Harry Dale "Sandy" Bennett Jr.

Sandy and Diana

Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:08 PM

Dear Family and Friends,

It has been 49 days since Sandy departed this earth and made his way to heaven. It seems like only yesterday and at the same time it seems like an eternity. I have never felt the type of pain that has been my almost constant companion. It is a physical pain in the heart, coupled with an overwhelming sense of loss and loneliness. I have gone to a couple sessions of grief counseling and one statement stands out from one session. "People say just give it time and you'll get over it. You don't get over it. If you lost your arm you wouldn't get over it. You would get used to it and adapt to the situation, but you don't get over it". There is always the loss. I have lost a part of me that will always be gone. There is an emptiness in my life that I haven't felt in many many years.

 Thank goodness my youngest daughter, Sherry, needed me to work in the pharmacy office for the last three weeks. I don't remember much about the four weeks immediately following his death. My daughter Christy stayed with me and looked after me during that month. I still have a lot of trouble with my memory, with sleeping, and with my concentration. Used to I would go to another room to get something and when I got there I couldn't remember what I went to get. Now I can't remember what I need by the time I turn around. I'm told that memory loss is pretty normal when you experience the loss of a loved one. Fortunately they say it does get better. 

 I've begged God to send him back to me, but I wouldn't want him to come back to suffer like he was. And I know that God isn't going to send him back to me - - but for a while I thought that was the only thing that could happen and me keep my sanity and keep on living. Finally I made myself stop, straighten up, and get on with grieving. I had a whole year to prepare for being by myself, but you never can fully prepare. But I can't imagine those who lose a loved one suddenly, without warning. I know many of you have, and I grieve for you. Sandy and I got to say goodbye. We had a year to talk and laugh and be together. We always were very close and went everywhere together, but the last year of living in our camper in Houston in close quarters was really special. We had no distractions except for his treatments and then his nausea.

 What a wonderful life we had and I am so blessed to have had him as my partner and friend for almost 19 years. The time went so fast and the end came so quickly. We had talked early in our engagement that we hoped to have at least 20 years together before our health got bad, but we both secretly hoped for 30 or 40. And even if we'd had 100 years together it wouldn't have been enough.

 I've struggled a little with paying the bills. Sandy always handled that. I paid the bills and kept things going in my first marriage, but Sandy was so good at it that I relinquished that job to him. He has everything set up in the computer, but he never showed me the software he used and how all of the payments were made -- some by check, some by bank payment, some by internet payment.... I'm slowly getting my head around it all. I'm so thankful he was so organized or I would really be in trouble now.

 I can't believe how much there is to do after the death of a loved one. I have a log of calls made with notes, items in progress, items finished, and items yet to do. Every day I find out more that I need to do. On Wednesday I found out that I need to send a copy of the death certificate to all three credit bureaus. Then there's bank accounts, credit cards, insurance policies, the portfolio, retirement income, social security, car titles, property titles, powers of attorney for medical and general that have to be redone, and the list goes on and on. If anyone knows of something that needs to be done that I haven't listed, please send me a message. I'm afraid I'll miss something.

 Last weekend I went to Atlanta with Sherry. We left Saturday at 2:30 when the pharmacy closed and drove to Chattanooga, then on to Atlanta on Sunday for a pharmacy meeting. It was over @5:30 and we headed home, arriving about 11:10 pm. Come to think of it, no wonder I'm tired.

 On another note, I have had hip and back problems for several years and had thought I would have a hip replacement in 2013. With Sandy's illness that didn't happen. I went to the orthopedic doctor a couple weeks ago and am scheduled for a hip replacement on my right hip this coming Tuesday, 1/28/14. The literature we have read indicates that I can expect the initial recovery time to be 3-6 months, with a full year to be really back on my feet. I'm anxious to get it done and get on with getting well. Since Sandy's death I have been so tired. Hopefully I can sleep a lot and get rested. After the first couple of months I'm hoping the doctor says it's okay to go out walking every day.

 I have received so many beautiful cards and letters from you all and I appreciate them so much. In counseling we were told to go back and reread all the cards again. It will bring tears again but that will help the healing process. I have them all in a stack by my bed. And I continue to get them. Each one is a gift, a bright spot in my day. Thank you all so much for your prayers, calls, cards, and love.

 When we went back to Houston in early September and met with the doctor, we finally had to face the fact that he wasn't going to get well. He ended up in the hospital there twice in three weeks and couldn't take any more treatments. On September 12th I woke up in the night and had a poem on my heart so I got up and wrote it down. I had the opportunity to read it to Sandy before he died, and I recorded it and had it played at his funeral. Here is my poem to my wonderful wonderful Sandy.


When God Calls Your Name

By Diana Bennett

To my wonderful husband, Sandy:

When God calls your name I’ll not be ready
I’ll not be ready to say goodbye.

When God calls your name I’ll not be ready
I’ll not be ready to wake up or go to bed alone,
or to go fishing or hunting without you.
I’ll not be ready to watch the Cardinals play
or listen to Elvis music without you.

Without you the sunshine will be a little less bright,
the wind a little less silky, rainbows less beautiful,
rain clouds a bit darker, the road longer and lonelier.
You have been my life, my love, my friend.
You have been the wind beneath my wings,
my reason to live. How will I go on without you?

When God calls your name I’ll not be ready
I’ll not be ready to fall asleep at night without my

goodnight kiss or to eat our favorite breakfast
without you by my side. How will I live without
your hugs, for they always made life easier.

You always had a way of making me laugh.
Criticism was never on your lips. Love was
always felt even when it was not spoken. My heart
always did a flip whenever you walked into a room.

When God calls your name I’ll not be ready
I’ll not be ready to be apart from my best friend,
my partner, confidante, and lover. You have been the
of what God says a husband should be.
Thank you for the most wonderful years of my life.
How will I go on without you?

When God calls your name I’ll not be ready
I’ll not be ready to say goodbye.

You have graduated from this life and have gone to
a better place. I have to remain here for a season
before I can join you, so I will not say goodbye but
“Until then, I will miss you my sweetheart.”

Bible study

All Content © Lexington Christian Church. All Rights Reserved.    1199 North Broad St., Lexington, TN 38351   (731) 968-9684