Monday, March 17, 2014

The Black Dress

Audrey happy and jumping on the day of David's Memorial, October 26th 

The past few weeks, it has been a struggle between the anticipation of the future and the fear of the unknown. What do I know when it comes to writing? So many different options?  Am I willing to take these steps? So many different opinions? Where do I go from here?????????????????

I am thankful to all of you that have followed, shared and validated the emotions I feel daily as I take one step forward . The steps are towards hope and joy of what is to come. You have encouraged me in ways that I miss greatly from David.  What is amazing and Godly is that 99 percent of you,  I do not know. But, you know me, you know my heart and the raw emotions our family experienced the pass two years.  You didn't turn away, you cheered us on, you prayed us forward and you loved us no matter.

When we knew David was only a few days from passing a friend mentioned my need to hunt for The Black Dress. As the time approached there was no way I would stain one of my dresses with the stain of loss and suffering. Sounds dark doesn't it? That is what The Black Dress represented to me. My options? I didn't want to buy a new dress. This dress would be one I could guarantee would not be worn again. I did not want something hanging in my closest that reminded me each day of a sad day where we said goodbye. So, instead, I rented my dress. That is easy right? Arrives the day before, wear it, embrace it, pack it up and then send it off. Not to be looked at again?

Not so much.................. 

No matter, what dress I chose, rented, used, stashed away,  let's face it, I am still the owner of The Black Dress. I may not have a visual representation of it hanging in my closet, but that does not mean it is not there. I am not divorced, I am not separated, I am a widower. The word sounds so strong, black and dark. Especially at the age of 33. But, through these last 5 months, I am learning I can wear The Black Dress.  I can own it. I can embrace it. It can be bitter but sweet, it can be hopeful, vibrant, faithful. It CAN BE BEAUTIFUL. And it can have a future.

Where that future is? I wish I had the answer.. ..For now, lots of prayer, obedience, time, patience, faith and your constant encouragement.....

But, what I do know... The Black Dress does not define me.... it is how I choose to wear it that does. 

The Owner of The Black Dress

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


Amazing what one year can bring. One year ago, David was crowned King at a local fundraiser, me... well i stole his crown and thought I was queen. Happy, joyful, little did we know 7 months later, David would be receiving a different crown in Heaven.
David and I were married when I was 23. Which was considered very young in my college group of friends. Most of my friends were starting their 4th or 5th years of college and our gifts consisted of spatula's and kitchen tools. I was the first to get married and the first to have a child. With these milestones of celebrations came change. As a married couple we moved to Nebraska away from all that I knew and with the non existent social media, friendships changed. They weren't loss. They just changed. Conversations about poopy diapers didn't seem quite interesting to my friends and their nights out. We still remained close, things just changed. Now, it has been ten years and we are finally united in the same stages, marriage, kids, jobs, but now my life has changed. My family of ten years is made up of a different dynamic. I am not divorced, I am not separated, I am widowed. A change that many my age don't experience.

It has been one year since David was crowned King for a cause close to both of our hearts. This past Saturday, I told myself like a Chu Chu train getting to the top... I think I can.. I think I can... wait?! I can ... I can.. I can... Sensitivity to the realness of the situation, I choose not to see the crown being passed and attended and supported a different fundraiser of a local school. My determination....can I embrace this event solo? With out my husband? With out my link?

It was beautifully put together and all for a wonderful local school. I felt special to be included with the same group of friends that David and I have grown to call family. I didn't even mind the dressing up in hideous 80's wear. It was fun. ( theme of the event).We took a limo and danced away to 80's music that only someone born in the last ten years has an excuse to not remember. As I sat there embracing the moment, listening to the same band that I last heard at David's celebration, eight months earlier, I recognized the change I had anticipated. My link was missing...I didn't have him to go out and dance with, I couldn't chuckle at the noticeable age difference in our dancing, he wasn't there to get my drink, to check if I needed anything, we couldn't talk about what time we needed to be home for the sitter, my partner, my best friend, what made us " The Hurst" was just me.... things had changed......... 

I can handle this change. I can take it with a positive attitude I can embrace it.  The loss. The loss I cannot handle. The loss I can say sucks. The loss I can only embrace with the joy I find in my faith. The loss, that I hand over to God.  As the wife of David, his best friend, I recognize more everyday, there is more involved then just me. I grieve for so many of the relationships that have been loss with his passing. My grieving is not for me, but tears for them.  I grieve daily for the loss of a relationship between a father and son. Parker does not go a day with out mentioning Daddy at least ten times. Today he told me he picked mint chocolate chip ice cream because it's green and that is his daddy's favorite color. I smile, and say you are right! Good job buddy! And then I grieve for this heart. His loss of his daddy. 
I grieve the loss of a relationship between a father and daughter. David was always the easy parent. He would take Audrey to ski school. If she cried, he brought her right back. As many may remember, the most read book by David, Strong fathers, Strong Daughters. His little girl. If she played in a soccer game and decided she didn't want to play, he let her sit out and hang with him. I grieve this loss. We balanced each other as we raised Audrey. There are many day's I see in Audrey's eyes her loss of the parent who treated her like, " daddy's little girl." No matter how hard I try, I am not both.

I grieve the loss of a relationship between a mother/father and their son. David's parents visited us for the first time since the memorial. We have made an effort to see them monthly in their home, but this time invited them to see us. It was challenging, it was difficult. As they walked in the doors to a home that their son put love and dedication into. Pictures surrounded them and the familiarity and loss were all too close. I grieved with them, the loss of their relationship with their son. No son should pass before a parent we say. But, it happens, and we grieve the loss of the loving relationship that was once held.

I grieve the loss of a doctor. It didn't matter the hours or day. Sometimes I felt like we had a 24 hour ER in our home. Stitches on neighborhood kids on our kitchen counters, late night calls on how much ibprophen to give their child, and early text messages of pictures... Do you know what this is David? I don't feel so well? That loud activity is now gone. That easy way to catch David at any minute and know he would take care of you. I grieve the loss of the way his passion helped so many others.
And lastly, I grieve the loss of his friendships. I feel so lucky to have a husband that had so many wonderful friends. The majority of his friends check in on me weekly to see how I am. They keep updated on the kids. They pray for our family, they encourage me, they remind me of the brothers they were to David and they grieve his loss.

As we celebrate new changes and we experience loss in life, we grieve, we hope and we move forward. Our relationships change and we gain new relationships. They are not the same, they are not better, they are not worse. They are different. They are new........... They are beautiful........The are more true and vulnerable because these relationships have loss together, celebrated together, they have grieved together....... and with joy in our faith...... and the love of life.........we move forward together.  

Taking Steps of Faith,

Dana Hurst