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October 31, 2013



My heart is hurting today and it feels like it is splitting wide open. Every loss that I have suffered through, the pain of losing the people I love, is coming back to rest in my broken heart. Halloween is not a holiday I often look forward to anymore. Ten years ago today, at 24 years old, my good friend died in a car accident. I didn't believe the news that Jay was gone when I received the call in the middle of the night. I thought it was a Halloween prank. I had just spent an evening out with him and other friends only hours before. I left him fully alive and himself and then he was gone. It was hard to take in at 21 years old. It made me face things that I just didn't expect to face when you are young and carefree. I suffered great anxiety for years at the thought of "here today and gone tomorrow" and I was forced to deal with these great emotions about that significant of a loss. Ten years later I still miss him and long to say one last thing to him or give him the hug I skipped out on the night we left to go home. It was my last goodbye.

My son came home today with some terribly sad news that his teacher's husband was killed in a car accident and that she wouldn't be coming back to school for a long time. I fell into a ball of tears in front my of 6 year old who had certainly endured enough with this kind of news, but I couldn't hold back my hurt for her. I imagined this beautiful and kind woman, who lovingly teaches and shepherds my child every day through the ups and downs of 1st grade life, and the joy in her eyes last week at the parent/teacher conference as she boasted about how far Caden had come since the beginning of the year. I imagined her on her own floor, in a ball of tears or comforting her own children who will never see their father again. These times when I feel strong in my faith, sure that God has a plan for all of us and that we are meant to see the blessings around us, these heartbreaking letters and calls that some personal tragedy has happened, well they really shake me up. I stop believing for a second that there could ever be a blessing from an event such as these. I physically hurt for these people and the deep pain they are enduring and I will admit, I get angry. I get angry that my sister and brother-in-law had to lose their son before he even opened his eyes. I get angry that Jay didn't get the chance to experience having children of his own or start his career before his time on earth was cut short and that his mom would have to learn to mother her only child without him physically here. I hurt for my son's teacher and the thought that she must walk alone without her spouse for the rest of her life. It just doesn't seem fair. I hurt for my friends enduring physical pain and sickness, waiting on test results and hanging to the faith that some answer, some good thing will come from these long battles.
Yesterday I had a touching and really humbling lunch with my grandmother. To me she is the epitome of strength and spiritual success. She has been through so many things yet she continues to trust that all is happening as it's supposed to. We can't question the Lord she says, we just cannot. There is no answer on this side of the grave that will suffice for the pain we experience when we lose the people close to us but Christ's redemption, that is what we cling to. 
As I was reading this heart breaking letter today sent home from the principal, I asked this question out loud, "So personal tragedies, we are all just supposed to go through something horrific in this life in order to, what, learn some kind of great lesson that will ultimately change us? Because it really feels like everyone around me has experienced this personal tragedy and that nobody is spared from this kind of pain and suffering." I knew inside that if I believed that death was an everlasting separation, and that in it was just pain and nothing beautiful, then yes we would all suffer this personal tragedy because living as humans, we also lose the ones we love to the grave. There is no great answer, no making sense of senseless things. Even when you have faith in God, there is little that can be said to bring any kind of lasting comfort enough to ease broken hearts. It is with the great enduring of the pain, with the stumbling and falling and crying out in prayer and being angry and relenting and with every and all emotions, feeling them and knowing them intimately, that is the way we reconcile our great losses. We reconcile them gently and fervently, we see our losses as the greatest forms of love and I believe our tears, little reminders of how much we have loved, are being caught by Loving Hands and our longing hearts are being cradled. My hope is in the hope that someday we will know why.

On Death from the Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Than Almitra spoke, saying, "We would ask now of Death."
And he said:
You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the sheered not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink form the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
My prayers spoken loudly for peace and comfort to each one of you tonight.