Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finding Peace With Loss

I'm still depressed.
But I'm trying to keep myself occupied and it's sort of working.  I finally went to do dishes last night and my dishwasher broke.  Luckily it's only a $30 part (this is the part where Kim would comment about her perpetually broken dishwasher, ha ha!) so I'll be doing dishes by hand for a week.  I think it's a blessing in disguise.  Last time the dishwasher broke I was much better about doing all the dishes.  A dishwasher makes me lazy because I know it's there and easy to load so I procrastinate.  So I'm okay with it.
If the washing machine breaks I will cry.
I have been busy making handmade Christmas gifts and that has been a nice way to occupy my mind at night.  It's fun to think about the people I will give these to. Jack even said he wanted to start making jewelry and made me a bracelet.  I may have to suck it up and start wearing jewelry (it drives me bonkers!  I hate having things moving around on me) because he said he wants to make me all kinds of things.  I don't think I'll re-pierce my ears though.
I also started a goal of reading the whole entire Bible.  My in-laws gave us an ipad as an early Christmas gift (I know!!!!!) and I downloaded the LDS scripture app so I am reading the Bible along with the Institute manual and it's fascinating!  It's slower going, but I love reading all the commentary and explanations.
I also downloaded and NASA app.  Just for fun, but didn't realize how healing it would be.






I was just browsing through the pictures and was humbled.  Those aren't just stars in the last picture those are galaxies.  Billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars.  This life is such a blink in eternity.  We forget that because it's painful and it drags on and we're selfish.  But there's a whole gigantic universe out there created by a God who loves us- even when we're selfish and depressed.  It's hard to describe, but I look at those pictures and I feel God's love.  I feel like so much of what I worry about doesn't really matter as long as I am trying to obey Him, and I feel peace.
I'm still filled with grief, still depressed, and yeah, there's a little apathy.  I just don't want the apathy to take over.  So I look at the stars and feel gratitude for God's creations, and it brings me back.
That might not be what works for everyone, but if it helps anyone I figured I'd put it out there.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reflection

My friend passed away Sunday night.  As it turns out, she had a congenital defect in her blood vessels. The doctors discovered this during surgery and said she would have only lived for another 2 weeks even if she hadn't gone running.
I suppose it's a small comfort.  It feels less flukey and random.
I'm pretty upset about it still.  I went to her funeral yesterday and her husband and children spoke.  It was a really nice service, but it was so heartbreaking to look at this sweet little family and imagine the sorrow they must be feeling.  I am trying to focus on feeling grateful for the time I had with her, but it's hard.  Because we always meant to get together more, but then we didn't.  We took it for granted that only lived 30 minutes apart.
So I'm feeling sad, angry, regretful, depressed, apathetic....with moments of gratitude, faith, and love.
Her daughter said, "everyone prayed for a miracle, what we didn't realize is that she was the miracle."

Now why can't I feel like that?!

She's definitely her mother's daughter.  My friend had so much faith.  I guess I thought her family had been through so much already with a cancer kid, a head injury kid, and her kidney stones earlier this year.  It just seems cruel.  And I'm having a hard time getting past that.  I know she would want me to.  I know she would want me to focus on the good and cherish our memories.  Her blog was entitled, "Courage To Be Strong" and quoted their family scripture:
Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid,neither be dismayed, for the LORD thy God is with thee..." Joshua 1:9

So this has been a trial of my faith.  I don't understand it.  I am feeling just about ever emotion there is to feel.  But deep down, I know that the Lord feels our pains too.  That He wanted Kim to stay and raise her children and be a light to the rest of us.  But I learned after my dad died from cancer that God doesn't just heal everyone.  That sometimes it doesn't matter how much faith you have.  Sometimes death just comes.  Life means the good and the bad, the joy and the pain.  We rejoice when a new life comes and grieve when one ends.  It makes it easier knowing of the joyful reunion we will have someday.  I saw so many dear people at the funeral, it was like a mini reunion and someone said they think that's what heaven will be like and I think she is right.  It's so wonderful to see those people who are dear to you.
Kim quotes President Thomas S. Monson on her sidebar:

"If we do not have a deep foundation of faith and a solid testimony of truth, we may have difficulty withstanding the harsh storms and icy winds of adversity which inevitably come to each of us.
Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order for us to be tested, we must face challenges and difficulties. These can break us, and the surface of our souls may crack and crumble - that is, if our foundations of faith, our testimonies of truth are not deeply embedded within us."

Kim was always a source of strength for me.  When I was struggling with my faith, she remained my friend and stayed an amazing example of what a righteous woman was and eventually helped bring me back to my church.  She never knew that.  I hope she knows it now.  I will be forever grateful to her and others whose lives showed me a better way.
I love my friend. My heart aches for her family.  They have a long and difficult road ahead.  I am so glad they have the gospel of Jesus Christ to help them.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Prayers Needed

My dear friends, followers, strangers who stalk me on the net:
One of my best friends from childhood is in the hospital.  She had a stroke (she's 32!) and things aren't looking good. I have been beside myself all day wishing there was something I could do.  All I can think of is to get as many people praying for her and her family as I can.  She has 5 children all under 12 (and to top it off, her husband is the bishop in their ward!).  I don't know what God's plan is, but I believe in the power of prayer.  Please take a moment and get on your knees for my dear friend Kim.  She is the strongest, most faithful woman I know.  And the world would be a lot less bright without her in it.
Thank you!!