“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” -Psalm 34:18
Ever since hearing the news of a local firefighter that lost his life battling the blaze I couldn’t quite put my sorrow into words. As news reports came out we learned that he left behind a wife, daughter and another daughter on the way; my spirit felt crushed. My grief continued throughout the holidays knowing this would be their first time without him and it left a hole in my heart. I decided to finally sit down and write a letter, a letter to the wife that could have been any one of us fire wives, including myself.
Dear Fire Wife Widow,
You don’t know me, but I have wept tears for you. I have spent many nights crying just thinking about you. Although we have never met, we share the same family. We are both part of the fire family. I too am a fire wife and my biggest fear became your reality not so long ago.
So what could I possibly say that could help you feel comforted in your time of despair? Possibly nothing. There is a chance that absolutely nothing I write to you will help. But I am going to try anyways because that is what family does.
Here are some things I know for sure…
Your husband is a hero and the sacrifice he made will never be forgotten. Even though the flames of the fire have been put out, the embers of his life still burn within us all. Whenever someone lays down his life for another is a hero, but one that does it on a daily basis is beyond compare. Your husband made the ultimate sacrifice and for that we are rendered speechless.
YOU are a hero. You may not feel like it, but every day that you wake up and go on living you are a hero to all of us. Every day that you put one foot in front of the other, get dressed, put some resemblance of a smile on your face to bring joy to your kids, you are a hero to us and to them.
You have a fire family that is here to support you through this dark time. We may not understand the pain that you are going through but if you ever want or need to talk or just need a shoulder to cry on, we are all here. We want you to know that you are not alone and we want to help. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to let us know what you need, even if it’s a pint of rocky road ice-cream with a side of pickles.
It is ok to be sad; it is said that “tears are prayers too. They travel to God when we can’t speak.” (Psalm 56:8) He tells us to come to Him “all who are weary and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
But also know that your husband would want you to be happy again. When your little ones do something funny or you think of a happy memory, it is ok to feel joy again. He would not want you to feel sad forever. He loves you and wants you to experience all of life’s blessings, even if he can’t be right next to you here on earth. So when you watch a beautiful sunset you can remember him and know you will be together again one day, but until then, try to embrace all that life still has to offer you here and now.
Also remember this; “what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.” (Romans 8:18) I pray and know in my heart that the God of all creation really does have something so wonderful to reveal to you in His perfect timing. I also pray that these words will be a blessing to you in some small way.
All my love to you, my fellow fire wife.