This is the next in our series The First Moments.
It can be difficult to be in the location where we lost our spouses. For Teresa, her husband was killed on a country road in a motorcycle accident. In Jeni’s case, her husband passed in front of the shed in the backyard. For a long time, even looking at the shed was difficult. This part of her world still sometimes causes emotions to flow.
We were excited when we moved into our new home. It was large enough for us to build a family and sat in the middle of 2 acres. Our first project was to build a fence around the backyard to allow our dog, Shadow, room to explore. Next, Bob wanted to build a shed to hold all of the outdoor tools. So, he and I started to work on building this shed. First it was the concrete posts, then the floors, the walls and finally, the roof. Our dog Shadow even got into the building of the shed. He would climb up the ladder to where Bob was working on the roof. Then, Bob would have to come down the ladder carrying our 50+ pound dog as he would not climb down himself. These are good memories of the shed. We were very proud of what we had built together.
On November 28, 2007, our shed took on a different significance. On that date, I came home from work and found Bob lying in front of that shed we had built together. I fell to my knees by his side into the rocks he had just spread and began desperately trying CPR to bring him back to us. It was there, in front of that shed, that I lost him and my world changed.
Three days after that night, I would realize that there were rocks embedded in both my hands and my knees from when I fell beside him. I had been numbed by the shock of the loss and didn’t even notice them.
So, now our shed that we had built together became a place of great loss and pain. For a few years, I would avoid even being in the backyard where the shed resides. I didn’t even want to look at the place where I had lost him. I definitely did not want to walk near or in it. It took me years to get to where I would walk up to or even into the shed. There were times when I would try to work up the nerve. There were tools in there…items we needed to use. I would try…I would gather courage, go outside and then…nope, that is not happening today.
Though I did get to where I could go to the shed, I did very little to maintain it. I allowed the grass to grow up around those blasted rocks. There are now stones in front of the shed. We put them there to make it easier to get things in and out of the shed. I waited until the last minute possible to take a picture of it to share with you all. When I finally took the picture for this blog, I realized those blasted stones are situated in the location where I found him on that cold November day.
Today, I rarely go into the shed. It was something we were both very proud of…we had built it together. Yet, it is the place where our world drastically changed in an instant. I go there when I have to get something and I cannot get someone else to do it for me.. I still feel uncomfortable in that place in our yard. It will forever be the place where everything changed in an instant.
We all have different first moments that are etched into our souls. Our hope is that our stories of our first moments will provide you hope and comfort. If you have a first you experienced that we missed in our list of topics, please let us know. We would be happy to write about a topic you need to hear about. We invite you to give us a story to include if you like to share.
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Peace & Blessings,
Jeni & Teresa
PS: For additional support you can download our free copy of 10 Ways to Move Forward After Loss
Torn in Half: The First Days as a resource for the first days after a loss – available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.