Sunday marked the 4th anniversary of the death of a very close friend of mine. As I live and breathe I can not believe its been 4 years. As I sit here thinking, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
As I skimmed over the front page of the morning newspaper, I was immediately drawn to Record writer Chris Shaull’s real life story. As I began reading the article, I found myself unable to put it down. I had a childhood friend who I grew up with, went to school with, and honestly considered family. For a brief period of time after we were both married, we were neighbors, our kids even played together.
After five years of marriage and too many problems to handle, she and her husband were divorced. My friend and her daughters moved away. Afterwards, I didn’t get to see her as often as I would have liked. Sometimes months at a time would go by, but even with distance between us, we somehow always managed to remain close.
She was the kind of person that would do anything for you. She would take from herself to give to someone else in need, she would even give you the shirt off her back. She honestly had a heart of gold.
After she moved to Michigan I had no idea what she had got herself into. I later heard from her friends and family that said she got in with the wrong crowd and picked up a few bad habits. She went from one bad relationship to the next and eventually her girls were taken away and sent to live with family.
I always said we were on the same road, our lives just took us in different directions, but the path to our hearts never changed our friendship or love for each other.
Unlike Chris, she didn’t escape, she lost her life. After she died I kept asking why... why something like this could happen to such a good person. It has taken me a long time to get over her death. For the longest time, I didn’t know how to begin to put the pieces back together after losing someone who has been such a big part of my life.
When someone in your life dies, your life stops. But I learned life for others go on and people keep living. I have always looked at life and death, as everyone has a time to live and everyone has a time to die. I feel it is somehow timed or planned by God, that God doesn’t give you anything in your life you can’t handle. The attitude that everything happens for a reason and to never look back.
Today as I look at my own children and grandchildren, I can’t begin to imagine what her family went through with her death. Since, I have begun to re-think my theory of life and death. I see things a bit differently and a bit more clearly.
I know firsthand that a tragedy can unite people, test our faith in God and make us stronger to survive an unimaginable loss. The key is to hold on to the power of faith in God, and to never doubt your faith.