Jun 24 8:50am – It has been four days. The morning – from around 5am to 8am – seems the hardest. My emotions and intellect are tossed like a row boat on a hurricane sea. Sometimes high up on the crest of a wave and seeing the shore far in the distance through the clouds and squalls. Sometimes very low in the ocean trench seeing only huge, insurmountable black sea walls all around. Being with family and friends and enjoying their company and their tasty meals and receiving their encouragement and condolences is very healing. I find, though, the tears and sobs are healing, too. They come often and hard and last for minutes at a time, but they pass. And I feel just ever so slightly cleansed – and then I try to rest in weary anticipation of the next round. But I do not fear the tears. They are my uncomfortable friend, I think. I suspect we will partner together for a long time. My need, I think, is to walk the path of grief in a healthy and intentional way. I know the path will be difficult and scars will remain from the wounds I receive. I know my path will wind through memories, pictures, smells, colors, and so many other lovely tidbits I associate with Regina and our time together. But I want to do this well – God has blessed me with over 30 years of living with and for Regina. We enjoyed wonderful kids and family and adventures and challenges. After so many blessings, God is not going to leave me or anyone else out to dry – I am confident. He promised, too. I want to live and give life and love to others – if not for any other reason than to honor my love and care for Regina and what she did for all of us. Ahead I foresee very hard days and nights, loneliness, loss of some identity, and significant changes in simple day-to-day living. But I can do this because God will provide and because Regina loved me and because I am still alive in this world – and this world is an amazing and beautiful place. Please love those around you. Give them your attention. Afford them your time. And have faith in an all-powerful but all-empathizing God. If you will, please walk with me. I will need you for perhaps many months and years. And along the way, we will celebrate Regina in our laughter and in our tears.