved her, and still does. I know that you will continue to keep her memory alive for your children and grandchildren. I hope that you will lean on them to allow the healing process to begin.

    Julie

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  28. So sad to hear this Jeff. Your tribute to Myra was beautiful, and it definitely made me pause and remember that I should never take my husband for granted (or any of the people I love, for that matter). Thinking of you and your family.

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  29. Jeff, I am so very sorry. I cannot imagine how sad you must be without your wife. She was a lucky woman to have been so loved by you.

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  30. Please accept my condolences for your deep loss. She sounds like such a wonderful person. I'm sure her spirit is there watching over you. And hopefully your friends and family will give you the strenth and support to carry on. Take care.

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  31. Jeff, I am sorry to hear about your wife. She sounds like a wonderful companion, a true soul- mate. Sending my prayers your way to give you strength. A tight hug from me.

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  32. Sending positive energy your ways and hope that you will find some solace in your memories. It will take a long time to find ways to keep her alive in your actions as well as your thoughts but I have no doubt you will and that her spirit will be lifted because of the life you will live.

    Be very gentle with yourself, allow yourself to fall apart and be supported by friends and family when you can, and remember that she is and always will be with you.

    God bless.

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  33. It brought tears to my heart to hear of your loss. My sympathies to you and your family.

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  34. I've rewritten this comment 10 times. Words just seem to fall short. My heart aches for you and your family, and you have been in my heartfelt thoughts since I heard about your loss. Surround yourself with the love of family and friends and give yourself time. Remember she will always be in your heart, in your children's smiles, and in your grandchildren's laughter.

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  35. Jeff, I am so sorry. I found this quote for my aunt when she lost my uncle. I hope it can bring you some comfort too:

    From you, my dearest one, cometh unto me a sweet savour, heart-opening and melting.

    Verily, it convulseth and openeth the heart of the lone seafarer.

    Ah, we were made to remain nigh unto each other, ye kindly strange marvel; and not like a timid bird did ye come to me and my longing—nay, but as a trusting one to a trusting one!

    Yea, made for faithfulness, like me, and for fond eternities. . .

    Verily, too early did ye die for me. Yet did ye not flee from me, nor did I flee from you: innocent are we to each other.

    Still am I the richest and most to be envied—I, the lonesomest one! for I have possessed you, and ye possess me still. Tell me: to whom hath there ever fallen such rosy apples from the tree as have fallen unto me?

    Still am I your love's heir and heritage, blooming to your memory with many-hued, wild-growing virtues.

    O ye dearest one!


    —Nietzsche
    Thus Spake Zarathustra

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  36. I can't even imagine what you're going through. But know that we are here for you. Hugs Jeff.

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  37. Jeff,

    I am speechless.... May God give you the strength to cope with your loss. Thankfully you have children, grandchildren, and ALL OF US to help you through this time.

    Take care.

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  38. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. It broke my heart just to read this post. My sincere condolences to you and your family. I hope in time you can find some comfort in the beautiful memories you have of your wife.

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  39. I am so sorry to hear this sad news. You'll be in my thoughts

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  40. My deepest condolences to you and your family

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  41. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  42. Dear Jeff,
    I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your wife so soon, and so quickly. My heart aches for you as I read your lovely words for your wife and yourself as you look at the days ahead. Please know that you are not alone. With my deepest condolences, Corinne

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  43. My greatest loss was the death of my mother. I thought I would die just from the pain and emotional anguish. Then I began to consider the fact that I have a sweet angel just beyond the vail, watching and guiding me more than she could during physical life. She is constantly by my side and I sometimes ask for her guidance. Know your dear wife is by your side, still loving you even more than ever before. You will endure these next several weeks/months though it feels impossible. Blessings to you and your family.

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  44. Jeff I'm so very sorry. My prayers are with you and remember you're not alone.
    This is such a beautiful tribute to her. She couldn't ask for a more heartfelt memory. Thank you for sharing her memory with us. Sending you big hugs.
    RIP Myra.

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  45. Jeff,

    Your tribute to Myra is absolutely beautiful. By describing what she meant to you, and the suddenness with which your life was upended by her loss, you've gotten me grieving with you for your horrendous loss.

    You were so fortunate to have found someone so right for you. I am so sorry for this tragic end to your incredible partnership. Do keep living each day for her so you can find joy again.

    madhaus
    Burbed: SF Bay/Silicon Valley Real Estate, Housing, Mortgage & Bubble Price Insanity

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  46. Jeff I am so sorry. I'm angry that I hadn't heard about this until D.L. let me know. I'll do a better job of keeping up with my blogger buddies. I'll leave you with this quote: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike

    What she's done will live forever in your heart.

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  47. First of all Jeff, I'm very sorry for your loss. There are no words that will make you feel better. You've not only lost a spouse, you've lost your best friend, the keeper of your secrets, and companionship. Having gone through the journey of grief, I finally realize that grief is the price we pay for loving someone. It's a long, tough journey, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Your family will bring you great comfort...let them. Take the time to grieve...it's healing. The current hole in your heart will eventually be filled with loving family, friends, and happy memories.

    Again, give yourself permission to grieve. It's very important in your healing process. Remember Jesus' cloak is wrapped around you for comfort...use Him.

    I with you Peace, Love, Joy, and strength to get you through this difficult time in your life.

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  48. Jeff, while I don't really know you I was lead to your post on Facebook. I am so sorry for the loss you're experiencing. Pam (above) is so right in saying that this loss is like no other and there are no words friends, family or strangers will say that will make a difference today. Having gone through this loss fairly recently I can attest that it IS the price of loving someone and a price that I'm sure you'd pay tenfold for such a loving relationship. My thoughts and prayers and meditations are with you and your family at this time. The light will come again and you may not see it when it happens but just as we take our loved ones for granted you will recognize it when you look back. Peace, Z~

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  49. Dear Jeff. This is a grief unimaginable. She was right to make you promise to remain alive and awake. I have a candle on my altar for you both.
    May you find just a moment of peace each day.

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  50. Sincere condolences, Jeff. I do not know you or your wife Myra, but I do know what it is to love the person you're married to; the connection and strands of time and love, persistence and patience, joy and heartache that goes into making a marriage and relationship work, while raising a family and building life-time bonds. May the warmth and comfort of friends and family, and gentle, happy memories of Myra buoy you through this difficult time.

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  51. I too do not know you! I do know grief~ I am so sad and sorry for your loss~ Words can't express it-nothing can! YOU have to remember all the good, the gracious moments of your union and see her in your children and grandchildren. She is there with you in this way~ Time will soften the pain, but it doesn't go away! Live for her-do more, be there and make and honor the traditions you have always shared. Her light will be with you always!

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  52. Jeff, the love you feel for your wife Myra is so beautiful! What a gift you were to each other and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our prayers as you walk through this valley of grief.

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  53. Dear Jeff,

    My good friend, I have read, reread and read again, the heartache you needed to verbalise.

    The gift of love you share with your beloved wife, your Myra, lives on within your words, your heart, your soul. Bless you and all your loved ones.

    With respect and warmth, your way,

    Gary

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  54. Jeff, I have only found you through DL Hammons and his blog blitz. I am so so sorry for your loss. There are no words, but you have found a beautiful way to express your feelings for Myra. I grieve for you and your family.

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  55. Jeff, how wonderful that Myra had such strong and enduring love from a man such as you. And she gave it back just as strong. What a wonderful gift for both of you and what rich life you’ve had. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    That love and the fact you cherished her and made sure she knew it in a million different ways is the best feeling in the world. The willingness to say, “I have the most wonderful woman as my wife!” is better than chocolate and diamonds. Trust me, when I say, this sort of love is something a woman and a wife cherishes. It’s something that wraps her in a glow of thankfulness and feeling of beauty. Your love gave her that and its priceless.

    You say she made you “… complete and whole, better than who I was alone.” Well, you gave the same feeling to her. Never doubt it, Jeff.

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. That sounds so trite when we say that but it comes from the heart because all I can give you are words. I won’t tell you I understand how you feel, because I don’t know exactly how you feel. I can put myself in your shoes and imagine how I’d feel—but it’s still not the same.

    Each of us walks the path of grief differently. I've stumbled and weaved down that path trying to make sense of it all. I've screamed and raged. I've fallen down and sobbed. I've felt such intense pain I expected to see my life’s blood flowing from my body and onto the path because how can you still be alive and feel such pain? I've struggled with getting up and living life and it’s hard to do some days. The path of grief is long and winding. I will tell you that there will be better days and that the pain does lessen. You do learn to laugh and find joy in life again but that takes time. The good memories never die and there is a sense of joy in looking at those wonderful pieces of life—but again, that comes after time. Time has to do its thing—and one of those things is to heal. Right now, it’s hard to envision that. At this point healing, laughter, joy are all things we can’t imagine feeling again.

    Still, you look at what the two of you have built. Your beautiful children were born from the richness of your deep love. Your grandchildren, who will carry pieces of that love and parts of the both of you far into the future. The gift of life, which is still yours. Myra wanted you to live it because she couldn't and she wanted to. No, she knew it wouldn't be easy for you because it wouldn't be for her either. And like you said,she knew you better than anyone. And it won’t easy for some time.

    And don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve. You feel what you feel and that’s okay because it’s your heart and your journey. You don’t need to be “brave” and put on a face to make others feel better.

    Another thing I learned. People mean well but sometimes…Well, sometimes they say the stupidest things. They don’t mean to hurt but it does.

    Here’s a thought that gives comfort to me and eventually, I hope, to you. If our heavenly father gave the two of you the gift of each other, he’s not going to let you face this loss alone. And he’s strong enough to handle your anger and rage, even towards him (and we do feel that anger), and he’ll understand and still love you through it all. He’ll give you what you need to get through each hour of each day. That may be a phone call, someone stopping by, the laughter of your grandchildren which warms the heart. It might be the outpouring of compassion and caring from blogger friends, workmates, or your congregation. It will be there.

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers, Jeff.

    ~Sia~

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  56. Such a beautiful post, Jeff. I am so very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care.

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  57. The love you shared with your wife resonates through your post. I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  58. Aloha Jeff,

    That was such a touching, heartfelt post - and yet I wish you never had to write it.

    I can only offer words of sympathy, but please know you and your extended family are in the prayers of my family and I wish you nothing but the best over this unbelievably trying time.

    May Myra rest in peace and may you, too, find some peace and comfort somehow, somewhere to soften the ache in your heart.

    God bless you, Jeff - and again, my deepest sympathies.

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  59. What a touching tribute. My tears fell as I read it. I have no words, as I know nothing I say can take the pain away. My condolences to you and your family.

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  60. Jeff, I am so very sorry. Praying for you and your family. Your wife had a beautiful, Biblical name.

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  61. I'm so sorry for u Jeff. Please don't give up. Hope you find strength in this unfortunate hour.

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  62. Hi, Jeff. What a beautiful tribute to your wife. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  63. Hi Jeff, I don't know you and this is the first time I've read your blog, but that was a lovely tribute and a very sincere and honest declaration of the emptiness that is engulfing you. Keep going buddy, death is but a step into the next existence. I will take your advice at the end of the post :)

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  64. Dear Jeff, I am deeply sorry and sad to hear of your loss. Your love for Myra shines through and is very precious. Wishing you peace, hope and and healing as you move forward.

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  65. So sorry to hear about your loss, Jeff. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

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  66. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved that you said that death had taken her from your reach, but not from your heart. I hope that the time comes quickly that your memories of your wife bring joy and peace without the pain of her loss. I read your other pieces about your wife. She was a lucky woman to know she was loved.

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  67. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute to your wife and for reminding us to cherish every minute with our spouses. I'm so sorry for your loss and wish you didn't have to go through this. Although I know you'll always miss your wife, I hope you can find some comfort in the days ahead.

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  68. I'm so sorry for yor loss - this was a beautiful tribute

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  69. My thoughts are with you. I do not have adequate words to try to give you comfort. Your tribute, both honest and deeply beautiful, has touched my own heart. I have only just discovered your blog, so I have not come to know you. Know that there are many rallying behind you, know that you had one of the greatest gifts in this life, and that because of that gift, she may not be here but she will forever be with you.
    Grief is a painful companion, but one that will lessen (albeit heart-achingly slowly) over time. Just go day by day - moment by moment if need be. Your loved ones will give you joy again. The blogosphere is here for you.

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  70. A very beautiful and moving tribute, my thoughts are with you, your children and grandchildren.

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  71. i am so sorry to hear of your loss. i hope life is kind to you again. you had a great love in you life , i hope it sees you through. i am from the blitz team. best wishes and love from ireland.

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  72. I am so sorry for your loss Jeff, I have been there so know what you must be going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    I belong to the BLITZ team. Take care.
    Yvonne.

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  73. I think she read your letter as soon as you finished it. Keep writing and try to focus on the positive. I know it's hard and may feel impossible at times. She's with you always. <3

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  74. I am so sorry for your loss. Your love and admiration shine through in this post. This was a lovely tribute. You have memories you will always cherish and the support of so many. I hope this gives you comfort through this difficult time.

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  75. Lovely tribute to your beloved, my thoughts are with you in your loss.

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  76. Hi Jeff, I love the close up photo of Myra smiling, very few women get to experience the love you obviously you shared with Myra. From this short post I identify with her in so many ways, and I kept thinking about was how lucky I am to know how deeply you loved her, and how I am going to show my sweetheart just how much I cherish him and his love today. I wish you and your family peace, strength and lots of love. I just know that Myra felt as blessed as I do to have so much love in her life... I can see it in her smile.

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  77. What lovely words you have written about your wife they had me in tears. My sincere wishes goes to all your family and I hope it's of some comfort to know that so many people in the blogging world are thinking of you at this time.

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  78. Hi Jeff. I know there is nothing that I can really say that will mend the ache in your heart, or the emptiness that your loss has brought. All I will say is how sorry I am, but you have many memories to cherish and I know she'll live on through you and your family.

    All my love to you all, wishing you all the best as you adjust. Just remember, you are not alone, you have the Blitz Team at your back xxx

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  79. Nice to meet you Jeff. I was sent here by DL Hammons. I'm sorry for your loss, and want to say that this is a beautiful tribute to Myra. I hope you find peace in the fact that she is a peace. Cherish your memories.

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  80. Sending prayers for the Comforter to hold you and your family. What a wonderful love you have experienced. What wonderful memories. Your grandchildren will need to know what a loving grandmother they had. She lives on in their smiles! May God continue to bless you and your family with more joyful times.

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  81. What a lovely tribute Jeff.
    The love you and Myra shared, and have passed on to the family, shines through in every word and picture.
    She may not be with you in flesh, but her spirit will always be with you.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family.

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  82. Jeff ~ I cannot imagine what you are going through right now (and when I do try to imagine it my brain throws a circuit breaker and shuts down), but we all want you to know that we are thinking about you. Grief is a squatter emotion...it just moves in and tries to take over. The best that anyone can do is learn to co-exist with it and keep moving forward -- as I'm sure Myra would want you to do.

    When I thought of the idea of a Blog Blitz it was centered around the notion of a childhood game of dogpiling a friend. Today our intent is to take a friend and lift him up.

    Remember, one day at a time!

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  83. Your words express the amazing love you both shared and I'm sorry you need to endure the heartache of this loss. My deepest and warmest sympathies to you and your beautiful family.

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  84. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. What a lovely tribute.

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  85. Jeff, your love and devotion shine through every word. Myra's smile is so bright and beautiful in every picture. I hope that you find comfort in your family and in the happy memories of your beloved wife. I also hope that this blog blitz helps remind you that you're not alone in your grief and that there are many good wishes, from friends and strangers alike, surrounding you during this difficult time.

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  86. very loving tribute and you are not alone on this blog blitz day. Yes, I'm a stranger, but I can feel your compassion for your wife and the life you had. Continue to honor her with your writing and smile as she watches over you and your family.

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  87. What a wonderful way to honor Myra and express your devotion, Jeff. You've touched many people by sharing your grief and your love. A burden shared is lighter to bear. May you find peace in a lifetime of happy memories.

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  88. Thanks for sharing your loving tribute to your wife. I loved all the pictures of her. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am glad you have your family and grandkids to help you get through this difficult time.

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  89. Hold tight to the love you shared and the happy memories you made together. These are the gifts she left to see you through.

    My sympathies to you and your family.

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  90. Dear Jeff, Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of the beautiful love and life you share with Myra. Although we're strangers, I feel that you've generously opened a window on an amazing person. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers during these sad days.

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  91. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The love you shared was one of a kind. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories. May you find peace and strength in your time of need.

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  92. So sorry for your loss, prayers and blessings sent your way. You've created a beautiful tribute for Myra!

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  93. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing your a touching and honest tribute to your love; it's a reminder to cherish our loved ones and all the wonderful memories. I can't imagine how difficult it must be. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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  94. A moving tribute for your beautiful wife. Every time I read through it (and it's been several times), I get tears in my eyes. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

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  95. Myra was so well loved. Lucky her. How lovely that you had each other for so long. I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been married 25 years and I can't imagine being separated from my love. I'm praying for you, Jeff.

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  96. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You're right - death might have taken her from your life but nothing can take her from your heart. Please take care and know that so many of us are praying for you and your family.

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  97. Deeply aching from your post--and my heart goes out to you! You've lost someone wonderful, and even though it feels like you may never feel joy again I promise you can! Her memory will invoke strength in you as the ache changes from a burning hole into a soft, bittersweet story, and while time cannot heal all wounds, God can use time as the salve to soothe them. You are deeply, deeply loved by Him and by the writing community, and if you ever need anything remember to ask! We love you, we're crying for you, and our hearts stand with you.

    These next few months will be the hardest. But as we can all see from your post, you are strong, and her love will still keep you going--and writing. Don't forget to let people know if you need anything!

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  98. Jeff, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I can only imagine the terrible, devastating grief. I remember a poem by John Donne(?) written after his wife's death on how waking every morning and remembering what has happened is beginning the grief over again. I will pray for you and your family.

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  99. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Jeff. This tribute to your lovely wife is beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. It reminds us all how fragile life is. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  100. What a beautiful tribute to your lovely wife. I am so sorry for your loss. May the Lord give you the strength to go on.

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  101. My deepest thoughts and prayers go with you, Jeff. {{{{hugs}}}} for you and your family for all the coming days.

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  102. One day at a time. Let yourself grieve, and cherish the good. You have my thoughts and prayers.

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  103. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm so sorry.

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  104. Dragon hugs, my friend. I am glad you decided to write to her. Don't stop writing those letters. They can do wonderful things.

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  105. Praying for you and thinking of you and your family.

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  106. Jeff, May God hold you in the palm of his hand and carry you through these dark days until the light touches you once again.

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  107. I'm so sorry for your loss, this was a beautiful fitting tribute... sending good thoughts and prayers to you, family and friends!

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  108. I am so sorry for your loss. Your deep love and adoration of her is evident here. I wish you strength as you make a life without her.

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  109. Jeff, so sorry about your loss. What a lovely, touching tribute you've written for Myra here. Hugs and prayers for you, your children and grandchildren. Such a marvelous person will certainly be missed by all of you.

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  110. Jeff, I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  111. I'm just stopping by again because i'm part of the Blog Blitz, so wanted to say hi again and that I have been thinking of you and your family a lot lately!

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  112. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jeff.

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  113. Hi Jeff,
    I stumbled upon your blog via Cassie's blog tour and now again via Blog Blitz. I know in time you will find your magic again. Until then my heart is with you and your family. And remember--Sirius Black had it right: The ones who love us never truly leave us.

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  114. I can't imagine your level of pain. There are a million platitudes one could offer here, still I think that your journey from and through this is your own and what you need for it is personal. Just know there are people thinking of you, sending good thoughts and prayers your way. And we all now know her and will remember her along side you.

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  115. What a beautiful tribute to your wife. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  116. I am so sorry, I can't even imagine... I'm sure she'd be honoured by your beautiful tribute.

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  117. I'm sorry for your loss. I could not even begin to imagine the pain and heartache you must be going through.
    Condolences and prayers will be sent your way for your loss.

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  118. Dear Jeff, I found you during the A-Z and we joked about you being my Jeff. I have visited many times since. I have no words, I can't imagine the level of pain you are suffering. I pray that whatever support network you have in place - family - faith - friends - that it helps you cope with your grief.
    Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe
    xx

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  119. Oh Jeff, I saw your facebook post when it happened and I just didn't know what to say. I called my husband right away and told him how much I loved him. I can only try to imagine your pain---how I wish I could take it from you.

    YOU ARE STRONG

    God wouldn't have chosen this trial for you if that wasn't the case. Your wife is needed on the other side for some great work, and you WILL see her again.

    I wish I had something profound to say that would give you comfort, but all I can do is cry for her and for you and wish I could be there to help you through this difficult time. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers, as you already have been. *Hugs*

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  120. What a beautiful tribute! Love like that is rare and it shines through in every word you write about your wife. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  121. oh, Jeff. I weep and pray for your loss. Love like that is precious. You have beautiful memories. Thank you for letting us in. ask and you shall receive, whatever can be given!

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  122. I am truly sorry for your loss. From the words you have here and the other posts you reference it is more than obvious that the two of you are soul mates. Life is so unpredictable; they say we come into this world alone...I'm not one who sees that clearly. I feel no matter our circumstances "someone" is there - heck someone has to be there to birth us - we are so lucky when that "someone" chooses to love us as we grow. They then say we are alone in this life after birth as well - yet more often we find ourselves with "someone" who likes our personalities and enjoys spending time with us-then there is that moment when "someone" chooses us again. Only this "someone" relishes the idea of walking with us, hates that they weren't there in te beginning and as we grew, and looks forward to growing even more with us. That "someone" is so very special. When you and Myra first met I have no idea if you truly knew you were made for each other, but in your pictures, in your memories I see that she found you and you found her and Life gave you the gift of companionship that so many are still searching for. I am blessed to have found my other half as well. A man who is as much a part of me as I of him. I do not even begin to understand your loss, but I might understand your love. For it is a feeling, a way of life, a secret world that will carry you through this - a love that reminds of good, laughs at the bad, cries over the loss and will guide you forward as you take those steps of discovering the next phase in life. You mentioned discovering who you are without her - no worries there, she is still with you and in being such a part of you she will not only help you move forward & find the next phase but will be a part of it. She was a fabulous woman - I didn't even know her, yet I see it in your face...the picture of your wedding day speaks volumes...a love like that does not leave in death. I pray for your steps forward; I am a person of faith who believes that Myra is grinning at these pics, laughing at the memories and waiting to see you again. May you find peace in this time and may your heart heal and your love continue to grow...life is hard, death seems cruel but love...it strengthens, it comforts and it sustains.

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  123. Jeff, What a beautiful tribute to your wife. It's clear to all of us that your love for her holds no bounds. Every morning, wake up and breath, get out bed, and do something. In time, you will be able to wake up and breath without having to think about it, but it will take time. Sending Hugs from NH

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  124. Myra was a blessed woman to have been loved on this Earth better than anyone ever has. I hope you're finding your healing. The human spirit is remarkably resilient and you obviously have strong faith - lean on it, let it wrap you in a cocoon for as long as you need, then come out stronger. You're right that she'll always be with you, and I bet you'll see her smile every day in your children and grandchildren. Peace, Jeff.

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  125. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman. Thank you for sharing so intimately with us your deep love and commitment to her, and for some glimpses into your life together. Please accept my deepest condolences and my prayers. May God guide you through this trial.
    Tina @ Life is Good

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  126. Jeff, so sorry to hear this. I could not imagine your loss.

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  127. Your great love for Myra shines through in every word of this post, and your pain tears at our hearts, and brings tears to our lives. How wondrous to have shared such love with her, and how horrid to lose her. Too soon. No matter when it happens, it's always too soon. Hang in there, Jeff. Let the love of family and friends... and even those of us who just met you because of DL's blog blitz... sustain you and see you through the darkness.

    "Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come." [Rabindranath Tagore]

    God bless you and your family.

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  128. Jeff,
    I can't presume to know the depths of sorrow that fills your heart, but as I read your post I could feel all the love you carried for your wife, your partner. I can see some of the wonderful memories you chose to share with us. I've always believed everything happens for a reason, and while your ache might pass slowly, time will help you heal. My deepest condolences for your loss, as it's a heavy thing to carry and I only wish you a something that makes you smile each and every day to help carry you through.
    ~Summer

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  129. God Bless you and your family during this time. May you be comforted as only He can provide. She is safe in His hands and always has been.

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  130. Jeff, I'm so sorry to hear of your heartbreaking loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  131. Jeff, my heart goes out to you. Your post is a beautiful tribute to your wife, and like another said, I could feel the love you carried for her. Sending you blessings and prayers.

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  132. Jeff, I am so very sorry. My brother lost his wife in a tragic car accident two years ago. He is still navigating the road without her. Grief is such a long and difficult process. We never get through it, never get over the people we've lost. We simply find a way to cope. (((Hugs))) for you and your family.

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  133. Your beautifully touching tribute to your wife brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss and cannot begin to fathom the pain you are feeling. She is gone from this world but death cannot truly separate us from those we love. She exists in your mind and your heart. You’re a writer. Continue to put those feelings on the page as you’ve done here. Write through your pain. It will be your refuge. Write when you don’t feel like it. Write for her and she will help you.

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  134. We know that in times like these words are insufficient to heal the wound. So just know that there are many of us who are thinking of you and adding you and your beautiful family to our prayers.

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  135. May you find comfort in the arms of your family and hope in each new day. Your love for your wife will be a beacon for your children and grandchildren to follow should they ever get lost in the storms of life. Remember to breathe and know that there are many strangers out here sending you their healing thoughts and prayers.

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  136. Jeff- There are no words that I can offer that will give you a respite from your grief. Saying and hearing "I'm sorry" over and over from everyone is very nice but almost becomes laughable when faced with such tremendous loss. Even though the words meant to comfort may come from a sincere place- they will never be enough to fill the hole raging in your heart. I offer you the one and only thing that I know helped sustain me: prayer. With prayer, eventually I was able to recognize a slight shift in the pain. It did not eradicate it, no, I don't believe that is even possible. It's not something I would ever promise. But in time, it did shift and lesson it's grip on me.

    At first, when I was left reeling from grief and loss, I'm honest enough to admit I was WAY too bitter and angry and stuck in the why God stage to even pray. It was the prayers of others who cared about me that helped carry me through. This is my promise to you Jeff, from one grieving spirit to another, I promise to keep you and your family deeply entrenched in my prayers. It is my fervent hope and heart felt desire that it will help bring you some measure of peace and comfort, like it did me, during this overwhelming time.

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  137. This is a beautiful tribute to your wife, Jeff. It's obvious how much love was shared between you. My thoughts and well wishes are with you and your family.

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  138. Your post brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could offer you something other than words, but there aren't many words that can help to alleviate that feeling of abysmal grief, the feeling of being completely lost at sea, not knowing where you're going or what you're going to do.

    May you get the strength you need from your family and friends who love you.

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  139. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is difficult (putting it mildly) to go from functioning as a unit to acting autonomously. Best wishes for you as you make this transition. Just remember: you're never really alone.

    ~M

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  140. The first time I read this I couldn't comment because I didn't know what to say. I still don't except that I hope you find a way to mourn that allows life to get easier after this.

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  141. Jeff, you were a lucky man to have such a great wife for so long...my sincere condolences.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers, God bless.

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  142. Terribly sorry for your loss, Jeff. I can't even image. Thank you for sharing your wife and the life you shared with us. It was truly special.

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  143. There is nothing worse than losing your soul mate. Over the first year and sometimes longer you will go through some powerful emotions. Reach out not burrow in.

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  144. It was heart wrenching for me to read this post. Your story is such a reflection of my own that, except for my role as the wife, I could almost have been the author of this page.

    You don't know me and I don't know you, but five years ago I lost my husband of 32 years so I think I can honestly say that I feel your pain. I know you feel your world has ended, and I could give you all the reasons (children, grandchildren, friends, family, church) to carry on, but instead I'll pretend I know you and pass on the best and most helpful information I got after the loss of my husband:

    1) There are stages of grief and you can look them up in books and on the internet and try to understand them, but remember that there is no time frame for grief. Everyone goes through it at their own pace. Those who tell you that it's been ...... amount of time and you need to 'move on' have never been through true loss and have no idea what they are saying.
    2) Grief is like one of those old springs on the back screen door, the one that's stretched in places so it's bigger, and it's laying in a puddle. At the unstretched end it's under the water. That's the beginning of grief. You feel that you're drowning in it. As time passes and the spring gets bigger there are brief moments when you feel normal and happy, then you're under water again. As more time passes and most of the spring is above water you begin to have longer and longer times of 'normal' and the memories become soft and gentle. But, the spring never goes all the way out of the water so even years from now you may be hit with 5 minutes of grief as strong as the first week of your loss. This is not a bad thing because you have the knowledge that you will never forget. For me, this picture was comforting.
    3) You are not alone. There are others in your church or family or circle of friends who have lost a loved one, probably fairly recently. Seek them out and talk to them. They are the only ones who will understand what you are going through and understand when you cry.
    4) If the funeral home offers grief counceling, go at least once. It really does help to know you're not the only one and that there are others who feel broken and lost. The one I joined was non-denominational and more like a class room lecture than actual counceling. It made a huge difference to know that I wasn't going crazy, but that there were others who were as devastated as I.

    If this is presumptuous, please forgive me. I wish you the best.

    PS. Happy Blog Blitz

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  145. Dear Jeffrey, I want you to know that I feel your pain. I've experienced loss of loved ones and while the pain never really goes away, life does go on. We must continue to live with the help of their memories, their smile, their love.

    Such a beautiful post, Jeffrey. I believe too, that we must say our I love yous on a regular basis. For, who knows what may happen tomorrow.

    May Myra's soul rest in peace, for I am sure she's smiling at you now.

    With love, Vidya

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  146. This is a beautiful tribute. I am so, so sorry for you loss.

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  147. Never gone are those that live on in the minds, hearts, and lives of loved ones. Myra's beautiful soul is with you in every moment, that I have to believe despite the fact that I am not a religious person. Keep writing, friend, it is a wonderful outlet. Write. Cry. Write. Remember. Write.
    Brandy

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  148. My heart goes out to you -

    May she rest in peace.

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  149. I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss - such a lovely tribute to your wife.

    Sending prayers and thoughts your way during this difficult time. My own belief is that they do not go as far as we think - they are still with us, just not in the physical way that we're used to...still watching over, still guiding, still loving.

    Blessings
    Chere
    Blog Blitz member

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  150. Love is a wonderful thing. Losing it forever must be really difficult. I pray that the beautiful memories of your years together overcome the sorrow of losing your half.

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  151. Dear Jeff,
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. With illness in my own family, I worry every day about what might happen, and I will take your words to heart. Make every moment count, yes this is what we all should strive for.
    {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}

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  152. So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers your way so that you will know we all care and we try to make your burden a little lighter, as difficult as that task is. May you remember that your wife rests in Heaven and always watches over you.

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  153. Myra will never, truly be lost to you...her beautiful spirit is all around you--in your heart, in your memories and woven into the fiber of your children's and grandchildren's very being. She will always be a part of you, and for her to carry on in this world, you must be strong and LIVE for the both of you. May you find the strength to honor her memory by embracing what you've created together...

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  154. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your wife and one which we all can learn from...marriage is precious. Thank you for being so open, honest and real with us. God bless you now, in the days to come and always!

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  155. So sorry for your loss. I loved this tribute, it was beautiful.

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  156. So sorry to hear about your loss. Losing someone you love is always hard. When it's the person you shared your life with, I can only imagine how devastated you must feel.

    Kia kaha (be strong)

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  157. I'm going to start by telling you that I came by because of the 'Blitz', but I've read through this post twice because of the love. Both you and your wife are so fortunate to have shared a love so deep that nothing can alter it's intensity. I can't even imagine the pain you must feel at this physical separation, but it is apparent that the two of you will be spiritually united through all eternity. I know this means nothing in the sea of sadness you must feel, but it will be only a short moment and you will be together again. This I know.

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  158. I'm so sorry for your loss. Words are poor comfort at this time, but they're all I have to give. You and your family are in my thoughts. I hope you find solace in your memories of your lovely wife. (((hugs)))

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  159. My deepest condolences to you and your family

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  160. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, this must be an awful time for you. There's not really anything I can say to make it any easier, but just know that we are all thinking about you, and we are all here for you if you need someone.

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  161. Jeff, you're just a year older than me and you've gone through something that I can't possibly imagine. It's clear that you and your beloved wife had something truly special and I know you're drawing your strength from the memories of that. My sincere condolences to you at this most difficult time.

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  162. Your tribute to your wife is beautiful and made me cry for you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss, and even though you don't feel it now, you are the blessed one. I have never had this and probably never will have a relationship as beautiful as you have had. This is why I read romance :) So as I'm sitting here crying for you, please smile knowing how very blessed you are for having someone so beautiful in your life and unconditional love :)

    Hugs for you :)

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  163. I am so sorry for your loss. I have no words that could give you the comfort that I want you to have. All I can say is, I'm sorry.

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  164. What beautiful words you have chosen to share with us about your life. Thank you for sharing them. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope all these wonderful words in these posts can help you just a little bit. May you know that you never walk alone.

    Heather M. Gardner

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  165. I can barely see to write you... What an awesome women Myra sounds like! She knew how much you loved her. Your words touched my so much and they remind me of the loss I felt when my brother passed. I am sending you many many prayers and love. You will and can carry-on, I know and believe you can. Thank you for sharing your feelings and love towards your wife with us.

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  166. This was a beautiful tribute and yes, my heart squeezed for you. You had a wonderful life with her and I am truly sorry for your loss. I've suffered loss, too, but not on your level and so I pray for comfort that only God can give.
    Much prayers,
    Talynn

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  167. Hello, Jeff. I'm so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace and comfort in the beautiful memories of your wife.

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  168. Hi, Jeff,
    You've given us some good advice to do with our life partner. I hope the pain lessens as the days go by and that you will take comfort in the fact that your wife has gone to be with the Lord.

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  169. I'm so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  170. Words can not begin to express how sorry I am for your loss, Jeff. My heart goes out to both you and your family.

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  171. I am so touched by this tribute, I am tearing up here at my computer. The light that blessed this world with her was truly astounding and this place is much dimmer for her passing. I cannot imagine having someone as beautiful as Myra in my life, nor can I imagine touching someone that deeply on a soul to soul level. You have been blessed as this world has been blessed with Myra. My heart breaks for you and your family. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  172. What an amazing tribute. So sorry for your loss

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  173. What a lovely woman. She sounds so special. I'm very sorry for your loss.

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  174. The love that you have for her is so beautiful and it's something you will always have. Loss is definitely hard to deal with but you're loved ones never leave you, you will always have them in your memory. Sending you warm thoughts to make it through this. :)

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  175. I can't even begin to imagine. I've been married for over 20 years, and what you're going through is a place I don't even want to contemplate. Words can't bring you comfort, but I pray you find peace in your grieving.

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  176. Such a beautiful, moving tribute. So sorry for your loss. I pray you can find peace and comfort during this dark time. *hugs*

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  177. I am so sorry for your loss. How blessed you both were to share a love like that. I can't imagine the pain you are going through, but your words were a powerful tribute to her.

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  178. That's a poignant tribute to your wife. I can't imagine life without my husband, can't imagine your loss. I'm so sorry, sending you and your family prayers and love.

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  179. So much love and light to you in this difficult time.

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  180. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss, Jeff. I can't imagine what you're feeling or going through. This is such a beautiful tribute. Some people go their whole lives trying to find a love that is only half as pure and beautiful as yours. Sending my thoughts, love, and prayers to you and your family.

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  181. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your tribute brought tears to my eyes. I hope to not be in your shoes for many years, but I hope I can find words half as eloquent. Many blessings to you and your family.

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  182. thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. my deepest sympathies for your loss. Blitz hugss. with great respect and love. Ambrozya

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  183. A beautiful legacy in pictures Jeff. I'm so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine it. I am sure Myra will still watch over and guide you, the children and grandchildren. Be at peace if you can.

    ......dhole

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  184. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, hugs.

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  185. This is a nice tribute to the memory of your wife Myra. May you continue to be surrounded by the love and support from your family, especially your children and grandchildren. In the days, months and years to come, they will need you just as much as you will need them and that is one of the blessings of family...to be able to build strength together when one member of that family has gone to rest. Today is a special BLITZ day, indeed, for it certainly has a purpose of lifting people up in some of their dark moments.

    Let the experiences that you had with your wife be the light that guides your memories and your days, going forward. She lives on through you, your children and your grandchildren.

    The way you ended your tribute is lovely: "Death may have taken her from my reach, but nothing can take her from my heart."

    Best wishes to you and your family during this time.

    ~Nicole

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  186. Such a beautifully haunting tribute.
    I pray you find joy within your memories, as you remember a life well lived together and the depth of your love, so that it brings you through the time of your grief.
    May God's love, and Myra's carry you as you seek the path ahead.

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  187. Just a beautiful tribute. Hugs and Love. I know this time is difficult but your love for her will get you though. Take her with you as you continue to travel on your journey.

    Best wishes to your family during this time

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  188. I am so sorry to hear of your precious loss. Know that she will always be right by your side.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as I read your touching words and see the love through your pictures.

    Let God be your comfort during this difficult time.

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  189. While we know that our time on earth and even together is limited, we never think that the time will come too soon as it always does. My heart goes out to you as you deal with the loss of your other half. Love is a strong bond that I know you still feel. I know your family will step in to help fill that void and I pray you will find strength and comfort through them.

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  190. Know that she is experiencing beautiful and fulfilling things right now. She carries your love with her until you meet again.

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  191. So sorry for your loss. Keep strong and know that our thoughts are with you.

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  192. My deepest condolences on your loss. Her love, memories and spirit will always remain with you. Remember to lean on those closest to you when needed. We, too, are also here for you. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

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  193. This was a touching tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss. Nothing any of us could possibly say can make the pain go away, but I'm thinking of you. I remember when my mom died. That was the only time I ever saw my dad cry.



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  194. I am so sorry to read Jeff. We are new acquaintances though the writing group but it is easy to see how much you loved your dear wife. I am sorry for this awful season you must walk through and will keep you in my prayers.
    Susie

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  195. My condolences upon your devastating loss. This is a beautiful, moving tribute to your partner in life. I hope you're eventually able to find a semblance of peace and healing, even if you'll never really heal or forget.

    Have you considered making a virtual memorial for Myra at the website Find A Grave? I love being able to visit the memorials I've made for my relatives who've passed on and leave virtual flowers and tokens, even when I can't go to their physical gravesites.

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  196. Jeff, I am just catching up on this now and want you to know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. This post is a beautiful, vibrant tribute to your wife and what that love continues to mean to you. My friend and her dad just went through something very similar (fast, unexpected) with her mom, and I have seen how hard it can be to keep a course through that tempest, as you say. Know that we are sending you our very best!

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