"There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are the messengers of overwhelming grief,
of deep contrition, and of overwhelming love."
of deep contrition, and of overwhelming love."
~ Washington Irvin
Lately my heart has been consumed by grief of another nature. I have cried, plead, and begged God for mercy more times than I can count over the last 3 months. Some days I know He's listening. Some days I know without a shadow of a doubt that He hears my cries. And on those days, He answers with peace, sweet relief, and guidance for the days to come. But, there are still days I struggle. Days when the pain gets so bad that I can hardly find the strength to get up off my knees. Days when I don't feel like He's listening. Days when I'm simply human. And those are the days, I talk to Eden.
I'll never forget this day exactly one year ago. I'll never forget the text message that changed my life, or my Becca on the other end of the phone telling me she couldn't tell me that it wasn't true. I'll never forget falling to my knees and digging through the trash to find the thank you card from her wedding that I had carelessly tossed only days before. I'll never forget laying there in the warm sun on my kitchen floor whispering her name over and over.
She was gone.
Reality settled in around me like a wool blanket that keeps you too warm. It suffocated me. The next few days were a blur. I tried my best to be there for my Becca and my Mama Chris. I called, I sent texts, I gave them space, and I waited-waited for us all to be put together enough to be in the same room with one another.
That day didn't come until the night of her visitation. My Becca finally called me to tell me the arrangements. She told me to come early with Tony and Timmy, Eden's very best friends. That they wanted us-the friends she loved the deepest-to have our moment with her before everyone else. So, we came. I stood next to Timmy and held his hand. We cried together. We missed her together. Our hearts wondered why together. And then we put on our brave faces.
My Becca stood vigil next to our Eden. She hugged people and smiled beautifully, and when she couldn't take it anymore she'd look at me. We'd make eye contact and hold each other from a few feet away. We found strength in each other that night. Because while we had each lost a sister, I knew that for all the pain I felt, she felt it one thousand times over and I was determined to do what Eden would of wanted me to do-be there. Simply be there.
The funeral came and went. I remember being so numb and so tired. My body was spent. I leaned on my dad's strong shoulder as I sat in that pew right behind my Becca. We listened to songs she loved and words that tried so hard to describe her, but still somehow failed. We got in our cars, and drove to the place where we were going to bury her earthly body. We stood in the cold and in the rain, but I felt none of it. We prayed and then I turned away. I couldn't watch them put my sweet friend into the earth. My dad held my arm all the way back to the truck, and just like that it was over.
There was the period that ended her life story.
And I wondered, just like the pastor who struggled to know what to say about her, what would I say if they were to ask me to write her life story? I mean, how do you put a life like her's into words?
Let me tell you: you don't.
And I'm not even going to try. Because to experience Eden was to experience beauty and joy that I have never known in another. To be loved by Eden was to be loved deeply-you never doubted her love for you. To be her friend was to know one of those true, once-in-a-lifetime kinda friendships you'll never find anywhere else.
Yes. I know people always say these things about a loved one who has died. I know that in death is when you only try to remember the good. But, trust me, if you would of had the privilege to be loved by Eden, you would of known these words to be true-more than true-but you would have also know them to be lacking.
Because trying to describe Eden is like trying to describe the stars on a cloudless night to a man who has been blind his entire life.
Today, my heart grieves again for my sweet Eden. Today, I will take flowers and go visit her grave for the first time in a year. Today, I will try my best not to be too sad or to cry too much, because that's not what she would of wanted. And today I will remember all the things I loved about her. I will take solace in knowing that she is still with me. That she is behind every "I love you" text I send randomly to my Becca, in the taste of Wallaby-Darned's, and in the melody of "Marry Me" by Bruno Mars.
I will pull her out of the sacred place where I have tucked her within my heart, and I will remember.Today more than any other day, I will allow myself to remember.
Because even though it's been a year, she is still my sweet sister-friend.