Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pain...

I have never felt such pain. My heart aches more than I can even fathom. Yet, through the pain a friend reminded me to start reading the psalms. He thought that the meaning of the laments would help me through this time. What is amazing about David's laments is that they are mixed with astounding praise to God Almighty. This is where my heart is. On one hand I groan with pain and on the other I rejoice in His greatness.
I am fully aware that the Lord might be using my life and the lives of our children to testify to His great goodness. As I have told many friends lately I am willing to be vulnerable and as an open book for this reason. It is not an easy task to walk into pain but for some reason I know that walking away from it would cause more heartache in the end.
Saturday was the day of the Memorial service. All went incredibly well and I have memories that I will cherish forever. Sunday I walked into the pain of attending church with our community of believers who were doubly shocked by Eric's death. This was much harder than Saturday. Monday was full of good-bye's to family and then today has been a day of meeting with friends who traveled a long way to be here for our family. Tomorrow I go to the funeral home where I will make the final arrangements for Eric's burial at the National Cemetary in Santa Nella, CA. I am anticipating a very emotional morning.
The sobs and tears seem to come at the most ackward and inconvenient times. Tonight, as we were voting, I just broke down when I saw his name on the roster and realized the finality of death. Every evening when I can no longer procrastinate my bedtime I crawl into the covers and just sob. I hope that the pain will die down over the months and years.
Thank you for all the encouraging words sent my way. Our family appreciates all of the love and prayers that are bestowed on us. I should have the memorial details including a youtube for you by the end of the week. There were some beautiful letters that I would like to share with you that capture the essence of Eric's personality.

36 comments:

Kat G. said...

Oh my dear,dear Heather. I can't say that "I feel your pain". I couldn't. I have my dear one still. But I do empathize and feel so sad for you and for your children in your grieving. I am encouraged by your blog writings though too. And I am so glad that you have memories that are sweet and not bitter. This reminds me of how important the days are. We are praying even when I don't remember to dial the pager.I'm especially praying for you during the coming days when everyone is gone and it is late and the house is still. I pray that our Lord will hold you close and give you peace that is not of our own understanding. -kathy g.

kymk99 said...

Heather,

You were a pillar of God's strength on Saturday. But you are also a wife grieving for her husband. You are entitled to tears. We continue to pray for you and the kids daily. We are here for you if you need anything.

Yvonne :o)

Sonja said...

Heather,

I have been looking forward to another post from you. As strange as it is since we've never met or hardly communicated, you are a sister in Christ and I love you dearly.

What a blessing to have so many loved ones around you. I know it doesn't take the pain away, but it's awesome how God uses others to love us on His behalf. I just went over a study tonight that showed how Paul was comforted by Titus and others. God used them to show His love in a tangible way.

Sonja Spithaler (from atthefeet)

Lil sis said...

I love you dearly sis and wish I could be there to give you a big hug. My heart breaks when you are in pain.......I miss you already even though I just left the other day.

Lynn

Jocelyn said...

Heather, I am in southern California, but if there is anything that I can do for you and your family, please let me know! My heart is broken for you, but what I do know is that he had a purpose in all of this, thought it is so hard to see right now.

You are in my prayers and my heart.

Love,

Jocelyn

818-480-2048

Team Tominthebox News Network said...

Dear Heather And Family,

Our prayers have been with you. I cannot begin to imagine your pain.

About two years ago a young missionary from our community died in Haiti. He left behind a wife and five young children. At his memorial service this poem was printed in the bulletin.

Though strange may seem God's ways
Your hasty lips refrain,
For here we see but broken links
Of glory's perfect chain.

The Husbandman of heaven
His tree may freely prune,
So challenge not His ways or say
He cut this branch too soon.

By wounding and by loss
He seeks pure fruit at last;
Though shaken now by storm and wind
Yet still the root is fast.

And if the Lord's fair hand
Should pluck a little rose,
Our harvest green mid-summer fruit,
Ere sweet and ripe it grows,

Then meekly own His right,
And Grace will Christ afford,
Till faith has taught your weeping heart
To kiss a striking Lord.

Should time’s best comforts die
The heritage remains;
Hold fast in faith till Christ transplants
His tree to sunnier plains.

...I do not no the author or source.

May the grace of our Lord be with you and your family. May he strengthen and uphold you and comfort you with the knowledge of the victory of Christ and the eternal, unchangeable, imperishable inheritance that he has won, knowing that in Christ we are only parted from our loved ones for a brief season.

-Thomas Slawson

All 8 of Us said...

Heather,
I have been checking your blog regularly because my heart is just so affected by what you and your precious children are now walking through. (perhaps because we also have 6 children, 2 adopted from aoh etc)I just wanted to let you know that I continue to carry you and your children on my heart...I find myself praying for you often throughout the day. Thank you for sharing from your heart and allowing the body to lift you up more specifically.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."(from the psalms but I can't recall the reference)
I am praying that the Lord would be a tangible presence in your midst and that he will give you everything you need to walk this path.
Praying for you!
Kathi Baillie

candyinsierras said...

My husband and I live in Reno Nv. and we are praying for you and your family. How blessed it is that in the midst we do know that God is sovereign, even when it seems so difficult to fathom why your husband had to go.

Mrs. Jeannie Mitchell said...

Dear Heather,
I too check your site regularly to see how you are. I pray for you often throughout the day and try to call the pager also, just to let you know.
From watching others go through great, painful times, I've noticed that they wanted to talk about, not forget or have others forget their loved ones. This is a nice place for you to share how you feel and how we all can pray for you and do other things for you.
The body of Christ is all around you dear Heather, praying and loving you all. "But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strenght at the time of trouble." Psalms37:39
Love,
Jeannie

Lisa said...

Heather thank you for your transparency! You are being such a testimony to all of us of God's strength and faithfulness. That does not mean you are not allowed to question, be discouraged or vent. That's only a natural part of the grieving and healing process. You are an amazing woman and God shines through you brightly!! Our family continues to lift you and your children up to the Father of Comfort and Peace.
May He be your Strong Tower,
Lisa

Mountain Mama said...

Heather, thank you for your openness and vulerablitly. You are a great encouragement to many! I think of you often throughout the day and I lift you up to Our Maker. I pray that your strength is coming and will continue to come from Him. Keep on running the race!
Ashley (in Utah)

Niki RuralWritings said...

praying for you and your family.
Blessings,

Aunt Linda said...

Heather,

We had a safe journey back home, but my heart is still there with you and the children, and it aches for all of you. Please take comfort in knowing that God is closest to those whose hearts are broken. My thoughts and prayers are with you daily. -Aunt Linda

Stacy McDonald said...

Still praying for you, with an aching heart, here in Illinois...

S & C & C's Gram said...

Dearest Heather...I have just a couple of things to say, based on my own experiences. My losses don't begin to compare with yours, but we have the same Lord and Father whose precepts are the same for all His children.

In 1994-95 (you may know our family's history), the days were dark and excruciating. One night, the kids and I huddled on my bed and read Psalm 18 together. With a jolt, I realized that He was IN the darkness.

(vv 4-11) The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

I can't explain the peace that came with that understanding. He was not caught off guard by the sorrow in my life. He inhabited the pain. Oh, how I learned to embrace that affliction, knowing He was present.

This past year, God chose to send four specific adversities my way. As I once again writhed in pain, well-meaning friends bolstered me with the words, "God has a purpose!", "Rejoice in the Lord always!", "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..."

Yes, those things are all very true. And, for a time, I felt guilty because I was not feeling joyful!

Then, I had another understanding. Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered. And, dear Heather, it is not suffering unless you are suffering! (Heb. 5:8, Ro. 8:17)

Roget's Thesaurus expands the word suffer thus: ache, agonize, ail, be affected, be convulsed, be handicapped, be impaired, be racked, be wounded, complain of, deteriorate, droop, endure, experience, fall off, feel wretched, flag, go through, grieve, hurt, languish, pain, sicken, smart, undergo, writhe.

There is no way around the pain you are experiencing. You can only crawl through it. When you come out the other side (and you will), you will have a deeper awe for the Lord Jesus Christ. Embrace the suffering, and you will discover you are embracing Him.

This is my pilgrimage. You are living your own. But, I weep with you and love you sweet sister in Christ.

Stinnett Family said...

We heard about you through the McDonald family. Our family has been praying for you everyday that the Lord would comfort you through this time.
Love and Prayers

RachelMac said...

Oh, Heather, my heart is breaking for you!

Deut 33:27 - The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

I know those arms are waiting to wrap you up every day, and hold you as you cry.

Peace to you.
With love in Christ,
Rachel (Geren) McCall in Idaho

Wendlh said...
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Wendlh said...
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Wendlh said...

Heather,

We are still in shock over the news. We are so heartbroken for you, the kids, and all who Eric touched. I know we have drifted apart with distance and time, but my love for you is just as real as the day we rode together to take Eric to his first west pack apart from you. God gave him such a generous smile to go with his giving heart. The last thing on my lips at night are prayers for you, and you are the first thing that comes into my mind each morning. God is placing you in my thoughts continually throughout the day to pray. I wish I could be there for you in person, but take comfort in knowing that God has many hands and hearts there for you right now. I know many of our hearts are filled with overwhelming grief. There are no words, only a fullness of compassion and love for you and your family. May the Lord richly bless you in His time with being able to see the good that will come through this, and may He give you all clarity of mind with the many decisions you and the kids have before you. If there is anything we can do or that you need, we will be there. Love you sweetie, Wendy & Rob Warren

Alesha said...

Continuing to hold you up in prayer.

A bloggy-friend of Copperswife's,
Alesha

Michelle said...

Dear Heather,
My heart sincerely aches for you and I cannot even fathom the pain of something like this. I'm so thankful for a Sovereign God and I know that He will carry you and your children through this valley. We are still praying.

mark said...

I heard the news from Monica and Eddie Guerrieri, close friends of ours for many years. I had just moved from Turlock and shortly after they told us about this great couple known as the Davis'. We wished that we could have met you.
We were ready to eat dinner when I heard what took place. Dinner stopped. I prayed with much pain and agony and my heart is still sore for you.

About 8 years ago I lost my daughter. Perhaps I can email my story to you with all of its particulars. I mention it in passing simply to say that it was horrible to deal with....
...but I immersed myself in the Psalms, Lamentations, Jeremiah and much of the Old Testament books. Something was worked into me during that time that is now priceless to me, an indispensible treasure. You can't describe it with words, but you will know exactly what I'm talking about one day and you yourself won't be able to articulate it, but you'll know that you possess it.

The pain will end. I can testify to that. There is something about taking in much of the Word during times of such great pain and "why God" times that really will make you so much stronger in the long run. There is a wisdom you'll receive during this time that can't come any other way.

God is faithful. You'll see, I promise....and I can say that by experience, not just my knowledge of the bible. He WILL come to you.
May the God of Peace sustain you with His Life and grace,
mark jr.

howiesgal said...

My dear friend, Heather, you have inspired me so much these past couple of months. Your love for Christ shines through you so brightly even now as you mourn. I am so proud to call you my friend and so blessed to have your whole family in my life.
When I awoke Sat. morning for Eric's memorial service I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want to have to go through that day and watch such a close friend say goodbye to her soulmate. But as I left the service Saturday night I could feel nothing but the Joy of the Lord inside of me! And I have felt that joy ever since. Eric touched so many lives in so many ways and he is still touching lives as he lives in Heaven.
I was thinking about last winter when Eric came and changed my flat tire in the Target parking lot. It was pouring down rain. When he got there he left his car running with heater on and told the girls and I to get in and keep warm while he stood in the rain and changed my tire. He then took me to the gas station to fill up the spare with air. After we parted he took the flat tire to the tire shop and as I pulled in to my driveway a few hours later he pulled up and delivered my new tire. As I remembered that story yesterday tears started to fill my eyes and then I thought Eric would tell me right now to stop my crying and get on with living and enjoying life! I couldn't help but be filled with God's joy again and just smile as I remembered Eric, my friend, the man who is like a brother to me and who I loved to drive crazy :o)
I am here for you friend. Whatever you need just let me know.
Love ya~Caroline

dp23 said...

Heather

I lost a wife, you lost a husband; both have gone before to glory; but the heartache (for us and the children) is the same - for the same sovereign God and loving heavenly Father has allowed the partings.

I can fully sympathise with all the "first time alone" things - going to church, going to other places, just being at home alone for the first time.

Praying that the Lord will sustain you, in the coming days of "public eye" and in the quieter times of future days. He IS gracious, He DOES see every tear and hear every cry (spoken and unspoken) - and He WILL enable you to do what in your own strength you cannot. He is there with you now; and you know that He has promised NEVER to leave you now forsake you.

May the Lord grant you a public testimony that you are kept and upheld by the love of God, and a very real sense of that peace which really does defy human explanation or understanding.

Praying for you,
David

dkt said...

Thank you for sharing your pain with us. Thank you for being open. We are praying for you often. Just like the lame man, whose friends opened the roof, let him down, and brought him before the Lord Jesus, when the man was unable to do so himself, we will continue to be your "stretcher bearers" and bring you before the Lord. Please continue to share, so we can continue to pray earnestly and specifically. We love you.

-Dianna

Pastor Paul said...

Dear Heather,
Reading your blog started tears flowing.....again. I can say after 15 months, yes our God is Sovereign and we have seen Him do such a work in our family. We lost our dear and only grandson in November of '06. Oh you can rest in your loving Father's arms.
Soli Deo Gloria

JMom said...

I just found your story and am lifting your family before the Lord. Bless you all.

Hamilton Family said...

Dear Heather,
The pain is beyond anything you've ever experienced and yet the peace of God is beyond all understanding. He promises to never leave you nor forsake you, He will not hurl you headlong He will uphold you in His righteous right hand. Rest in His blessed assurance of grace. We will continue to hold you dearly in prayer. Love, The Hamilton Family

Rebeca said...

I have been, and will be, praying for you and your dear children during this time. I am so sad for your great loss, even though I don't know you. I have visited your blog from time to time over the last year or two, rejoiced as your children came home from Liberia (I worked in an orphanage there in 1999) and now grieve with you. May our loving Father hold you all up in His strong arms.

MrsMelody said...

I am holding you up in prayer sweetie. Tears are good. The Lord will not begrudge us our tears. Remember to cling tightly to Him and all will be well.

Snickerdoodle Crafter said...
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Rebecca said...

Heather,
All I can say is thank you for sharing your story. I have truly been touched by it. The grace of God shines through your sorrow. What a testimony and inspiration you are. I have been praying for your family since I first read about Eric's healt issues in Nov. I feel as though I know you in some way...and I guess it's because we are fellow sisters in the Lord.
Rebecca

Mom_E said...

Dear Heather,

I do not know you or your dear family, but I have been praying for you (after seeing your prayer need on the McDonald's blogs).

I am thankful for your honesty here, and I am so very sorry for your pain. {{{{{HUGS}}}}}}

Many years ago I read a book written by a woman who was widowed with several children after her husband was killed in a car accident. The book is her journal of life for one year after his death. I wish I could remember the title, but I cannot. That doesn't matter, though. What I do remember is that she received advice to really let herself cry whenever she needed to. And she gave permission and her blessing to the kids so that they could do this too. Although this may have been awkward at times, it really helped her in the long run. Perhaps it might be good for you too? Just a thought.

The Lord is near to you, and I know He loves you and your children so tenderly. May He hold you closely during this storm.

With love in Christ,

Sarah

BelovedPeace said...

Oh my dear Mrs. D., *Hugs Tightly*
I am praying for you!
Much Love,
Amy

Werthegz said...

Heather and Kids,
We created a Gmail account so we could write and let you know how deeply heart broken we are for you and the children. There is not a day that goes by that we don't think about you all, and pray for you. We wanted you all to know that you are still and will continue to be in our hearts and prayers. We wish we were there with you through your pain... but we know you have many loved ones and friends to hold you up. Although I do not know the exact pain you are experiencing...I remember that "pain" in my heart when I heard that my children had lost their bio father. My heart literally hurt for them. You have been such a strong rock for all of us. Your life was and still is a testimony for us all. It is ok to cry and sob also. I always like to think of it as "cleaning out my soul".

Just one more thing.. I saw this on the back of a car, and came home and read it. Call it whatever you want..but I thought it was fitting. (Psalm 63) read it if you have time.. but vs 6&7 stood out to me. It reads: "when I remember you on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.

We love you guys so much!
Monica for the Guerrieris