The Day I Lied To The Internet

PIC take deep breathI lied on Instagram.

OK, maybe it wasn’t a total lie. But it wasn’t the whole truth either. When I posted a photo of the sign pictured here that hangs above the door in my garage, the words I commented with it read, “Because I love seeing this when I come home at the end of a long day.” And although that’s true, that’s not the whole truth. And it’s not even why I bought the plaque in the first place.

I bought it because of Roger. I bought it because that’s how I felt when I got to come home each day after having to go out and face the world without him. I got it because in those early months (and even first few years) following his suicide, the only place I ever really felt safe and secure was at home. Ensconced in my “cocoon.” The place where I could hide and that didn’t care if I sobbed or panicked or went insanely numb or just needed to be left alone. So I bought that plaque because it seemed to acknowledge what it took for me to get up, go out, and face each day without Roger. At the end of the day, just “take a deep breath, you’re home now.”

I could put on a brave face for the world. I could smile and sometimes laugh and even pretend I was fine and wasn’t dying on the inside. Even when I wanted to die on the inside. At least then I wouldn’t feel

It was like I became afraid of everything. Life. Work. Bearing the brunt of raising my sons alone. What Roger’s death would do to my sons. What the trauma of his suicide would do to them. What it would do to me. What it was doing to me. And finances. And holidays. And relationships. Basically, I became afraid of the world.

And I kind of hated a lot of things too. Anything that reminded me of Roger–which, ironically, was kind of everything. Anything that reminded me of what it meant to now live my life without him. Anything that reminded me of what my boys didn’t and wouldn’t have without their dad. Anything that…well, you get the idea. It really didn’t leave a lot left to like.

So what’s my point about all this and that plaque? Actually, I don’t really have one. I’m just sharing how I felt because I know that someone out there is feeling those same things. Someone else has suffered loss. Someone else has suffered traumatic loss. Someone else hurts and fears and hates and cries and hides. Someone else identifies with the small symbol of relief this sign captures — meager and fleeting though it may be.

So here’s my deal. If you need the sign, I will give it to you. Really. I don’t need it as much these days. It’s been about 4 1/2 years since Roger’s death, and time…well, let’s be honest, time doesn’t really heal all (any?) wounds. It just dulls them so you won’t be so tragically sensitive to every little thing that bumps up against them.

And there is this: Jesus. Because there was a point along my grief journey where I hit a really bad, low place. And I knew the only thing that could dig me back out again was God. And so I told Him that’s what He’d have to do–that’s what He’d have to help me do–dig out of that place. And He did. But that’s a story for another time. Just trust me, He did.

So, are you hurting deeply right now? Do you identify with the tiniest measure of temporal comfort offered in this sign? It’s yours then, but with one caveat; you have to let me tell you how God helped me turn things around. That’s all it will cost you—just one conversation of hope. And I’ll bet you anything you’re not feeling a lot of that these days. So really, you get two gifts for the ‘price’ of one.

And on any given day, when I come home at the end of it, here is what I know and believe:

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.” – Proverbs 23:18

Maybe someday someone will make a sign out of that.


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4 Comments on “The Day I Lied To The Internet

  1. Hi Debbie–I’m good friends with your sis-in-law, and I remember when you lost Roger. I was floundering through my own grieving process (my brother was killed almost 7 years ago now), and I felt very much like you did, and God definitely lifted me up and carried me through. I’m glad you’re on that “other” side of it now. Thanks for sharing your journey and for being willing to help out a fellow griever. I’ve come to realize that’s what this life is all about–walking as Jesus would have us do and helping others!


    • Stephanie, thank you for reading my post and for sharing about your loss as well. And as you say, there is often so much “floundering” through the grief process, isn’t there? I suppose that’s yet another reason God “suggests” we walk through life together, because it’s a long road and too hard to journey alone. Blessings to you.


  2. Debbie,
    I received this from a dear friend who suffers the loss of her husband as do I. I want to thank you for writing this as it was very timely for me. My husband committed suicide in May 2012. My life changed in a heartbeat as did yours. I was not home and received a text from someone that stated that he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. I prayed all the way home that this not be the night as it was not his first attempt. I always prayed that he would be there when I came home. That night something was different and as I entered my neighborhood and then my prayer changed to just give me the strength! He has and has not left me for one moment. There are times that I crawl up into his lap and he just holds me. God has been so faithful through this journey and I know that he has plans for me. It is with His Grace that I get up every morning and function. I will never be the same, but I am so blessed that God placed Eric in my life and the wonderful 18 years we had together. He loved the Lord and served him as he also loved his church and neighbors.
    I am just getting comfortable spending time in my home alone. I was keeping very busy and finding reasons to not be there. Now I am learning that there is peace and love in my home, and I am happy to return everyday.

    Sending hugs,


    • Judy, thank you for sharing your heart and your loss. I am so very sorry for your loss and the pain I know you go through because of it. And you’re right, we will never be the same, but God is still with us and He is still good and He still has a future and a hope for us. And by the way, I did eventually move (about 2 years after his death) from the home I had shared with Roger for 14 years, and though at the time it was a difficult thing to do, it has ended up being one of the best things I could have done for myself. It has been helpful because he is no longer in every nook and cranny of the “sanctuary.” He is always a part of me, but his constant memory is no longer “everywhere” in my home. Take care of yourself, and may God continue to hold you in the palm of his hand and strengthen your heart. Blessings to you.


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