I thought I would begin my blog by telling you the events that have occured in the last two years that have changed my life completely. Two years ago tomorrow, I had just gotten my kids down for a nap and decided that I should sleep, too. My son was about 6 months old, so any sleep I could get was awesome! I had just fallen asleep when my phone rang. It was my husband and he didn't sound right. He said " I am heading to my parents' house. Jeffrey shot himself." That was the beginning of the worst week of my life. My husband's younger brother was just 19 when he decided to end his own life. He left a note, but it didn't give us much comfort. My daughter was 2 at the time and asked a million questions. "Why did he die? Where did he die? How did he die? Where is he now? What is heaven? What do we do there? Will I go to heaven?" I was not prepared to answer these kind of questions for my overly-interested, spiritually sensitive two-year-old. But, she amazed me and accepted his death with few tears. Even though she still doesn't know "how" her uncle died, she is content knowing that he is in heaven waiting for us. But, having to explain all about death and life and salvation made me wonder what I really believe. Do I really believe that the instant I die, I will be in God's presence? My naive view of the world was shattered that day.
Then six months later, my husband's sister's boyfriend was killed in a car accident. It was so heart-breaking to watch our little sister lose her little brother and her boyfriend so close together. She would sleep for days and when we saw her, act like everything was fine. I don't know how she could even function, but she did. His funeral was so sad...it brought up all the feelings about Jeffrey's death that I had pushed aside. I had been just living life, raising my two little kids, trying to be strong for my family, and and trying not to dwell on the sadness that wanted to overwhelm me at times.
Then six months later, I got a call from a friend and she said she was coming over right then to talk to me about something. I couldn't help but think that she was pregnant (which would have been very scandalous). She actually had to tell me that our close friend, Jeremiah, had been killed in Africa that morning. My first thought was "how can I tell my husband that someone else is gone?" Our hearts had just been ripped out again. Jeremiah was like family to us. My husband had been mentoring him for years and we loved him like a little brother. My daughter was also very close to him. Which made me again have to tell her that someone she loves is gone. There is nothing I have experienced more painful than holding my three-year-old while she cries and grieves over a death.
So since then, I have been trying to figure out how to keep living despite all the death around me. It is a daily struggle not to worry about something happening to my kids or someone else that we love. This blog will hopefully help me put into words all that I have been feeling and thinking, and maybe it can help someone else who is dealing with loss.