When Grampie died, I wrote up his story as well as I could, just as I'd done for my mother. It was placed in various papers and read at Grampie's memorial as the sum of his life. And today, I'm thinking about another life's story must be written in the same way. A dear, dear friend died Tuesday. I won't be the one to write her story but I'm thinking of it, nevertheless. I'm thinking what I know of her story, what I know of her character, who I know her to be. These are a few of the things I know, and they aren't about facts (though I know her birthdate, her birthplace, her parents' names, etc):
- She loved to have conversation. That's how she always said it, not conversations--plural--but conversation, like it was one, ongoing deep-reaching interaction between people.
- She loved to laugh. She had a really witty, goofy side and a strong sense of the ridiculous (in the best sense) and her laugh was inimitable
- She was always at the disposal of any who needed her nursing care
- She was deeply transparent, willing to admit her flaws, talk about her worries, face her fears
- She was wickedly competitive at games--practically impossible to beat, especially when she got a certain glint (and wink) in her eye
- She had an ease in everything she did, from cooking to taking care of sprinklers to knitting to playing Sudoku on her Nook
- She loved to take naps
- She made everyone around her feel they were the most cared for-person in the room
- She gave long, tight hugs
- She was practical, calm, wise and tender
- She adored her husband and family more than anything on this earth
So I wait a moment and when I can think here's what I know about my friend's story:
It isn't over. She lives. She has stepped through a stable door (as The Last Battle puts it) into something much bigger and more beautiful than is on this side. I can't imagine how beautiful it is there, but SHE can. She knows now. She's there. For us, for her beloved grieving family, it feels like the end, but it's only the end of this part. And I do not, DARE NOT, mitigate how difficult the road ahead for them (for me too, in a different way). I told her last week I would pray for her children. She knows I will. I have lost a beloved parent. That part I know. It's gruelingly hard work.
But I sit here, where I have sat with her and prayed for them, and thank God that she is. That though we cannot know it, she lives and breathes and has her being just through the stable door in His throne Room.