Saturday, April 16, 2011

Life and Death

Thursday, I got a call from Steve. I knew it was going to happen, but it hurt my heart when I heard it. "Did you know your friend Laura died?" A wave of emotion covered me, and I was so glad my sister was driving, because I would've had to pull over if I had been. She had been going for a few days, and I knew it was inevitable, but just hearing it out loud really hit me hard.

Laura was a good friend of mine. Not the type of friend you would expect. She had a good forty years on me, at least. I knew her first as a patient at the eye doctor's office where I worked for several years. When I stopped working there, I cleaned her house, and continued to do so for about seven years, until she and her husband moved into a sort of retirement community. Laura used to be a teacher and librarian. She loved books and loved her family. Every time I cleaned her house, and every time I went to visit her after I no longer cleaned for her, Laura would show me pictures of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren... she was so very dear to me, and I can't put into words how it feels like a part of my heart has died. I'm praying for her family, and ask that you would, as well. I can't wait to see her again someday, and I know I will.

This same week, my Aunt Barb's husband Paul passed away. He'd also been going for awhile. His daughter, Jenny, and I were friends when we were kids. I know they are aching as well and, though I hadn't seen him in a long time, I know he will be greatly missed and I'm praying for their family as well.

Yesterday after work, I received a Facebook message from my friend Andie, with whom I am very, very close. After celebrating the second birthday of her beautiful twin boys, later in the evening she got a call that I can't imagine ever receiving -- Andie's father passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly, of a heart attack at age 62. Knowing how very much I love my father no matter how much time passes between us seeing each other, I just can't fathom the pain in her heart losing such a big part of her life. She was looking forward to seeing him again in May when he got back from Arizona, so he could hold his newest grandson Kaleb, and her dreams -- and life -- are shattered. I mourn for her, though I never met her father, and hope she knows how very much I love her.

A week and weekend of brokenness, it seems. My heart -- and prayers -- go out to all the ones who are left here on this earth to grieve their losses. Please take the time for a moment of silence, and fill it with whatever you fill it with: prayers, good vibes, wishes, or happy thoughts for all my friends and family who are going through such a rough time right now.

Thank you,
Stephanie Jean


  1. Death is such a torturous thing, matter it be your father, uncle, friend, child. We can never prepare ourselves for the void it leaves.
    Tomorrow I am holding a balloon release for my daughter at Rice cemetery at 3pm. April 12th, had been the 7 year anniversary of her death. You should come out if you have time. I have all of your friends in family in my thoughts and prayers...and of course you as well.

  2. Thank you, Kris -- although I can't make it today as I'll be at another viewing, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I know that though it has been seven years, the pain will never go away for you, and please know that you and your daughter are both lifted up with love today. God is good, even when we can't feel it in the moment. This is a hard weekend for so many suffering losses both old and new, but every one of us on earth are in this together. Thinking of you -- Stephanie