The Strange New Land Called Grief

I’ve traveled to many faraway lands, but always just for trips with home at the other end. But recently I find myself living in a strange land even though I’m still in the town that has been home for 38 years.

What turned my home town into a strange new land? The answer is both simple and sad. My lover, best friend, and soul mate went to our eternal home after fifty years of marriage. I tell myself it was time, he is now well and happy, we had a rich, full life filled with wonderful times.

Adora 1

My brain gets it, but my aching heart hasn’t caught up yet, so I wander around in this strange new land trying to get acclimated.

In this new place I only make half the bed. I buy a quart of milk rather than a half gallon, I pet the dog twice as much to fill in the missing petting from his master. I take out the garbage and gas up the car.

Different lands bring different customs as you all know. Some things are not different, however. I cling to my dear friends and I hope you seek out good friends wherever you are. I plan my days to stay active and get outside and mingle with others. Isolation would be easy, but not healthy. I strive to handle times alone but not be lonely. I read uplifting books and talk to God a lot.

If you’re married, Lord willing, you will face many more years with the men God placed you with. Cherish the time and make each day count. Make sure every day includes “I love you’s”. Eat by candlelight at least once a week. Put love notes in his lunch. Pick fresh flowers for the table. Fry his egg in a piece of bread with a heart cut out the middle. Hug a little tighter.

adora 2a

My husband and I had a 50 year love affair doing all these little things, leaving me with no regrets. I want to encourage you not to be one who looks back with “I should have…” If even one of you draws a little closer to your husband today, this bit of writing will not have been in vain.

I truly believe writing is healing, so putting these thoughts from my heart to yours has been therapeutic, a way for me to journey in the strange new land called grief.

Are you journeying in a strange land?  How are you doing?


Photo Credit: Let Ideas Compete via Compfight cc


  1. Danielle Wheeler June 26, 2014

    Thank you for your beautiful story, Adora.  I heard that your husband’s memorial service was held while he was still alive and that it was an incredible, honoring tribute to him.  Thank you for sharing the beauty of your lives with us. Aching for the grief you live with now.  Thank you for the reminder to cherish the time and make each day count.

  2. Karen Dueppen June 26, 2014

    Thank you for those sweet words of encouragement Adora. I so appreciate that in the midst of grieving, you can bring wisdom and encouragement to others and do it so beautifully. I see you following Alan’s advice…you are definitely keeping calm and carrying on!

  3. Debbie June 26, 2014

    What precious memories and yes, this has made me want to love my husband more.

  4. Emmy June 26, 2014

    This is so beautiful and touched my heart today. I hope you keep writing about your husband and your journey in grieving. 50 years of in a loving marriage is something I will always want to read about!  I will go to bed a more thankful wife tonight. Thanks for sharing this precious piece of your life with us!

  5. Amy Young June 26, 2014

    You have entered a “strange new land” — as much as many of us wish we didn’t have to visit it, thanks for the “live report.”

  6. Patty Stallings June 26, 2014

    Thank you, Adora, for this reminder to enjoy and cherish the people we love while we can! I am with my dear dad this week. We lost my mom in March, and it’s just so good to be together to remember her and enjoy being together with him.

  7. Jennifer June 27, 2014

    Thank you for sharing from your heart. One of the friends I lost this year, who had been my most significant encourager and challenger for a long time, I realized when I actually thought about, I had known in one way or another since I was 8 years old… So when she died I had known her for 42 years… and been a friend, for 30 years, from early in my time at university. She was much older than me, and had spent upwards of 40 years in translation work in PNG. I actually first came to know her most closely after their “retirement” when they spent most of the year back in Australia. Part of me is not looking forward to going back this summer, because I know that she will not be there…and I know that will be hard.  She was the closest and most significant of the losses of people to me, but actually there are 4 just in my closest circle in the 2 1/2 years since I was last back in my home church.

    1. Jennifer June 27, 2014

      Actually that should be 5. 4 in that context and in the last month, my aunt, my mother’s sister, who had been since my mother’s death 10 years ago, the person I was closest to in my immediate family. I know I have not begun to process that yet. Too much else already.

  8. Carolyn June 28, 2014

    Thank you so much, Adora, for sharing your beautiful story.  It makes me want to cherish each day I have with my husband of 8 years and our three wonderful kids … the preciousness of life was brought home to me reading your story.  I especially appreciated the perspective God is giving you on your grief being a new land to navigate and become accustomed to… such a helpful way of seeing it.  Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your heart with us!

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