Thursday, May 1, 2014

Short, but good.

Somehow my thoughts floated to the moments and stories of when we all began to learn about your death.

I wept and needed to hold hands with Mariah. We later went to the Farmer's Market and ate lots, walked lots, and tried to flirt with a cute Filipino boy. [Huge fail, by the way.]

Paula and Aseem laughed as they imagined you saying, "And I am expecting a huge tattoo of my face somewhere on your body!"

Yes, we were all upset you were gone, but we also had incredible peace about your going.

And maybe that's what the evidence of a life well-lived is... sadness mixed with an indescribable lightness and peace at the person who's gone.

Your life was short, but quite wonderful.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blessed Be Your Name.

If no one's told you yet, grief isn't linear. Seriously. You think you've 'gotten over it', or that you're not as much of a hot mess as you were 6 months ago, and that all changes in a heart beat. Or for me, in a song line.

I was sitting in our church's youth group, and we were graced by a friend who led us in musical worship. We sang a few songs, and I surprised myself by branching out and harmonizing as well as adding runs and such to what we were singing.

We began to sing, "Blessed Be Your Name", a song affirming that God's name will be blessed despite the circumstances, whether joyful or filled with grief. I remembered singing this song in college, grateful for something familiar.

We began to sing the last verse, "You give and take away." Something in my heart hurt. It was a soft tinge in my chest, but enough to draw me close to tears. I thought of Rachelle, and how she's been taken away. Given, yes. Taken, yes. I had to remember what we were singing, that God is good in the middle of joy and the middle of grief. He is to be blessed.

I didn't realize how difficult it would be to finish the song. To continue to bless, engage, and struggle with the reality of Rachelle and that she's actually gone.

The struggle is apparent in my journal entry from last month:
  I still can't believe it. Suicide. Why, lady? What was so terrible you/we couldn't work through it? Weren't we enough to get you through? Or had we done such a job of not caring for you well that we drove you to this?
  The grief, the questions still surprise me. I feel a deep pang of grief when I fall asleep sometimes. I silently cry into my pillow as I fall asleep. The sadness may never go away. My want to remember and honor you, either. I don't want to forget what you mean to me. Your voice, your laughter, your annoying way of making me laugh.
  When do you let go? When do you stop fighting the loss, the fact that its happened and accept it?
 Blessed be Your name, Jesus.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cover her ears!

Today I had a pretty funny memory of Rachelle. I was getting ready for my staff meeting today, and it just flitted into the room and landed on my shoulder. And then made me smile.

My Senior year in college, we were all about getting folks intentional gifts. That year, a few friends decided to get my friend Christina a guitar for her birthday. She had no idea it was meant to be a surprise.

There's another Christina in this story. For the sake of being clear, we'll call her Q (for her last name).


The night we're presenting Christina the guitar, we're all together for our campus meeting. There are about 200 folks getting ready to gather. Q, is really excited about the guitar and is shooting the breeze before our meeting starts. Clear as day, Q asks, "So, Christina, how do you like your new guitar?"

Rachelle makes an UH-OH face at Q, and proceeds to cover Christina's ears in the futile hope that she hadn't heard and therefore been tipped off to the surprise.

Rachelle's face, plus the attempt to rectify the situation, as well as the foiled surprise made me smile this morning. Don't worry, Christina still loved the guitar.

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Love.

I hear this song often, and I always think of Rachelle. Some days, it's incredibly bittersweet, and even then I try to remember how great it was to have Rachelle around to laugh with, talk with, and eat amazing food with.

Here's my friend's tribute to a wonderful lady. [Click here.]