I have been grieving since yesterday morning.....I've lost a beautiful friend, taken so suddenly from us.
How can it be that I am enjoying a cuppa with her one afternoon, chatting about the kids, homeschool, life etc and then just over twelve hours later find out she's gone!
Death is so sudden and final.
The closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new.
She touched my life in such a great way and I will sorely miss her.
I can't begin to imagine the pain and turmoil being felt by her family.
I remind myself of that and have been praying for them. Yet my heart aches too.
She was such a beautiful friend, so graceful, generous, loving and accepting, full of wisdom and advice for when I needed it, a ear to listen when I needed it, a really kind person who always opened her home up to me and Rebekah. I will miss her so much!
Her kids and Rebekah are such close friends and I hope that friendship will continue yet I know that things will change for them as a family and I find myself grieving for the inevitable changes.
Rebekah burst into tears when I broke the news yesterday morning to her. We cancelled our outing and stayed home. We were in shock and also grief stricken at the same time. We had a great (for lack of a better word) time chatting about life, death, Jesus, faith and hope. We know we'll see her again but as Rebekah so maturely said to me, "I know that but I'm still sad and I'll miss her". I told her it was ok to feel sad and talked to her about how God can comfort us. Actually, I was amazed at the maturity and level of understanding of death and life through the words coming out of Rebekah yesterday, little did I know an 8 year old understood so much!
Amidst the shock, grief and sadness came over us in waves (as reality sunk in) through the day when we'd pause, hug, talk, cry and reminisce. Needless to say we both didn't eat much yesterday. Even Rebekah said she didn't feel like eating because she was sad.
My heart felt like it was ripping inside of me when I played with Rebekah during the day, with her toys. My dear friends children will not have their mum to play with them anymore. No mum to take care of them, hug them and nurture and love them.
At one point during the day, Rebekah said to me that she was like another mum to her and began crying.
You see, we saw each other weekly for almost a year and our kids played together in each other's homes, in the park and we babysat for each other. She was always so kind and loving to Rebekah which is why she said she was like another mum! What a compliment for her coming from a child's lips.
Ron cut short his day at work and came home in the afternoon. It was good to have him to talk to and process what had happened.
We all hugged each other much more than we normally do!
Some of the things I've learned from my friend were true kindness, grace, generosity and patience. I never once saw her lose her temper with her kids and as Ron reminds me, that is an oustanding compliment! I did tell her that when she was still with us. I'm so glad I did and didn't waste the opportunity to encourage her in that grace she had. Yet there are so many other things I could have told her and planned on telling her but didn't get the chance to!
We will miss her! It will take us time to get over the loss of such a dear friend.
When I left school we were all given a plaque with the quote:
"Only one life, t'will soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last"
I lost that plaque in the move from India to Australia but those words have been etched in my heart and mind and have guided my life and help me focus on the most important: to always live from an eternal perspective. My dear friend exemplified this with her life. This was on my heart all day yesterday.
She didn't care for possessions or a newer or bigger home. Jesus and her family were the most important. She poured her life into her children. Even though some of her kids are too young to potentially remember her when they are grown up, the deposit she has placed in all of them will stand them in good stead I believe.
I am blessed that she came into my life and though I will miss her, I know I'll see her again. I will attempt to remind her children of the wonderful mother they had as they grow up.
Only one life, t'will soon be past, Only what's done for Christ will last!
p.s. I've withheld my friend's name for privacy reasons.