When you pray for someone you love to be healed, you pray with all your might and every part of your being, hoping and wishing with your complete heart that they will get better. But sometimes God has a different plan.
My Aunt had been fighting cancer for several months, when suddenly things took a turn for the worst. I don't think I have ever prayed quite so hard or determinedly in my life. My whole family was praying, and there are so many of us that I imagined all of our prayers coming together for a miracle. However, my Aunt Betty ended up passing away. This was last week, just shortly after we returned from our trip. It is so hard to believe, so difficult to grasp, and it was so sudden. Losing her is a jolt to my mind, awakening me to what I so often take for-granted, how precious each day is, how blessed I am to be alive, and how valuable each memory of each moment with those I love is. She was so young and had so much life to live and love to give. When I lose someone, I mourn because of how much we miss them and that there is a hole in our family where they should be, but I also mourn for how sad I feel to know that that person can no longer be with their family and that they can't enjoy the little things of life that they loved. Every time I do something that stands out to me as a moment that makes life so beautiful, I think of them and how I wish they were still here to feel that, too. I think of the things they are missing out on getting to do now. My Aunt was an amazing seamstress and that is just one thing I think of... the dresses she won't get to sew and enjoy creating now. I grieve over the weddings and family events she will be absent from, the special moments she won't be there for with her children, grandchildren, and us as her whole family. When someone lives a life as beautiful as she, it is hard to accept that they won't be here anymore to keeping living it.
For living a short life so far, I have experienced much loss in death of friends and loved ones. Death never gets easier to deal with. This time was harder for me because I am older and I think I have a heightened sense of the ache of sadness that it leaves you with. It was also devastating to our family because of the strength of character and beautiful soul that my Aunt Betty had. She was a rock in our family. I will miss her so much... miss getting to know her better as a young woman instead of a girl, miss her bright smile that is forever stamped in my mind (such a beautiful smile), her sparkly eyes, her voice, her giving heart. I pray for comfort for my Uncle- her husband- because I cannot even imagine how much he is missing her and all of those remarkable things about her right now.
I am at a loss for words, so in describing her, I will take the words straight from her beautifully written obituary. Whoever wrote this could not have said it more perfectly.
"She was a beautiful person with the most loving soul. She was kind and selfless to anyone that crossed her path. Her ultimate passion in life was to give her very best to her family. She loved her husband, children, and grandchildren deeply and without measure.
She delivered her creativity to the entire community through her beyond rare ability to craft custom heart felt hand-made creations.
One of the most important things to her was her relationship with God. The legacy she leaves on this earth is that her children will grow in their relationship with The Lord and pass that love and devotion on.
Although she was taken too soon from those that loved her, we know she will always be with us and we will remember to keep her in our hearts everyday.
We love you always and forever."
Our hearts are so heavy, but I am thankful to be blessed with a large and loving family that is so supportive and holds each other up during times like this. Her memorial service and funeral could not have been more beautiful, and being there and mourning with my family has allowed my heart to let out some of the ache I have felt over the past week. My Daddy played Amazing Grace for her at the church service the day of her funeral, lovely verses were read, and beautiful songs were played.
My Aunt Betty was most passionate in her life about her faith in God and about caring for her family, devoting herself to raising four children and to her 37 year marriage. She was kind and selfless to all she met and went out of her way to help others. She leaves with me the highest inspiration to live my life with that same kind of devotion, reminding me of what in life holds the most true meaning.
Looking at her photos at the service and now, my heart feels a sorrow that is hard to describe. I am thankful to have been blessed to be her niece. I will miss her and wish that I could have spent more time with her, but I know that someday I will get that chance, because it isn't goodbye forever. ♥
When I think of her, I will picture her beaming smile and her loving spirit. I will also think of this song that she loved, because it was played at the service. It was also played for my Grandma's when she passed away. This song makes me think about how our faith as a family is the only way we are getting through this loss. I cherish this song for it's meaning, and now because it will be a reminder to me of the beautiful person that my Aunt Betty was and that she will always remain with us in our hearts.... our inspiration of strength, because she was undoubtedly one of the strongest, if not the strongest, women I was ever blessed to know. She went through tragedy and sorrows in her life, but she relied on God even more and became even stronger because of it.
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not
be dismayed, for I am your God; I will
strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous
"Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted"
"I grieve for all the tomorrows that will
never be. I grieve because God now
holds you instead of me"
"Goodbyes are not forever, are not
the end; it simply means I miss you
until we meet again"
I hope you have a blessed day!