Slicing beef for fajitas in our kitchen, I lean against the counter and cry. His face framed in my memory. His laugh forever frozen in time.

Later, we go to his grave. The dirt is still wet and uneven. Too new for a stone. Tim and I stand there, in sunglasses, with questions shaking our hearts.

We see a kid in Army fatigues outside of Ace Hardware. Blonde hair. Young. I stare, then turn to peer out the glass - remembering that same exact uniform.

On most nights, we stay awake too late - whispering, remembering, holding the sheets to our faces.

It happened on Groundhog Day 2012. The groundhog saw his shadow. An extended winter. That's what it felt like for us too.

grief 1 grief 2

In loving memory of Stephen Sheaffer

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22 comments on “grief”

  1. I love the first comment, the 2-2-2 rule. Some say time heals all wounds. But I don't believe that, time makes them hurt less, but it still stings. I know what your going through, it's not a fun club to belong to. All we can do is hold on to all God's promises and know that he will be there with us.
    Sorry friend, I will be praying for your healing and loss.

  2. extending our sympathy to you too, praying strength into your days, peace into your hearts and the closeness of family and love during this extended winter.

  3. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family at this great loss... even claiming the promises of Scriptures, it is truly so hard to say goodbye... what a beautiful tribute this post is...

  4. There is so much emotion in your words. I can only imagine how hard is was to have to say goodbye and now moving forward with him being gone...

    I am so sorry for you and Tim and thinking/praying for you as you deal with the hard job of heart healing.

  5. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this time. The pain and heartache seem unbearable at times, but what a wonderful promise we have to cling to. Someday (though someday seems too far away at times), we WILL see our loved ones again, with a new joy. To see the face of our Savior, AND our loved ones gone, now new and perfect... Nothing could be better!
    Until then, know you are in the prayers of many. May His peace comfort you during this difficult time.

  6. Stephanie and Tim~my prayers are with you and your family. I am so very sorry to hear about your brother.

  7. I can only imagine. I still think of you guys often... and pray for mercy, strength, for love, peace... and for healing, tho it might be a long road.

  8. Bless your heart & soul. May your happy memories overcome your sadness. Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

  9. Stephanie, I am so very sorry for your loss. The first person is right that the loss never leaves you. I will be praying for your family and especially your husband. God bless you guys as you get through such a difficult time.

  10. That picture of Tim & his brother when they were younger is priceless.

    Someone told me once she treats grief as a 2-2-2- rule: for the first 2 weeks, all you do is get through it. Do the horrible, awful things you have to do when someone dies, and don't worry about anything else.

    For about 2 months after they died, you slowly start to resume your routines and get back into your life, but it'll be hard. You'll feel out of step with the world- since yours just crashed, and how is it that everyone else's is still spinning? But you keep trying and allow yourself to deal with the grief when it comes, and in whatever ways you need to.

    And then slowly, around about the 2 year point, life becomes a new normal. Not like it was before- it won't ever be like it was before. But you're used to missing them, that's part of your routine now. You've established ways of remembering them, have some experience in dealing with the "dark" days that come up- their birthday, the day of their homegoing, holidays. The really, really hard days are fewer and farther between, and you're a bit more used to dealing with them, too.

    But oh, it's hard. The promise of heaven is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

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