Today I was asked an interesting question… “I know your husband died, so what advice would you give on how do you prepare for loss?” My quick answer was, “That’s not something anyone can prepare for!” At least in my situation where he was here one day and gone the next.
She then asked me what was one thing that I had learned before this happened that maybe didn’t prepare me for it, but helped me through it. That’s an easy answer for me. I know God lives, He loves me and hears and answers my prayers.
Then I realized I was being prepared my whole life for the death of my spouse or anything difficult that came my way. I look back throughout my life and see key experiences that helped me know my Heavenly Father lives. There have been many others and it makes me feel vulnerable to talk about such special experiences, but I will share3 of my most cherished memories:
- When I was 16 I had an experience that felt like a life-or-death situation. I said a prayer in my head and heart because I wasn’t in a position to say it out loud. I had an immediate answer to my prayer. At this very young age, I learned how strong the force of evil is, but that God is more powerful.
- The second time was when I was in my 30s and felt prompted to adopt a baby. I already had 5 children of my own and was wondering why? There were plenty of people out there who can not have children who want to adopt, so why would I take their baby- their chance away? Oh, I had a ton of reasons why I shouldn’t do this! It sounded complicated, to say the least. For 9 long months, I heard little voices saying adopt a dark baby. It felt like there was a parrot sitting on my shoulder saying, “adopt a dark baby” over and over, day after day. 9 months is long when you’re pregnant, I know this because I have done it plenty of times, but hearing thoughts in my head almost daily and the emotional, spiritual, and mental toll that took on my body was crazy. Alright already! I will adopt a dark baby. I’m happy to report it all worked out awesome and I have the cutest multi-racial daughter ever. Oh, she fills my heart! About 10 days after she was born, I was sitting on the couch staring at her beautiful eyes and a powerful feeling came over me. I knew we had been friends before this time- which had to have been in Heaven since she was brand new. We had found each other now. Wow! I was glad I had listened. On a side note- this daughter and I are so connected. She is always the one who can tell when I need an extra hug. I didn’t know anything in my life was missing until she filled it. I didn’t realize that going through 9 months of unknowing and being guided each step along the way was preparing me for more to come.
- At the age of 40, my husband went hiking one day and didn’t come home. He had done this our entire 21 years of marriage and told me never to worry. So I didn’t. Or tried not to. But the next day when he still wasn’t home it didn’t feel right. I called for searchers. I tried to fall asleep that second night and couldn’t. Sometime after midnight I finally slid off my bed onto my knees to pray. I still remember the words of my prayer because it was the most heartfelt, important prayer of my life. “Heavenly Father, if I ever needed you, I need you now.” Instantly my room was filled with hundreds of angels. WOW! I said thank you and got back in my bed. I felt safe. I felt loved. I was watched over. Unbelievably I fell asleep. Those angels continued to be with me for the next few months as I went through finding my husband’s body, the funeral arrangements, speaking at the funeral, then living as a widow with 6 children. I knew God hadn’t left me alone for this incredible life-altering experience.
So how do I prepare for loss? My new quick answer is to pray, then always listen to my intuition and do what my gut says to do- whether it was uncomfortable or not, whether it makes sense or not. People tell me I have so much faith, but I don’t think so… I know it- Heavenly Father lives. I don’t have to prepare in any other way or try to think of the worst-case scenario, because I know Him and I will make it through anything that comes my way. In God I trust.