I can't say I will remember it as the best of years. It has truly had it's fill of sorrow, strife and loss.
2012 will always be the year that I lost one of my closest friends. One of the most traumatic events of my 34 years.
I was recovering from surgery. I had some minor surgery just after school let out. As I lay in my pain-medication induced haze, my friend called me. Rachel had called a few times to check on me. This time she called to talk about something that was bothering her. I talked to her, but I don't remember what I said. I remember telling her that the pain meds were making me a little loopy and I was tired. She told me we'd talk again soon. Little did I know it was the last time that I would hear her voice. We texted some more that night. The next day, I texted her a few times and she never answered. That horrible day was June 14, 2012. Later that evening, I got on her facebook page and saw all these comments about how much everyone would miss her. After a phone call to another one of her friends, it was true. Rachel had gone home to be with the Lord. It was so unexpected. Then again, I don't know that it would have hurt any less had I expected her to go. Nevertheless, I fell in my husband's arms and I wept. I think I even yelled "no, not my friend, my friend can't be gone!" The next few days went by in a haze. Her dad called me and asked me to say a few words at her funeral. I agreed. I sobbed through those words, but I was able to honor my friend. My sweet husband held my hand through that whole funeral. He told me it was hard to watch me sob about my friend in front of everyone. Then it was over. We were home and the funeral was over. Rachel was gone. I had been to her house after the funeral... all of the touches she had put on her home. But she wasn't there. I couldn't sleep. I've never cried so much at once. I am so thankful for my husband who held me while I sobbed and wept so many times. And that's when I realized I had to grieve my friend. I realized I had to hurt, I had to let myself ache for her loss. And more than that, I had to lean on the Lord for strength. My own little boy didn't really understand why his mommy was so sad. He'd just tell me that he was here to cheer me up. I'm so thankful for my son.
The journey of grief is one that I liken to the sea. Sometimes the waves are hard and crashing, and other times the sea is calm. So are the waves of grief. Some days are better than others.
But at some point, I have felt that the prayer and scripture have begun to open the door to allow me to heal. Don't get me wrong, I would give anything to pick up my cell phone and call Rachel right now. I'd give anything to hug my friend again or go shopping with her. But she's gone. She's resting with the Lord in a place way better than here. I am finally at a place of healing. I'm not fully there, but I'm on the mend. God has been so good to me through this loss, so good. I couldn't be more thankful that Rachel was a part of my life. She'll always have a special place in my heart. I'm sure that there will be more tears shed as I miss her and that the waves of grief will still come at the most unexpected moments. But right now, I can say that healing does come from the Lord. Psalm 30 provides one of the best descriptions of healing that I've ever read, and it fully sums up my journey to healing. May the Lord be glorified in my healing.
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