No one wants to join it. It is suddenly thrust upon a person. You fight it, you resist it, but you are part of it nonetheless. The Widow’s Club.
Only those who have previously joined this Club can truly relate to newcomers. What makes it more difficult for us who are long-time members is remembering: reliving the moments after we were thrust into the Club kicking and screaming. We know her pain. We grieve for her. Along with all those who love her, we want to alleviate her pain, but experience tells us that’s nearly impossible.
My friend Cindy Limbrick just joined the Club. One moment she was hearing “I love you” from her husband, Chuck, and in a blink, he was gone. A gifted, strong man with talent many of us long for. Musically, he could sing, write, and play almost any instrument—all self-taught. He entertained us. He lifted our hearts in worship to our Savior… the same great God who allowed an error behind the wheel to end his life. And although not true, for her it may for a while feel like the end of her life, as well.
Her family and friends offer condolences. We offer our help. We feel helpless. Sadly, it’s her journey. We come alongside with hugs, empathetic tears, practical help, words of comfort, or no words at all. We pray, we weep. That’s all we can do. That’s helpful, comforting. Still we grieve. We want our friend to be happy again. But it’s going to be quite a while before she’s “back.” Sure, she’ll laugh again. There will be brief moments where she forgets she’s in the Club. Then the truth will come crashing in and take her breath away.
Yet, she will again create her art, offer her gifts to others as she always has. But the part of her heart that belonged to him will not heal quickly. Deep abiding marital love doesn’t end when a life here on earth does. She will cling to the hope of the promises of God, ensuring a sweet reunion with him one day.
Cindy is a woman of grace. She has learned to lean on Jesus. She will continue to lean, because she knows He is her only true source of comfort. He gives her the grace to go on and to keep trusting in Him whose love for them brought them together in the first place. For their joy. For His purposes. And His glory.
The following is her first Facebook post since she lost him 3 days ago. This, my friends, is a picture of grace, of how God carries His faithful ones in their sorrow.
“To my dear friends and family who have called, texted, posted photos/memories with Chuck…I have read them all in the quiet of my moments these past couple of days. Your prayers are felt and much needed as each day reveals a new reality I don’t want nor care to be in. There are moments of tears and pain where I feel as though I’m drowning…and moments of soft smiles when I remember the laughs and the silliness of each we lived. Chuck was and is my world. We believe God authored our story…from chapter one to the present I now find myself in. Those chapters are filled line by line with moments of love, messiness, laughter and grace. We are two imperfect people who found themselves in the perfect story of God…and it is not over. Chuck fills my heart and there are no words to describe the depth in which I miss him but there are no regrets as our last words over the phone were “I love you”. Words we said often and knew to be truth about each other.”
I thank God for the hope of eternal life. Where all things are made new. Chuck knew His Savior. His story is complete.
She is starting a new chapter. May God fill her with peace, hope, and sweet memories of her beloved.
I pray she will be encouraged by Isaiah 25:8-9:
“He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, ‘Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”