I wrote a blog twelve months ago when my best friend Lo died. Today, I write to honor her again.
Twelve months ago, my life changed in a way that I could never imagine. A way that was not on my radar or anyone else’s. How is it possible that one of the most amazing humans who brought so much joy into the world would be taken so young? Why was Lo the one taken? Those are questions that will never be answered on this side of eternity. Once we are all on the other side of eternity, it will not matter. It won’t matter because we will be with the Creator. We will all be together!
Grief is interesting. I know all the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. For me the stages have come and gone in waves. I’ve cried so hard my head ached. I’ve been awake all night in denial that she isn’t here anymore. Other nights, when I did sleep, I woke up to text Lo or watch her Instagram story like I did every morning. But, the next morning and all the mornings after that, she wasn’t there.
Last year, I was in a difficult space emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. I was in a car accident (I’m still getting treatment for it.). I was at my breaking point with the stress of grad school and my job. I didn’t have quality time for my friends or myself. I wasn’t going to church. I felt like if one more thing happened, I would implode. Then, that one more thing happened. One of the WORST moments of my life. I learned Lo died. It feels surreal typing that sentence even though it’s be a full twelve months.
The past twelve months I’ve cycled through depression, acceptance, and denial. Right after her death, I was already in a hard space. Her death pushed me into depression and denial. After her memorial service, I couldn’t grieve or cry anymore. I was already using so much energy to maintain my own life and keep it together. I just couldn’t add the heartbreak into my life. I stopped crying for days and then months. I put Lo’s death into a container and knew I would eventually have to come back to it.
The past two months I’ve come back to the shelf, pulled the container down, and opened it. I’m grieving. I’ve cried driving to ski in Vail knowing she won’t be able to hangout. I’ve cried every time I’ve hugged her mom and dad at church. I cried looking at her sister’s wedding photos from a few weeks ago. I cry when I see photos of the Alexanders or Isabella. I cry when I see our grown up YoungLife kids we loved on together. I cry because I miss her so much! Since the grieving started, I've found the space for sad, broken, and tears. There is also space for healing.
I’m sure the anger and bargaining will come. The acceptance has always been woven in an underlying foundation for me. Lo and I shared our love and faith for Jesus. I have no doubt the minute her heart stopped, and she took her last breath, she saw the face of Jesus. She was and is WHOLE!
I had a dream a few weeks after her death. I dreamt that our crew from Vail was all together. Her sister was with us. Lo appeared in our circle. We all saw her. She didn’t talk, she just flashed her big smile and was laughing so hard. Then, she hugged me and disappeared. The dream calmed the ache in my heart. I often focus on Lo laughing at me for being sad. ESPECIALLY, since I know the hope we have in Jesus.
I can just hear her say, “Mind, what the heck? Why are you crying (said sarcastically while laughing at me)? I’m with the KING!!!! Don’t worry about me. Keep living your life for Him. I promise it’s worth it in the end. Oh and don’t give up on our YoungLife kids. I want them here too in the end!”
I haven’t dreamt about her since then.
I’ve missed her so much!
Over the years, this verse has comforted me when loved ones have passed:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” Job 1:21
And to you Lo, you have fought the good fight, finished the race, kept that faith, and are with Him.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4: 7-8