Gravestones and Social Security

Written: Dec 12, 2015

Sitting here in a quiet house thinking and reflecting on this last week. Today was a beautiful day, and I was so blessed to be able to see my two oldest brothers, David and Steve, who came to Tennessee to hug on me and see Dad’s new apartment. All five of us (plus two out-laws, Mark and Kerry) had a great dinner at my sister’s tonight and just spent time telling stories, remembering and laughing. God has a way of giving us comfort though laughter and family.

The death of a spouse leads you down a path of experiences you could never dream of happening. One of which happened to me at the Social Security office, of all places. As the very kind man took all the information he needed to process my claim, he handed me a print out for me to check before he submitted it. It has things like Raouf’s name, date of birth, our wedding date, and then it read, “date marriage ended” followed by the date of his death. I looked at it, not saying anything to the man, but almost unable to control my emotions at the thought that a printed piece of paper could tell me my marriage was over because my husband was now with the Lord. Of course, I know legally and even biblically, this is true, but let me tell you — it was hard to read or accept.

The second weird thing that happened this week was that I had to “proof read” the layout of our gravestone. It was one thing to see the love of my life’s name, date of birth and death carved in stone (on paper), but it was another to see my own name laid out in preparation for the inevitable. I thought, wow, now I know death will come at any time — my name’s already written down! Then, I thought again, and asked myself, “how have I lived?” That is still giving me food for thought.

So, to end this weird week with both the arrival of my sons and a reunion with my siblings was a blessing. Where this road of grief leads, I do not know, but I know that there is One who has gone before me who knows both my struggles and provides moments of refreshing and comfort to get me through what is to come. Thank you Jesus.

Grace and Peace

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