They say that pain is a prison. It (pain) can trap and suffocate you and it doesn’t matter which direction you look, each wall in that prison cell look the same and each wall has the words “NO HOPE” written on the four corners inside your world.
Today marks FIVE years of my wonderful, amazing husband Brent Yim’s passing from this life to ETERNAL LIFE. I remember most of that day. Some who were there may remember it differently than I do but I remember laying right next to him on that awful hospital bed in our very own bedroom and his breathing got more and more intense but less and less until finally that last bit of air from his lungs came out. It was surreal. As if I was living someone else's nightmare. I yelled to my mom to give him CPR and began to hit my father-in-law for turning off the breathing machine then made him turn it back on. I don’t know why I did any of those things I guess maybe there was a little bit of “hope” left in me that it would bring him back to me……… bring him back to our boys and to his family.
But it didn’t.
Death had crept in and taken…..and it stung. It stung more than words could ever try to explain and so began that last five years without him. Truly my BEST FRIEND, father to our babies, my provider, my protector, my pastor, my entire life……… was just taken.
I often wonder what life would look like today if Brent were still here. I dream about having that family I once had and maybe even have had a fuller house. With more children and laughter and wonder if the boys would be who they are now without a Dad or would they be different? I picture Brent coaching our boy’s soccer team and wishing it wasn't just always me at the games or school functions or karate practice or the only one correcting my kids. I wish I had Brent to bounce my ideas off with or just have someone ask me, “how was your day today.” I miss feeling secure in that I have back up if I need. Micah, my youngest, told me yesterday, “Mom, when I see other kids and their dads it makes me sad. I wish I could have my dad.” Not to make it all depressing because life has come back to us to a certain degree, but I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you it’s been really hard.
Some may wonder if I’ve “moved forward” whatever the heck that means, I want to ask, “Sooooooooo, what is it that you think I’ve been doing for 5 years?” What is moving forward in YOUR eyes? Is it me getting married again? Is it not ever talking about Brent again? How does moving forward look to YOU because to me it’s learning to to re-live all over again and sometimes that takes a while to learn and adjust to. I’m living. Grief is a process for sure and I may be a little bit slower at accepting it all (I’m a little slow at a lot of things haha) but I don’t just burst into tears anymore when I say his name, even with the sad unforgettable memories I have with him.
I’m not a super human. I have made really stupid decisions in my grief especially when the dark clouds of depression surrounded me like a flipping thunderstorm that wouldn’t go away, I have had feelings of bitterness and anger….. the thoughts of losing my husband, my church, friendships and even material possessions are at times too overwhelming for me to just walk around as if I’m completely ok and normal, I’m actually a little crazier than before, which is scary LOL but I also have made some really courageous steps in life.
I have learned to FIGHT against the feelings I’ve never experienced before and I haven’t become a slave to them but rather walked myself through them and I STILL have to. I have learned to be more gracious towards others and my eyes and heart see in a different light than ever before.
I have first and foremost been a mommy. Not sure how I actually could have survived without my little lambs. I have sucked it up and am working full time (yeah yeah I understand that’s what people do, but give me a break…. it’s not what I PERSONALLY am used to. Plus no one likes waking up at the butt crack of dawn ;-) I’ve been a stay at home mom and wife for years!!!) I am going back to school full time because I have finally realized and accepted the fact that it’s just me and just my provision for myself, Jaiden and Micah.
We run around like any other “normal” family and my kids have soccer games and do homework and get grounded just like most kids :-) BUT this single parenting thing, although I’ve got most of it under control, isn’t what any of us wanted or wants. We are living a semi-normal life and GOD HAS BEEN THERE WITH US EVERY SINGLE STEP OF THE WAY. AND HE TRULY HAS BEEN GOOD IN WAYS I WOULD NEVER IMAGINE. I am so incredibly thankful for the people in our lives who allow us the opportunity to laugh with and live with so that we can feel a little bit of wholeness.
At some point I have escaped that prison cell and the room has gotten a bit brighter and the walls have the words “hope” written on them. NOT because anything this world gives me, as a matter of fact I think those prison walls try to trap me more now than the first years of his death but because I know GOD IS MY HOPE and eternal life is my ultimate place of destination, I daily remind myself of HIS promises that say heaven will be greater than pain we can experience on this earth.
I could never imagine living without knowing that when I die I have something to look forward to. I read about the birds, the sparrow and how God looks down and sees that sparrow and somehow he always has food and shelter and safety. If God cares about the birds of the air, how much more does He care for us. How much more does he look down and see every tear and every smile and every need. Life isn't a walk in the park. Nor was it intended to be. But life can be joyful when you begin to bury the things that you can’t help, let go of the things that bring you down and distract you and embrace what is in front of you. To have FULLNESS to live.
Eventually the clouds lifted and I can see the sun peeking through. I don’t know what lies ahead and sometimes fear creeps in on the what-if possibilities but they don’t scare me like they used to. Seasons change. God has given a supernatural strength that can’t be shaken and that giant hole in my heart is becoming more full again with new memories of my life with just me and my two crazy wonderful boys.
Jaiden and Micah are both doing well. I mean, you know, when they are not spitting on each other, arguing with me or being little sassy pants …they are great. I’m pretty sure they are both as sarcastic as their daddy and both have a love and passion inside them like their dad. BUUUUTTTT you can pray for my sanity raising two boys hahaha it’s like trying to read a recipe for a food you’ve never tasted before upside down!!! Like how the heck do you do it. The other day they asked the good ole question no parent wants to ever answer. And I just laughed it was so uncomfortable, but I did it and they probably think I’m so weird and I’m pretty sure I traumatized them to ever want to get married.
Today, 5 years later, this is where we are. The 3 little sparrows Brent left behind. We miss him and hold him so close to our hearts. My life is so full because I was married to him and for those 10 years I am eternally blessed and grateful. I pray for those of you reading this you would be appreciative of those around you and hold them a little closer today. That you would ask yourself if you were to die today where is it that you would be. Do you have peace or joy? I know too well how easy it is to let life circumstances bring you low, but when you get up and keep fighting you come out GREAT. And to be GREAT isn’t so bad :-) Thank You for following this journey with us.