I have been contemplating writing about what has been going on in my life and my family for the better part of the last three weeks.  I’m sure many people who read this blog already know this, but for those of you who do not, my husband, Terry, passed away on April 15.  To avoid speculation, I want to be clear that it was sudden, no one had any real clue that he was struggling the way he was, and that he did take his own life.  Things seemed fairly normal on the surface.  We had a great weekend in the days preceding this.  Everything, for the most part, seemed fine.

I would like to be clear about where I am at today with my thoughts on Terry.  I have a lot of respect for my husband.  He is a wonderful father and was a loving husband.  I love him.  I know he was doing his best to protect us from many things that I am ultimately dealing with now.  I have no anger about what he did in regard to the pain he must have been in.  I feel only tenderness towards him in that way.  Our marriage was strong and committed, he was doing well at work, and he has always been a great dad.  People that know him are heartbroken.  He truly seems like the least likely person to do something like this.  Most importantly I’m grateful that Terry knows and loves the Lord.  He’s with Jesus and Reece and while part of me feels very left out of that reunion right now, I do take comfort in knowing that he is a healed man.

The last three weeks have been a whirlwind.  I am recognizing all of the things Terry was shouldering, including his own difficulties in coping with the loss of Reece.  Some of the things I was moderately aware of, but much of it I was not.  If you have never met me, this may come as a surprise, but I am actually a very private person.  I honestly can not believe that so many people know about my life.  And yet here I stand in this vulnerable place, somewhat willing to share at least a portion of my own struggle, with the hope that people may be able to be helped by my sharing and understand that through it all, the Lord has been and continues to be good.  I have struggled with whether or not I should share the nature of Terry’s passing.  I don’t want people to only think of him in that way.  For all the wonderful things he added to this world, he ought not be remembered for or defined by the final day he walked the earth.  After much contemplation, I decided that I don’t want to dance around it with people.  I don’t want to hide under some lie.  There are many things that I will keep private, but I can not avoid what he ultimately chose to do.  Because here I am, dealing with it every single moment of my life.

So many people have asked how they can help.  Certainly, we need prayers.  We’ve had a lot of people offer to help with the kids and with meals and around the house…all sorts of very generous things.  Outside of the hands-on items and because of the nature of Terry’s passing, one of the major burdens on me is financial.  There were financial burdens that I was not aware of in the first place and now, there are even more financial burdens without Terry here.  Soon there will be a “How to Help” page added to the blog that will be maintained by a close family friend.  Yes, I will be going back to work.  Yes, I will be figuring this out with the assistance of people I trust.  And yes, there are good things in store for the kids and for me.  Somehow, in some way, I know I was built to handle this.  However, it won’t be without help from the Lord, my family and friends, and countless people I only briefly know or have never even met.

Thank-you for all of your support; it is a gift to my family and me.  I am truly humbled through all of this.  It has been life-changing to be in the center of a storm and see the way God works and how He has surrounded us.  There will be more to come, but I wanted to put this out there so that people understand what happened.  Life feels raw, but somewhere deep inside of me, I still feel hope.