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Lisa King

July 17, 2012

My bio below says I’m a “woman of faith with a zest for life.” Which is true. But this week I’ve felt anything but a zest for life. It’s been a really tough week, the toughest that I’ve had in months. It’s strange how grief can just creep up on you when you least expect it. 

As the week wore on, I felt more and more tired and rundown physically, spiritually and emotionally. By the end of the week it was obvious that I was sick with the flu and a chest infection. I could hardly move out of bed on Saturday, which meant the boys had to fend for themselves. They are not angels by any means, but they are pretty good boys, so I knew that they could entertain and feed themselves and hopefully get along long enough to allow me a few hours’ rest. 

Harri came into my bedroom (dressed up as Spiderman and all!), gave me a drink of water as I rested in bed, and said, “I’m going to clean the whole kitchen for you today, Mum, and get you whatever you want, and I promise I won’t be naughty ever again.” 

When I dragged myself out of bed a few hours later, the house looked like a bomb had gone off in it. The boys had been good at occupying themselves and getting along, but it looked like something had exploded in the kitchen, leaving a mess all over the floor, benches, and sink. I was feeling too sick to deal with it though, so I left it, took some pain killers, and went back to bed.

I knew I could have called my home teachers right then and asked them to come around to give me a blessing, but I’m such an independent person that I don’t like bothering people. I could have called my visiting teachers too, and I know my mum would’ve come and stayed if I needed her, but I’ve been used to doing so much on my own, and I like being independent. I knew we had leftovers in the fridge that we could use for dinner that night, so the boys would at least be fed, even if the kitchen was a mess.

If Aaron were alive, I would’ve been posting on Facebook that I had the “man flu,” moaning away to collect all the sympathy that I could and knowing that Aaron would be home helping me with caring for the boys, cooking, and doing housework. But without him here, I didn’t want sympathy and help, even though I probably needed it. Instead, I decided to handle things on my own as much as I could, so I didn’t let many people know I was sick.

By Saturday night, the pain killers had kicked in and I was able to get up and spend some time with the boys. The kitchen was still a mess, so I told the boys that they needed to clean it up. They “cleaned” it to their standard, but it was terrible, so I sat at the bench barking orders to them and talking them through how to clean a kitchen properly. It was then that it hit me just how much I’ve done on my own for too long. It’s often easier to just clean the kitchen myself, because I know if I let the boys do it to their standard I won’t be happy with it, and because I’m tired and grieving, and nagging the boys just takes more energy, which I don’t have much of at the moment.

By Sunday morning I was feeling a little better and decided it was time to call my home teachers.  They were of course more than happy to come around and give me a blessing, and they wished that I’d called them the day before. 

As the day wore on, I felt sadder and sadder. All I wanted was Aaron to be here. I miss him so much, and I wanted him here to help me while I was sick. I wanted him to show the boys how to clean a kitchen properly. I wanted him here because I’m tired, tired of single parenting–especially while we’re all grieving. I wanted him to give me a blessing, not my home teachers. I wanted to tell him how much I love him. By evening I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. The boys see me cry often, but they hadn’t seen me cry this much for a long time. 

Harri looked at me while I was crying and asked, “Are you crying because Daddy died?” Kobe said, “Are you sad because of Noah or Daddy, Mummy?” And Jalen came over and asked, “Do you need a hug?” and put his arms around my waist and snuggled into me. 

It’s tough when you have days or weeks like this, when you feel like the zest for life has been knocked out of you. I’m so sad that I’m known now as the woman who lost her son and then her husband three months apart. I want to be known as the woman with four boys (one of whom is very cute and in a wheelchair and has big brown eyes) and as the woman whose husband is very funny and an awesome dad and teacher. 

I want to be back to my old life when I was tired from caring for Noah, not tired from being a single mum who is also grieving. I don’t want to be visiting two graves. I want to wake up to seeing Aaron eating his breakfast while reading the sports section of the newspaper, before he leaves early for work. I want to watch the clock and come out when Noah’s bus pulls up outside our house after school, so I can go out and meet him and see what kind of day he had. I want to look forward to four-thirty in the afternoon as it was when Aaron would walk in the door after work, and would drop everything for the boys and would listen to all my stories as I told him about my day—even though he was tired. I want to be able to steal a nap on the couch with Aaron in the afternoons while the boys play around us. 

This week I don’t want to hear, “It’s wonderful to know that you will be with them again,”’ or “Families are forever.”  I do believe those things, but it doesn’t take away the pain that I’m feeling right now. It doesn’t take away the aching loneliness that no friend or family member can ever fill entirely. It doesn’t take away the questions in my head. Why now? Why couldn’t he just stay for a few years after Noah passed away? Why Aaron? Why does he get to be with Noah while I’m left to pick up the pieces?

I feel like I’ve lost my zest right now, and I’ve spent the weekend thinking about how life just isn’t fair. I hate feeling like this, but I know it will pass. I’m hoping and praying that as my health improves, my mental, physical, and spiritual energy will also return, and I will be once again ready to take on whatever comes my way.

Lisa King is a woman of faith with a zest for life who loves photography, chocolate, helping children with special needs and being a mum. TOFW first met Lisa at the Sydney, AU event in July 2011. We have been amazed at her ability to SEEK THE GOOD thru the trials that have come her way, including unexpectedly losing her son and husband within 4 months of each other. Lisa was born and raised, and continues to live in the beautiful area of Tasmania, AU and looks forward to the day when she can introduce her boys to Rexburg, Idaho, USA, where she has incredible memories of a year at college before returning to Australia where she met and married her sweetheart, the late Aaron King.

Photo by Alana Aston Photography