“Heavenly Father Sent a Memo,” Ensign, February 2019
After an 11-year struggle with dementia, my husband passed away. For me, his passing was bittersweet. I had been his caregiver, friend, and sweetheart, and though I was happy he no longer had to suffer, I missed him terribly. I thought I knew about grief, but the sadness and feelings of loss set me on a path I did not anticipate going down.
Much to my dismay and astonishment, negativity crept into my life. I felt ignored, useless, and invisible to family, friends, and ward members. I indulged in self-pity and felt resentful toward others.
One Sunday, I sat in the back of the chapel. I watched a friendly and outgoing sister meet with other ward members. She was kind and generous to everyone.
“But,” I thought, “she has never asked how I am doing, she has never offered her condolences, she has never validated how hard my husband’s passing has been for me!”
These negative thoughts continued as the sacrament hymn began. I felt I could not partake of the sacrament with such resentful feelings in my heart.
“You must ask for help to get rid of these feelings now!” I thought.
I prayed for the darkness to be removed. This sister did not deserve my resentment in the slightest. I prayed for forgiveness and for help to let go of my resentment. By the time a deacon stood in front of me with the sacrament tray, I felt I could partake of the sacrament. Throughout the next week, I continued to pray for guidance.
The next Sunday, I walked into the foyer and saw the woman I had focused on the week before.
“Oh, Carol!” she said. “I have been thinking so much about you! I can only imagine how difficult things have been for you. You were your husband’s caregiver for so long. This must be a difficult adjustment for you. How are you doing?”
We talked for a few minutes, and she gave me a wonderful hug. I was speechless! I sat down on my usual bench in the chapel with a big smile. Immediately I thanked my Father in Heaven. He had sent this good sister a memo to say the words I needed to hear. From that point on, I have felt that Heavenly Father is mindful of me. He has given me the strength to face the “new normal” that has begun in my life.