Thursday, March 27, 2008

6 months

Just quiet in my heart today. Wondering what you are doing in the new place you live now. God give faith today to us on this side of the veil. Help me, believe in the eternal wonder of your kingdom--no more death, no more more pain. I long to know this place someday.
I long to know that Sarah is there-to believe with this with my full heart today, to trust in you with all my heart. Not to lean on my understanding, which is so limited, so small most days.
God-you know my mother's heart-the sorrow spilling over. You know my weak frame, my limits. Help me to crawl right into your lap today, to rest in you. To know your deep love and care for me, for the ones who miss our girl. What a girl. What a dear and wonderful girl. So much love and joy and life from her. How we have been touched so by her. Her challenges to live-each moment, each day. Let us be about living well today. Help us to press on. Help me to not get lost today, nor press on. To grieve with hope. Smiling with all my memories. Thankful for her in my life. Oh my--I did have such a wonderful time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


There are days that it just doesn't seem like it is possible that it is all true to me. I look longingly out to the horizon on my mind, my life...and just see the landscape has been drastically and forever altered. Hardly a thing is the same. My heart even seems to beat differently. I breath differently. I see differently. I hold things close differently. I never will be the same.
I went to bed that night at 10 p.m. Put my head on the pillow, missing you all day Sarah--knowing it was the longest time I had gone without talking to you--just emailing. Just had read your email about wanting the rain to go away and to pray for you guys that day as you wandered through the cinque terra...never I laid my head had already left this life....the phone call was still to come and wake me from my sleep. The news of you being wake to that news. To wake up in a new land. To never be the same again. It will be 6 months tomorrow. I cry with tears of missing you. I cry for all of us who miss you so. Still trying to find shoes that will help us walk out this new land that has only memories of you. How to live with passion and fullness. How to embrace a new love and an upcoming marriage---and not have you to share in this joy. I know somehow in my heart and soul that you know of it, but it is not the same. This challenges me like nothing I have ever been challenged with. How to let you go--how to release you, but keep you tucked in. My mind isn't too level anylonger. My mind fights to stay upright. My mind fights to stay in today and not look too far back or too far forward with you missing...
Grief is something I can not handle. I have to run to Jesus right away--to not even ponder a minute in it right now. Some moments ache like a searing...crushing, agonizing...and those words are mere shadows of what my soul cries out to be explained. Then other moments, I believe and can't wait to see you in all the glory of your new life in heaven. Such schizophrenia of the mind.
My dear dear girl. so loved, so loved by so many. May God help us all as we come to the 6 months of your departure from us...hold us Lord close...Christopher, my family, her friends, all of us who have felt the loss so deeply. Can you kiss her and hold her for me, for us?

Monday, March 24, 2008


So looking forward to heaven. So looking forward to knowing the truth that I only hope in now. Sometimes I wish to see just for one second into heaven to help me press this life out with the passion I feel so much of the time. It would be like being on the high ropes course--knowing if you fall, you will not hit the ground, but be caught by the harness--so you start to leap from tree to tree, knowing you are really safe.

I miss you Sarah. I miss you mom and dad and Nancy--and the others who are gone. The ones of us left here, are beginning to look ahead more and more with an anticipation that yearns for the homeland.

I went away for Easter this year to spend the time with my fiance' and his family. I needed to do a new thing. I missed my family, I missed Sarah, I missed being at my home church. It was ok. It was a new season. I wanted to be with Rick as he begins the transition to a new place. Many of the lasts for him, firsts for us. Time doesn't ever slow down, the second hand doesn't begin to move less purposefully. Life is always moving forward--to the end moment when Jesus does come back for us. So, to press on, press forward with that hope of eternity ahead, that incredible hope--the biggest hope. The one thing that will never disappoint. To be secure in that hope. To have surrendered to Him, all I have, all I hope to have---to trust you Lord. Ah, that is the best.

I am home now. Moved away from the close contact with grief. Made a decision to pursue Jesus and let him handle the grief. He is my hope, my answer. I will look to Him for the help to walk this all out. I sure miss my girl. That is for sure. Many miss her...she would want us to fix our eyes on Jesus--He is the hope she had, I have.

So many new changes coming. New life, a wonderful new man. It is exciting. God is so kind to me. So kind to him. It is a new season. ALmost 6 months this week since Sarah went to heaven. How did the time go by. . . so swiftly.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

miss you girl

Trying to walk through this season. Arms missing holding you. I had the best time being a mom to you. I know I always told you that too. Best job I ever had.

So many times to carry you just like this, still can feel the weight of you. You loved to be small, even as a full grown woman.

You were so unique and special Sarah. I loved your thoughts and your ideas. I loved talking about all the things we talked about. Sometimes we would be pretty passionate, but always loved listening to each other.

I miss you this Easter week dear girl. I miss making chocolate, easter baskets, dinner--going to church, thankful for time together. Loved coloring eggs every year of your life once you could do it. We loved holidays. I will miss it this year. God will help. I pray the Father hold you and kiss you for me tonight.

Monday, March 17, 2008

seeking True North, my dear Father

I have learned some things in the last days since I wrote. I believe God showed me I was leaning too far into grief and not into Him. He showed me I would perish seeking to understand grief and that I had begun to lean too far into something only He could do. He said again to me, like so many times in my life..."seek me first and my kingdom--and all things will be added to you." I had somehow thought if I leaned far enough into this terrible grief and sadness, I would walk out the other side, not destroyed, but able to somehow conquer it. I realized, it was way too much for me, would definitely take me out, destroy my mind, rob me of joy.
I am thankful for the ones around me who pray for me--who encourage me to press on. I am so thankful to my Father who said---"Enough Christine. Enough, it will take you out--but it can not take me out--I hold the power over death and despair. You will never be able to do this on your own. Lean into me-not your understanding. Hold fast to me and I will manage this grief. I will do it." I believe this Father. I believe you hold the power over death. I believe you will give me all I need to walk out this life and trust you. I love you Father.

Friday, March 14, 2008

tears stream down your face, when you lose something you cannot replace

this song touches my soul. i have learned more about grief in this season. i can see grief in the eyes of those around me like i never have before. i understand the pain that finds words empty. i cry with tears, without tears...such profound sadness at times. such emptiness.
Chris and I opened a drawer in their bathroom yesterday that had not been disturbed since sarah died. there before us was her big hairbrush...full of her hair, laying there. it did us both in. isn't it weird what undoes us. i can see that girl combing her long and beautiful hair--flipping it back, tossing it to the side...curling it, spraying it, lifting it off her face, pulling it back, pinning it up...she just was beautiful no matter what she did with it. people would always tell me--"do you know how beautiful your daughter is?" i would say yes, i sure do--don't know how she got to be so pretty. but she was. she was beautiful inside and out. she knew it at some level and would dress in the most stunning outfits, then at the next time, look just as stunning in junk clothes. one girl told me she didn't really want sarah in her wedding because she would look so beautiful...she did anyway, but knew sarah was so pretty. we laughed about it...
oh my, God please help me to keep wandering through these such hard places, it seems like it will help lead me peace, to acceptance, to joy again. when will i run out of tears...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

dear, dear memories

What a blessed time I had with Christopher--with our tears mixing in the midst of sorting through all the things you had Sarah. You never could buy enough stuff--you had to have 15 brown eye shadows--one would not ever do. You needed to have back ups to everything, with backups to the backups...what a girl. The two of us now have to sort through all your collection of things. But in the midst, we laugh because it was so you. You loved shopping, having enough. I think we always had enough, so can't think that we were without, so now you needed just loved to shop!
It is a time...we have much to do, but today we bit off a small piece of this to allow life to come again in areas covered with dust. May God continue to help us to do this work, this necessary part to go on. It is like pruning--you need to cut off the dead branches to allow life to come forth, flowers to come again, fruit to come again on the vine. It is so hard--the brutal cuttings that happen when the vinedresser goes at the grapevine to get it ready to have a new season---it seems like so much gets taken off---and then in the days to come, life comes to the vine, fruit fills the branches. So, Chris and I are going to press into this work of doing this pruning. Help us to know what stays and order to live this life you have for us well. We are blessed...many good memories, many good friends and family. Loved...and we will love well too.


Today begins a new place--the first of undoing the places Sarah lived in space. I am heading to Chris's house shortly to begin to pack away her things. It has been over 5 months since she died. Dust continues to settle on the things she owned and kept close in possessions.
Life...what is it....
things begin to fall apart. is so short in so many aspects. over too quickly, too defocused in insignificant ways...caught up with distractions, bills, jobs, deadlines....all the things grabbing for our attention...things that matter, things that don't matter.....
thank you God for eternity. I know you never intended it to be this way when you created the garden. You meant for us to live with full hearts, full love, full passion. death was not your plan, it is not part of the design originally. I am grateful that we who know you-have such an eternal future. I have to crawl through the fog each day of this life to remember and hope in that. I choose each day to press on....even today. I need to have you so close today to Christopher and me as we touch the things she touched last. the special things she purchased to surround her presence. Help us not to go too far into the sorrow that we lose our way. Hold us close as we journey this path together to take this puzzle of Sarah apart and let it be.
you are close, help us to feel your arms, your deep help and love for us. we cry out to you God. Come and be so present.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jonathan Livingston Seagull--or was it you?

Today after I came home from having lunch after church with Christopher and his friend--I felt somehow to stay in the garage-the door was open and Rick would be here soon. I was putzing around and when I turned around-here was a seagull standing right outside the garage door--looking right at me. I have never seen a gull do this--and here in the midst of 3 feet of fresh snow. The drive had been plowed, so there were puddles in the drive. The gull would go and drink some of the fresh water and then walk back towards me. He even came into the garage about 5 times and walked around with me. I have never seen a gull do this. I felt this was extremely holy---like somehow Sarah was letting me know she was ok--visiting me....not sure how all that works or how odd that stuff can get, but had a very strong sense of this being very real and about her. I felt very peaceful and happy! I felt reassured, felt great about it. I was talking to Marty on the phone too at the time and she knew it too. Then Rick got there, the gull didn't go far, I was feeding him some bread by then--Rick got to see him too....I kept feeding him, then we looked again and he was gone. It was a holy moment--one that I needed---just missing you fiercely--did talk with Christopher later and told him--think it meant something to him too. Helped me. Feel so empty for you at times. Feel so final about all this--and want to keep the remembrance of eternity and seeing you in heaven there too. Just am thankful for this today. Thanks God--know you let it happen!! I am blessed....

Saturday, March 08, 2008


I am so grateful for the many, many days I got to take walks with Sarah. She and I were blessed to have years on the beach to play and talk and just enjoy the water and each other.

I try to wrap my dear mother's arms around memories now. I miss her hugs and her arms. Her hugs were now bigger than mine around her. I look forward to her hug when I get home to heaven. Somehow I think we will be able to hug when we get there cuz touch is so important to us now.

What a workout grief work is.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

my dear girl

"I will miss seeing her face and hearing her voice and knowing she was always there close to me. She has crossed a river from me that I must wait to cross before I see her again. When I see a river, I will think of her." Terry Kay
Sarah loved elephants as a little girl and I would always buy her elephants-and here is a mother with her dead child at her feet. Oh Father, my daughter is gone now. I am at a loss of how to live without her presence. I know she has gone across the river to you and I will see her again when I too cross the river. Help build my faith today to trust in that truth-of heaven and eternal life. I look at pictures of mothers who have lost their children and the face is the same-of anguish and pain. I want to embrace that pain to learn to live with it and find life again in fullness. I want to trust that she is fully present in your presence now. I want to live that belief out in such a way that others too want to know you. I want to always point to YOU. The wonder of the kingdom of you. The sureness of eternal life in Jesus. I lean today into You Father--and trust you and believe in you. Thank you for the 28 years of Sarah's presence in my life. I am rich with memories of her and I. I am grateful beyond words. I had truly the best of the best with her. I hate that I get no more earthly memories with her. I know you will help me to heal and live in this new land. I thank you for your abiding presence as I deeply grieve this loss of dear Sarah C.

hold fast

God-you call us to follow you. I choose you today-to follow all the days of my life. I choose to hold fast. To hold on-to not let go. Lord, you never let go of me. I feel your strong hand holding me when I grow so weak. I am so grateful for you. You are so faithful when I am not. I love you so Lord. Help me just rest in your arms, your presence. Help me to be a poured out offering to others in this season. I am so grateful for all you have done. I am so grateful for the gifts you have brought to my life-the friends, the lavish love poured out on me and my family and friends in this season of grief. For Rick, what a beautiful gift. wow, you are good.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

hope in a hopeful time

It is the same day and God you are kind. I so am amazed at how you speak to me. I am grateful to your tender arms that hold me so close. To hold me fast in a time of great change with so little the same. I know you will not leave or let me go. I am firm in your hands. Please protect me from the evil one who wants to crush me and my life with hopelessness and death of dreams and all. Please protect the ones I love-the same prayer for them-protect them. Give us great HOPE Father---bring incredible life to each of us, as we but pass this way but one time. We will walk oneday into the Kingdom of Heaven, for all eternity. Help each of us to walk tall, knowing YOU, knowing HOPE, knowing your constant presence. Knowing nothing can separate us from you or even each other, the ones who know you. That we have been promised this. I choose today again whom I will serve. I choose today again for a sound mind. I choose today again-to walk tall, strong in you but weak in myself and anything I can bring. I lay myself again before you--use me Father to show your kingdom. Show others yourself in my life however you want. I am loved so by you. I love your deep love for me. I rest in this truth. Your love is deeper and wider than anything. This love captured Sarah and holds her and she abides there now. Help me to know this so deep, in the depth of my soul, to find peace in this. I trust you Father.

it is a fight somedays

intentionally....pressing on. that is what i am doing. i don't feel like doing it on many days-today being one. i am aching in my heart. it would be good to dig your heart out of your chest on days like this. i look to you Lord for peace and acceptance in this final loss. i know it is for all times on this side of heaven in my head and my heart is not wanting to open that mail. i have taught all these years to live well, fully, intentionally-pressing on--going for the gold. living with abandon. this is the hardest thing i have ever done. walking on...walking on and forward. leaving the place sarah last was...knowing no new memories will come and that i will have to hold the ones that are from the days past. i hate that. i hate dust on memories--no freshness in them, just past things and places. no new ones.
i know you and she both challenge me to do what this piece of art she created says to do. i will fight hard to live, to press on...please bring peace to me. please help me to live today, not linger too long in the days of before. i know there is a balance in this place-a place to remember and also to live. i think i am near the border of it, but somehow feel lost most days right now. i feel as though i have been caught in a thicket of briars and am getting all scratched in trying to get through this hard place to freedom. i cry out to you God--you must come and rescue me, bring me to the full land of the living---where there is air and life and love and hope. i could loose my mind in this place of trying to reckon out this tragedy. it makes no sense to me, but do tragedies ever make sense? how do people find hope to move on past the shock of tragic loss? how can i, and the others who also have lost dear sarah? so many still wrestling out the horror of it. please help me to feel you close God---to speak, you have been silent in the days of now. I need you so. i need to feel your arms around me, reminding me of the hope of eternity. i need to have my mind get to the land of the living-not dwell in this place of loss so much. i feel the tiredness of the mind stuff, thinking too much. help me to set my mind on you-things above--the hope of you. help to settle this soon Lord. i am weary, my eyes are tired of crying. i am hating grief. i am tired. i need you God.

Monday, March 03, 2008

midnight again and not sleeping

when i look at this picture, i see such beauty and joy. how could minutes pass and end in such tragedy. 2 wonderful kids who had so much ahead of them-and had worked so hard to learn about loving and living out life. i ache again tonight. i am angry that you both don't get to enjoy more. i struggle with the truth of tragedy. tragedy means, no choice--but to walk out the truth of the end result. i feel your presence God--I know you will be present and help us. just today, i struggle with it all. struggle to understand and accept that this is so final and over.
talking to jill tonight and hearing her deep grief, talking to karen and hearing her deep grief, talking to my sister, my niece, my aunt, friends, so many and hearing their deep grief...ugh....and then piling my own on top of it---makes a big pile.
i wonder how to climb the pile of grief and make it over it. how will this begin to make any more sense. how will i live without her? how will any of it feel more at peace. Rick says the memories will someday bring a how can it make me smile...
i am wrestling with the heaviness of this, the depth of it, the anguish of this. i want to hit something and break it-to hit something over and over to demolish it--that is what my grief feels like right now--to destroy something that wouldn't matter to anyone but to me---to pour out the anguish inside of me--to empty it and to feel the dump it overboard.
i actually had lunch the other day with some relatives in florida and we were sharing about this story of sarah's death---over lunch, when all of a sudden i almost lost my mind...thinking--how do you talk about your dear and only daughter's tragic death over was insane! i wanted to stand up and yell---"do you know this is totally nuts!!! i am talking about her death while eating lunch." how crazy is that.
then i think about all you who may be reading this--what is happening to this poor woman...well, i am just hurts like hell. i know God will bring me through this--and will ease the soreness of my aching heart--and will bring peace. don't worry--it is just grief is awful ugly and messy. please don't try to fix it. please just pray for me and all of us who miss our dear sarah so. please pray for the comforter to come faithfully--daily, minute by minute to strengthen us and encourage us to press on--to not loose sight of the goal and prize. to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds. I will not give up. I will live with courage and honor and praise. it is just ugly--and hard and sad and makes me madder than i have ever been. i miss my girl. i miss my dearest friend. i miss hearing her talk and laugh and bring such joy to all of the ones who know her. i miss her life fullness---and energy. i miss that she would be having the time of her life helping me plan a wedding--making me laugh and be so full of joy. i miss that she would be maybe pregnant by now--and still trying to finish school and take care of all of us--and making us take time to live. she would be so intentional about all of it, wouldn't she.

we must honor that memory and live well. i am doing as good as i can. Chris is too---pressing on. pressing on....sorry this is a post that will not make total sense. it is late, i have been having more trouble this week with anger--just am mad to have to walk this out. mad...mad....sad....missing her...missing our stuff...missing all the new memories. it is so final lately...over, more...
heaven is ahead...seems far off....hopeful though.
miss you girl.