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. . . just wait until tonight, girl. Mr. Womack surely put his heart and soul into those lyrics, and they’ve defined the weeks since my husband’s passing. During the day, it’s a bit easier to fill my time because I’ve returned to work. My head isn’t really in the game, but I’ve got a super supportive boss and great colleagues. Outside of work, I’ve got Little TDJ, my family, friends and a village of others to fill the minutes. In the evenings, once our household is settled in for the night, the darkness starts to invade my head. The loneliness pushes in from the edges of my heart and fights to take control. It hurts to reflect upon my work day and want to share something a coworker did or said, but not have him to share it with. It’s heart wrenching to see a show that we loved to watch together on the preview guide and not be able to force myself to watch it alone. It is so painful to think of a funny joke that we’ve shared for years, and not have him there to deliver his part of the punch line. Sometimes I can look down upon my son’s sleeping face and feel a few moments of comfort, but that is short-lived and followed by the desire to share the highlights of his school day with his father. **sigh** The endless hours of reflection and thought during the midnight hours remind me of how deep my loss is. The stillness of the night allows my mind to drift, dream and remember. In the hours before dawn, even my best memories come coated in sadness. The good memories all begin with smiles and joy, then they change stained by the inevitable fact that I don’t have my other half to make any more. MrTDJ isn’t there to laugh at my corny jokes and I can’t laugh at his crude ones. I’m not the first person to lose their friend, love mate and spouse and unfortunately, I won’t be the last. This is a pain that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. I continue to pray my own strength and I receive the collective strength from those that are praying for me. Your calls, texts, emails, FB messages and blog messages mean more than I could ever tell you. Thank you for not stopping even when I don’t respond. Know that none are falling upon deaf ears. Sometimes the communication comes when I’m in a “good” place and stepping out to confirm to someone that I’m good makes me not so good. I hope that makes sense. Sometimes the communication comes when I’m in a not so good place and although I’m lifted that someone is thinking of me, I’m not able to compose myself enough to respond. I printed the following lyrics from Yolanda Adams, The Battle Is Not Yours and I taped them inside my husband’s wallet, which I have been carrying inside my purse since the morning he passed away. There is no pain Jesus can’t feel No hurt He cannot heal All things work according to His perfect will No matter what you’re going through Remember God is using You For the battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s But at night, even these words aren’t able to help me through the painful tightening in my chest. Lonely is something I’m not used to feeling and it hurts more than I could ever imagine. Conventional wisdom says that one day it will begin to hurt less. I doubt I’m anywhere near that day.

Taya Dunn Johnson,


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