Understanding or acceptance in the grieving process does not necessarily mean the end of the hurt, but it does help ease the heavy load that all the other emotions experienced in grief can put on survivors. Everyone grieves and processes grief differently. Some grieve for years, some for months, some forever.
For me, I rediscovered my faith when we lost Julian. That doesn't mean I turned to God. In the beginning I was very angry at God and I still have days where I want to lash out in anger. But I do believe in Him.
Several nights ago, I lay in bed asking for understanding - something I've done from the very first day that this happened. I didn't get a straight forward answer right away. Instead, memories of the weeks, days and hours before Julian died played back in my head. I recalled clearly the phone conversation Julian and I had just days before his death. He called me and immediately began to tell me to always remember to be good to his "kiddos", to never lash out at them in anger no matter how bad I felt and to trust God to help me through every trial in life.
I was shocked at his words and I felt a lump form in my throat as I asked Julian, "Why are you telling me this ?"
Julian sighed and said, "I'm just talking to you, mi amor. I love you. I know you are a good mama, but I just want to tell you this. Don't get mad, okay ?"
Then there were the texts in the days before Julian died. It seemed he always wanted to make sure I knew how much he loved the kids and me. He wanted every conversation to end on a peaceful note. He insisted that we not be angry about anything. During one conversation he told me to forgive him for not always being the best husband he could be.
Then there was...the day he died. Julian and the other men had worked all day that day. Julian had called and sent me several text through out that day. It was hard for him to call, because the signal where he was in North Dakota was so bad. But during our last phone conversation something felt different. It felt peaceful, tranquil in a strange way. Julian sighed alot as he talked about coming home to us. He was sometimes very quiet (unusual for him), except for the sounds of his sighs.
I felt something different in his voice and I asked him, "Julian, is everything okay ?"
I heard him sigh deeply then he said softly, "Yes, mi amor. Everything is okay. I just asked God to bring me home to my beautiful wife and my sweet kiddos."
"Mi amor, if something doesn't feel right, just wait until tomorrow to come home. We can wait one more day to see each other." I said.
"No. I want to spend every day that I can with my family, woman." He said. "I love you, mi gordita. I cannot live without you and my kiddos."
"Be careful, Boss Man. Call me or text me when you're on the road." I said.
His voice was very calm and quiet as he said he loved us once more then said good-bye for the last time. He sent me a text about an hour later letting me know they were leaving the man camp and that he was on his way home to see his "gordita bonita" and his "beautiful kiddos". I simply messaged "ok" back to him, then I sat in my recliner and fell asleep. I slept a deep, dreamless sleep for about 2 hours. When I woke, I felt a desperate need to message Julian. The kids and I messaged his phone throughout the entire night with no response. An hour and a half into their journay home, they were all already dead. We would find out at 8:30 a.m. that next morning.
So, where does my understanding or acceptance come into all of this ? Julian is in a Heavenly place right now. Of that I am 100% sure. He was ready, prepared, forgiven and he is not suffering for anything now. No more back-breaking work that he doesn't get paid nearly what he deserves for. No more sickness or sorrow. No more sturggling with alcohol addiction. No more worries. All the things he deserves to have, he has. Julian was a peaceful, loving man, but he wasn't perfect. He struggled to live right, do right, be right and now he doesn't have to do any of that. In the last days, hours and moments of his life, he cleansed his plate. He made things right. He spoke with God. God did guide him safely home - to his eternal home. He was scooped up into the arms of God and never felt the pain of his fatal injuries. He was serenaded by a band of angels and he sang along (this time in tune). Julian was given what his heart truly desired and I will not grieve in selfish resistance.
I will miss Julian always, but I know that he wants me to live. He was allowed to come to me in my dreams and he told me these very things. He said that I should go on living. He told me that I deserve to be happy. Julian gave me permission to be happy. God has given me permission to be happy.
Every day is different. Tomorrow I might fall back into heartache and disbelief, but I do know it is okay. I'm human. But I did learn from Julian that we need to forgive and love always. Like a gentle butterfly, he fluttered into our lives, bringing beauty, peace and love.