A memory was uncovered. It contained a photo we took in November 2014. She featured in the photo. Then my mind wandered back to 2014.
It was during the handing over retreat. We were having a games session at FOCUS centre. We had held hands in a circle. It was going to be the beginning of our close interaction.
She found her way to my heart rather fast. In a few days time she became the closest among those we worked with. Perhaps it was because we had the same taste in music. Or maybe her smile that would brighten any person’s day. Or maybe it’s the joy of finally finding a close friend whom she would walk with. Our friendship was hopeful. We’d make an awesome duet of girlfriends.
But just when our friendship was budding like a flower breaking from the petals to find its life, the unexpected happened. The Lord took her away from this world.
Grief can never be so real. Losing her broke my heart into pieces. The day we went for her send off was total darkness for me. Some music was playing in the bus we travelled in. When we were right on Mombasa road a song played. 10, 000 reasons by Matt Redman. This felt like a mock. How was I supposed to bless the Lord after taking her away? I couldn’t find any reason to bless the Lord or praise him.
I was in total distress. Tears flowed down my cheeks continously. The only time I didn’t cry was when I fell asleep.
Enter viewing of the body. Her body lay motionless. Her face disfigured. No bright smile. I wanted to stay there longer just watching her. I wanted to call her back to life. In my heart I wondered why Jesus wouldn’t raise her from death like he had done in the gospels.
It was final. From dust she was made and to dust she was returning. I pushed through to join the procession to the graveside. I wanted to be among the people carrying the coffin. I wanted to stay there at the graveside and watch the coffin roll down. I wanted to scoop large amounts of sand and throw inside the grave. I thought I’d go back there later after the send off to pay homage. It was the only way I’d feel I had come close to showing loyalty. All along tears were flowing ceaselessly.
End of the day. People went back. Life got back to normal. Everyone seemed to be doing perfectly fine. But I was not fine. I still stole moments alone to cry. I desperately wrote letters to her. I asked Jesus to read them to her. I wished I wouldn’t find the letters in the morning when I woke up, a sign that they had been delivered. It didn’t happen.
One day I had a dream talking to her. I felt good. I had had a conversation with her. But I couldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t want to be told it’s superstitious to dream about dead people. So I kept quiet and hoped she’d appear in my dreams every night. I would keep the secret for life.
She was my wallpaper for months. Many told me to remove the photo and move on. I hated them for it. I felt they didn’t understand I was mourning. I needed to see her daily. It was my way of mourning!
I promised myself my first born daughter would be named after her. It would be a way of keeping her with me. It would be a way of making sure I didn’t forget her.
I still miss her dearly. But God has healed me a great deal. As I thought through this journey of grief, I realised just how much God is able to heal wounded hearts and give peace to those in distress. It took time, but it surely did happen.
I no longer write letters to her. I no longer wish to dream about her. Her photo is no longer my phone’s wallpaper. No I haven’t forgotten her and yes I miss her. But the Lord healed me from the pain of losing a friend. He did it. Yes he did it! I could never be more grateful to him.