Author: Teresa Bolden
May 25th, 2019 was the first day of my new life without my husband. I had been married to Nathaniel longer than I had been single. We married when I was 19 years old and we were looking forward to celebrating our 27th anniversary that upcoming July. However, Nathaniel was diagnosed with a brain tumor on April 5th, 2019 and was scheduled to have surgery on May 9th. It seemed to have happened all too quickly: Unfortunately, the surgery did not go as we had hoped and prayed, or according to the surgeon's "best case scenario." The two weeks between the surgery date and the day Nathaniel went to be with the Lord were the most emotionally draining days of our lives. Thankfully, our adult children, Joyce, Theo, and Kristine, made sure that I was never alone at the hospital or hotel. Joyce, our oldest, ran interference for phone calls or any other necessary business. Our churches, friends, and families encouraged us through their prayers and by providing snacks and money. Nathaniel's specific request was to have no outside visitors while in the hospital: although it was extremely difficult, we complied. Instead, several friends came to the hospital just to sit with me downstairs in the waiting area. Text messages were a tangible reminder of just how enveloped we were in love and prayers. They were our strength and fortitude during such a traumatic time of uncertainty. In the immediate days after Nathaniel's death, we had so much love poured on us through visits, prayers, food, snacks, and financial support. Admittedly, I was just walking around on autopilot, still in shock. There were so many special people who dropped by with prayers, hugs, and concerns. Too many to name. I am glad for most of the visits, but some people haven't learned the art of just being with another in their pain; not always having to say something to fill the silence, not giving clichés of how the loved one is in a better place now, and not giving opinions of how the bereaved should feel, act, or respond.