(Prepare yourself for a wordy post about grief and many quotes I personally find fitting.)
It is the 3 year anniversary of the flying accident that took the lives of four young adults.
All of whom I knew.
One of whom was my best friend.
I remember knowing what the phone call around midnight would tell me, without having any way of knowing.
But I can’t remember our last day together, it’s a blur and a few, filled with half guessed facts.
This is a partial list of what I wrote while I was flying to the States to attend the funeral for one of the four.
‘Live for the legacy you want to leave behind.
We are only given battles we are strong enough to get through.
You can become stronger and better by the testimonies they left behind.
Life will never be the same, accept that and become the best you can, you have a chance.
Everyone deals differently, have compassion.
Gods hand is on all of it.
Little things aren’t worth getting mad about. Life happens, it is unavoidable, let it go.
Do your best, no one can ask for more.
Cry or don’t. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it doesn’t mean you don’t care.
It’s okay to want her back, try to remember that she wouldn’t want to come back if she could though.
Time, a precious gift, use it wisely.’
I still agree with what I wrote, but I hate how time, has taken the urgency away.
The wanting to change your life or do more of something, to make moments count.
The ache to do those things and take them to heart, fades quickly and for that, I am disappointed.
I don’t want to feel that overpowering need to make every single thing matter and be meaningful, but I don’t want to go through life as blissfully unaware as we so easily slide back into either, like nothing changed.
But everything did change that day, whether in a small, almost unnoticeable way, not realized until months and months later, or in an earth shattering impact, immediately felt.
It has now been years and that in itself is heartbreaking.
Years of having to learn a new normal and forgetting often, that it is the reality you now live in.
One where the phone can’t be picked up to call her, though the action is often thought.
Where her laughter is a sound now more forgotten than familiar.
Stories going untold, spun with so much electrified, chaotic perfection and then flickering and fading out, not spoken to life because no ones ear is the right one to hear but hers.
A life is lived and a life is gone, yet the two are so entangled.
Fear at what used to be normal or not given a second thought, such a as the ringing of a phone or an unexpected hug.
Things that were once normal, now panic inducing.
But what was normal, is no more, and a new ‘normal’ has to be accepted, like it or not.
A dumb term.
When we ‘lose’ someone… we very much know where they are and very much know where they are not.
They are not with us anymore, not outwardly.
Inwardly, they are still there all the time.
They are not walking and talking beside us.
But conversations and recollections replay like a broken record.
‘Broken’, another unwise word.
We say, or get told, that we are broken-hearted.
But our heart still works… it’s beating, keeping us alive, feeling and doing what it did before.
It is not visibly broken.
Not like a machine with an ‘out of order’ sign, crookedly hung.
It would be much easier to hang that ‘out of order’ sign up, let people KNOW we aren’t working perfectly and that we will just always be, a little broken.
But we are not ‘out of commission’ broken, so people forget and think we work and function just as before… but we don’t.
We aren’t broken, but we are not like we used to be either.
No signs for us.
With them gone, it becomes so very clear what part exactly, that they played in your life.
She was one of the leading roles in the production of ‘Jessica Peters-Hagenouw’s life’.
‘Since she’s been gone… said production closed down.
Many stages and sets were abandoned and eventually crumbled.
Some continued to be kept up, dusted off and tried to be brought back to life, but with only one stage hand, it was an impossible task and they too slowly became unused.
The doors were closed and locked.
The stage hand kept a key and still goes to visit the sets and rooms often.
Remembering fondly the scenes played out.
The feelings and emotions once alive and living across the stage, telling magnificent tails and showing an amazing life once lived.
The stage hand sadly exits once again… memories of the lighting, the music, the buzz of excitement and happiness, gut wrenchingly hilarious comedy scenes, all dancing in the mind… as the doors are once again pulled shut and locked, the sights and sounds fading until the next time the doors are opened.
The stage hand walks to another set of doors the production that’s going on now.
It’s smaller, more family and home focused, less thrilling, excitement and joy fill the air but more of a pleasant, comfortable feel, the odd funny scene but an undertone of slight pain and loss is felt often.
New characters were introduced…but the lead roles would never be the same.
It’s a nice production.
A good one.
A GREAT one really, If you hadn’t seen the previous play they had put on.’
I know those above thoughts perhaps sound over dramatic.
Honestly I don’t know what I hope to say with them, it’s just what came out.
I am a closed person and I know that sounds very contradictory to say, as I write a public journal of my life 🙄
But I write to express what my words never can.
I stumble when I talk and don’t know how to perfectly piece together my thoughts into spoken sentences.
I don’t want recognition for a well written/interesting piece.
I don’t want sympathy.
I do want someone to see that being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and sorrow, but that we can get through them and have reassurance that we are in the palm of Gods hand and someday, we will have the chance to know why the things happened the way they did.
Maybe not now, maybe not for years to come, maybe not until we are with Him and our loved ones in glory.
But when faced with the not knowing, the reason behind what has happened, I can have comfort that it was for the best.
Somehow and someway.
He has kept me and blessed me continually.
He has given me a peace about losing my friend, that I know many, including myself, would not have, if it wasn’t for the Lord giving it to me.
I miss her and think of her every. single. day.
I think of her family almost as much as I think of her.
Knowing that if I feel this way, I can’t imagine what they go through life feeling.
I know I will see her again someday.
I know she is nearer to us then we sometimes think.
I know there are things that happen that are little comforts when we need them.
Whether it’s a passing sent, a heart-shaped rhubarb leaf or whatever it may be.
This post sounds a lot more downtrodden and depressed then I intended but as much as the say ‘time heals’ … time hurts too.
I know she was a happy, exuberant person, full of life and love and laughter.
I know she would want a funny post, an entertaining photo or an encouraging word, prompting us to go on and be positive.
Those words were not in me though…
My heart goes out to the families affected by this and the families and friends of anyone who’s lost a loved one.
May God help us all to see the good, have peace only He can give, know how to comfort those who need it and to find joy in the memories 💕
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”