I’m going to be careful, I promise.
You didn’t think I was going to talk about such delicate topics. Did you? Well, grief forces a lot of decisions, topics, and contemplations. Some topics you probably would tell me you’ll never have to think about. I’m telling you that you—or your spouse—will have to think about these tender topics one day.
I’ve broached a lot of topics that I never thought I’d face. I’ll never forget the day my oldest son, Paul, talked to be about pornography. My son talking to me? It was a mere ten days after Kim’s death, and he wanted to make sure I had safeguards in place. Nine weeks after Kim’s death, I had to read an autopsy. To understand the report, I had numerous conversations with various doctors. Later, I had to go through all of Kim’s belongings. A year after her death, my kids and their spouses returned to mark the one-year anniversary with me. We went through all her clothing. The length you are forced to go is surprising. Most likely, you’ve never thought of these topics in the way I have unless you’ve lost someone very special.
I’ll try to be careful.
A week or so before my children came to go through Kim’s clothing, I realized there was something much too personal and intimate not to consider ahead of time. And I needed to figure it out alone. I may be judged for even writing about it. But go back to my introduction, Welcome to My Intense Schoolhouse: An Introduction, and you’ll read that I found there are a lot of aspects to grief that we don’t talk about. And we should. We should face loss. We have the gospel. We have the answer to brokenness. We should be able to talk about difficult subjects in gospel hope.
Even lingerie. Private. Intimate.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled…” Hebrews 13:4
Over coffee one day, a fellow grief journeyer heard me share about this painful contemplation I had to face. He encouraged me to include this experience in my writings.
I resisted the idea.
However, God invented intimacy, so I need to be able to talk about it.
But again, I’ll be careful.
So, what was the question before me? What do I do about her lingerie? Again, some things you never think about until you are forced to think about them. Grief does that to you a lot. And you’d better give grace and not judge me until you’re walking in those same shoes. Believe me, grief forces you to contemplate choices you never would dream of having to consider.
I mean, think about the options with me. Go through it with my kids? Nope. Give the lingerie to Goodwill? No way! Throw it away? I’m not going to dispose of it as if it were garbage. Not going to do it. Take it somewhere and dispose of it in some other manner? It’s just not practical. It was a dilemma. A painful contemplation. I wrestled with this predicament. I thought about it and processed the options. And one day I knew what I had to do. I decided there were no other viable alternatives to consider.
I burned the lingerie.
Almost ceremoniously. Not like burning an idol, I promise you. It was an act of respect. Acknowledging we were in a covenant only ended by death, as in our marriage vows.
So, I built a fire in my back yard and spent some time alone burning everything of Kim’s that could be considered intimate apparel. It was a time to honor the beauty of marriage and oneness. It was a time to take an important step. It was a time to address a difficult decision with grace and hope. It was a special time. It was a difficult time. It was a healthy, Kim-honoring, God-honoring, and healing step. Another of the many dimensions to loss that need to be processed. Yes, on a journey when you’re facing loss, you have to consider some difficult, painful, and tender contemplations. Even lingerie.
There. I did it. And I did it carefully.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Raw……………I remember Dad asking me to give Mom’s things to goodwill…………….it broke me.
I pray someone will love me enough to pay the same respect as you did to Kim. Thank you for being so transparent in this mess of grief.
Thank you, Annette! It is, indeed, a painful contemplation.
Just got to take a moment to comment….. as I was reading your contemplations, I was thinking, ” Burn it…..as an offering and sacrifice before the Lord….as a remembrance of honor, but a season that is passed and will never be shared with another….burn it.” And then, I continued reading….and I smiled, yet with compassion for you in that grief and moment of total surrender and “letting go.” Grateful to hear and read that the Lord has given you grace and joy anew now.
Amen! Thanks for commenting and confirming I made the right choice!
You honored her well… privacy was enormously important to her. She reminded her friends of the need for this principle in her life. We are grateful!
Yes, Linda…she often coached others. I hope you and Rick are well…
Precious, God-honoring and tearful. This was a beautiful tribute to Kim and to God.
Thank you for your courage and for for being obedient to God’s leading.
Our hugs and prayers!
Thank you, Jan! I am grateful for your prayers! What a journey it has been.
Wow. Love ya bro. Thank you for transparency. A fitting way to honor your wife, close a chapter and begin anew. Grateful for you.
Thank you, Chris! I hope things are well in your part of NC!
Somehow I knew that was what you were going to do even before you got there. Sweet solution! I am doing well at this time and God has provided my every need.
Thanks, Elaine. Keep me up-to-date! God does give sufficient grace, every morning mercies, and surpassing peace!
D. Ray, Thanks again for a testimony of love, grief and ultimately hope. Love you brother!
Thank you, Joe…you were a man I could go to with my grief. You were used to comfort and encourage me.
You are amazing, love you brother, thank you for dealing with the hard topics.
Thank you, Tim. We love you, too!
Just read this yesterday, and wow. It caught me by surprise, although I have thought in the past what would happen to my lingerie if I passed away? Who would go through it? I wouldn’t want anyone to go through it. What a brave and kind thing to do to. You protected and honored Kim in her life, and even in her death. This post is a beautiful picture of the kindness and honor you have shown to precious Kim. Thank you.
Thank you, Anonymous! I had one goal in my journey…to honor God and Kim. His healing has come from walking this journey.
This was Leigh Ann.
Thank you, Leigh Ann!