Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dear Brian,

The boys and I are still so curious about heaven. Can you see us? Can you hear us? We hypothesize about it and share our theories. Gavin insists it is full of sand and ponds and houses because he saw a picture in a children's Bible one time. Grant wonders if there is pizza in heaven. I just wonder at the amazing unknown of it all.

The memory of the last week of your life is fading from me. I think I am grateful for that. At the same time, it scares me a bit about how everything else may fade. I look through pictures frequently to keep your smile embedded in my mind. I recap events for the boys of things they did with you and things we did long before they were born in order to keep alive the memories that I know will be nearly impossible for their young minds to retain until their own adult life.

I still refer to so many things as "ours" or myself as "us." I say, "Brian and I" a lot as well. I think that is normal. In fact, I dread the day when it becomes more natural for me to say, "my," "me" and just "I."

I haven't been getting too sad lately. In fact, my lack of sadness is almost frightening to me. Is it denial? It is delay? Is it distraction? Is it just a gradual acceptance of something that I knew was a long time coming? I don't know. I know as I sit and stare at the picture of you and me on my desk next to the monitor it doesn't sting as much as I had anticipated it would nearly one month after your death.

When I do feel sad about something, it is usually regarding the boys - the realization that they lost their Daddy forever. As much I intend to surround them with male role models and I witness our family willing to help out, it just isn't the same. I do ache with hurt that they will not have that closeness and that bond that a father and son share. I will do my best to fill the gaps for them, but I know it pales in comparison. I am just thankful for the influence you had on their lives to this point.

I really am not feeling sad for myself. And do you know why? I know you wouldn't want me to and I know you wouldn't do it for yourself. If this situation were reversed, you would grieve and mourn me with minimal energy focused on sadness and self-pity. No, you would pick yourself back up, grieve more for your boys' loss, and hold onto the happy memories, laughing as often as possible. You would begin to put your life back together. And you would do it with dignity, honor and integrity as you did everything. Your legacy lives in me right now as that is the route I am choosing. You always taught me in your brutally honest manner that my reaction to my situation was a choice. I could choose to wallow away in self pity or I could choose to live and laugh and love and look to Christ. I choose the latter.

I miss you, though, Brian. I do. I love you.



  1. You are just amazing...that's all I can say! Brian, I know, is looking down and just smiling proudly at the woman he chose to spend his life with!! Gavin and Grant are so blessed to have you as their mother!! I am blessed to have you as a friend! You are an inspiration to so many!!! Keep writing these letters to Brian...they are awesome!!!

    Love you so much, Shawn

  2. Angie,
    Your words continue to touch me. I know your intent is to get out the things in your mind/heart to Brian, but I'm so glad you're sharing them w/ the rest of us. Beautiful!

  3. Angie,
    Don't worry about the memories... they will always be there. You have the best recall of anyone I know. Your sons are so blessed to have you. Try to stay strong. For the days when you are weak, I'm only a phone call away. Love you! G

  4. Thinking about you every day Angie.

    Still believing.

  5. Continuing to pray for you and the boys...

    Brian would be proud of you because you are handling it exactly as you say he would.

    You will never go wrong by looking toward Christ!

  6. God's strength in you stands out in each of these letters. And His strength will continue to hold you up each day - and keep believing He can do it!!

  7. Ang..I am constantly amazed by your strength..

  8. I love that you share your thoughts for Brian...this is a really wonderful journal...and I feel honored to have a peek.

    I believe that God will help you retain those memories...

  9. When my grandpa died in May, my Grandma still signed most Christmas packages the next year and Grandma and Grandpa or Mom and Dad. She had done so for 52 years before that, so it was hard to break... and you know what. We were ok with it.

  10. Angie, you are amazingly strong and brave.

  11. Why am I not surprised to read this? You are the reason I Keep Believing.

  12. I came upon your blog right after Brian's death, through Kelly's Korner. My heart hurts for you. May God keep giving you peace and comfort and guide you each day.

  13. Angie,

    There's no right way to grieve. You are making it through, day by day, and I am so proud of you. Brian is, too!

  14. Chad KendallApril 15, 2009

    Heaven is a bit mysterious, but there are a few things from the Holy Scriptures that give some indications.

    St. Luke 16:19-31, the Rich Man and Lazarus, is one such indication.

    The rich man lived for himself. Lazarus lived for God and in God. Both men die. The rich man goes to hell, Lazarus goes to rest in the arms of Father Abraham. The differences in comparison are striking.

    First, let's deal with the rich man. He is in hell because he lived for himself. What do we notice? First, the rich man is alone, because part of what hell is is to be utterly alone. Solitude. Second, notice the rich man has no name. He is unnamed because he is forgotten. Most importantly, however, is that the rich man can see heaven but cannot participate in it. The rich man sees Abraham and Lazarus and desires someone to come to him. Furthermore, the rich man's tongue burns, because this very member of the body was not used to confess the Triune God.

    But now the good stuff: Lazarus. He is not alone, but he is so close to another that he can actually breathe into the chest of another saint. Lazarus' tongue does not burn. On the contrary, he is continually comforted by being in the arms of Abraham. Heaven is not one of solitude. Rather, it is one of community and fellowship. Lazarus is obviously named, therefore he is not forgotten, but loved by God.

    The interesting thing about this account is that all the while it is Abraham and the rich man talking. There is never an indication that Lazarus is even aware of the conversation. Why? Because heaven is the absence of sadness and hell. Note Abraham's words concerning Lazarus, "child, remember that you received good things in your life and Lazarus bad things, but now Lazarus is comforted and you in anguish."

    Heaven has Lazarus in comfort and bliss. He is not aware of those things going on outside of heaven. To be aware of the pain and anguish would compromise heaven and all its holiness and contentment. So, the saints carry on in heaven rejoicing in the Lord.

    Revelation 7:9-17 also gives us a glimpse into what is going on in heaven.

    God bless you and your family!


  15. Angie -
    Grief is such an individual thing. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but certainly, you are doing it with the dignity and courage we've come to know in you. You continue to amaze me! I pray for you and the boys daily - for your peace and comfort as you get through each day. Thanks for sharing your feelings and thoughts.

  16. I came upon this blog from Kellys Korner. You are very good at expressing your thoughts. You give words to confirm that once the "worst" happens, that you can still live on, and have hope and joy even. Thanks for sharing so personally, it is an inspiration to me!

  17. Your strength amazes me! I can't even remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I can tell you that God led me in this direction. I check your blog frequently and pray for you and your family daily.

  18. Brian must be looking down and smiling at what a wonderful choice he made in marrying you!
    continue to make him smile, as he's smiling with the angels at you and your boys!

  19. Angie, your strength and courage are such an inspiration to me. I read your blog regularly.