What's Different?

Anita Helm


A Message of Hope and Encouragement During Grief



As a new widow, I don’t get asked much anymore how I am doing with the loss of William, my husband of 23 years.  It’s been months and counting toward two years, so people tend to think I and the family are over it.  No one  gets over an earthquake after you have time to go through the first few months of the rubble. 

If asked, I am truthful with the reply that I am better.  But...Why I am better? How am I better?  How long did it take to feel like I’m better?  Questions, questions, and more questions that for each and every one of us grieving is totally our own story and answer. 

Yes I know the LORD and my faith have tremendously helped, but what’s up with the process?   What’s different?  As I pondered, I created yet another blog for not just my introspection, but other’s visibility into a canyon that many of us face and many of us don’t want to bare our souls to the masses.  I’m not so different, but I learn and grow by giving. 

So what about the adage time heals all wounds?  Does it?  The cracks and gaps in my heartbreak didn’t heal mysteriously because of clock strokes!   Work was undertaken during the process.

From my vantage point for Anita 2.0, the what’s different isn’t the clock, but ME!  I am different.  The Anita at the loss of William is not the Anita giving you this perspective.  Yes in some respect, I am an outward twin of myself, but nothing is entirely the same on the inside.   Even the depths of my faith have had fissures that have been reinforced where there were impact shocks from the earthquake of this change. 

Anita 2.0 has spiraling differences that I would like to compare visually to a wooden staircase vs. an electronic escalator.  Yes, both are stairs giving the ability to go up and down by movement.  The gaping difference is MOVEMENT.  Death and grief requires movement, change, reversals, forward motion depending upon if the mechanisms around you indicate upward or downward motion. 

People don’t really know how best to address you as you are figuring out the directions that the change in your centrifugal force is going.  Are you feeling up today?  or you feel like DAMN – this hurts and you want a mulligan on getting up and at it again. 

What’s different is that Anita that misses William, misses the less than obvious.  I loved him being a lot of things in my existence and I could rattle off the typical, but the biggest is I miss my friend.  My listening ear.  All the other parts of the relationship I repeat, I sorely miss, but the friendship is one that is a start from scratch and a true erector set of give and take. 

I’m not one of those pie in the sky, that has a desire, any desire or inclination that I will  even look for a clone of William D.  He’s in heaven and GOD has better things for him than come back here for me.  He did his gig and he’s rejoicing up there doing GOD’s agenda.  There is no marriage in heaven, so I don’t have any fallacy of us having a “Just the Two of Us” moment reunion behind the bleachers of the heaven. 

 If I can, I want to describe how I have centered in on the differences that may or may not match up to anything in your life experience.  Here goes:  Because of this systemic shift in my life with my guy’s transition, I have totally new expectations for Anita 2.0.  There are new fibers in what I want for my final chapters.  I have benefited from time, reflection, ebb and flows of emotional cratering and cementing up that have made me focus and look into the parts that did not truly withstand the 8.9 on the rector and the aftershocks on my identity.  The LORD had a great healing balm in in putting spiritual rebarb in some hidden spaces that experienced stress fractures. 

During the course of my healing, I have tried to share and be transparent in my teachings and talks to expose myself and praise HIM during the process.   I also have to give a great grand gesture of thanks and praise to so many brothers and sisters in ministry on YouTube.  Man oh man the Holy Spirit’s comforting and sharing the TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD during this massive Anita 2.0 overhaul has been phenomenal.   I know some of you will say, you don’t see any change in me. 

Well I’ve drawn upon in the last several months recollections of Elementary, High School, College, 1st Marriage, 2nd Marriage, Caregiving and all the decades covering them all to remind myself of my personal goals and aspirations.  I have stopped to address phobias and fears and disappointments and leaned in to regroup for the long-term of these remaining chapters of the Anita BOOK.

I have started learning and delving into things I’ve always had an interest in, but life and the complacency of settling and putting them on the back burner of priority have gotten the better of me.  I have shaken loose some spaces of amnesia I want a redo on.  That’s how life works sometimes, we prioritize our goals and aspirations right out of our consciousness, replacing them with the "status quo" to make the staircase wooden and not movable. 

I’m working with an escalator of forward momentum in my 2.0.  I’m sure there will be maintenance calls over the process, but nevertheless the wooden staircase has been upgraded.

If this blog was going to give the impression there were firm answers or quick fixes for grief – go ahead and get your money back.  Oh that’s right, my blogs are free. So, no refund for you. 

I share these messages because in the canyon of all of our self-doubt, pain, hardship amd suffering, there are all kinds of hands, feet, arms, and crowbars circling around you and me ready to help us make our way out.  It’s a matter of wanting to GET OUT.

I found myself inspired during this Saturday morning - my cleaning up (yes I do clean up).  I heard this message  What's Different and stopped sweeping long enough to write down my thoughts.  These conversations are my way of giving back.  I hope that when GOD fashioned me per Psalm 139 that these helpful notes were a part of my BOOK.

Hey gang – may be my words won’t help you right now, but on the off chance something gives you hope and keeps you from giving up, I’ve done my part.

 Unlike the Bible stories when the Nation actually stopped and mourned for 30 days for their leaders who died, our nation and supporting cast don’t stop! The immediate family and those on periphery will pause for a week or two, but you like me will find ourselves dealing with grief and regrouping like the metaphor of “changing the tire while the bus is still moving.”  Life will go on, and so will those around you.  Know that you are not alone, and the loved one that you cherished would want you to heave ho and restart the process of life.  He or She would say to you don’t die on their account. 

So let me end by saying, give yourself a hug (that’s two arms holding tight around yourself) and asking GOD to give you His peace and His love to sustain through this day and the ones to come.

I Love You,


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