On August 11th, 2012, I sat next to Richard in Capital theater anxiously waiting for the musical Wicked to start. I could not wait to be able to hash it over with you and Gerb at our next couples dinner. I was excited and had looked forward to being able share my experience with you guys since I received the tickets for Mother's Day. Unfortunately, that talk over dinner would never happen. At the time I didn't know it, but you were already gone.
Losing you has been one of toughest things I have experienced in my 37 years of life. The last 2 years have been filled with questions, regret, sadness, and tears. There have also been moments of self discovery, understanding, learning and even more tears. Being ever the teacher, I have been taught many things through the experience of losing you. Perhaps, I knew them all along from Primary or such, but didn't really understand until I experienced them.
It is hard to capture the thoughts and feelings of the moments these things happened, but I would like to try and share a few with you:
-We cannot judge. Thank heavens we have a very loving and caring Heavenly Father who knows every little part of our hearts and the desires in it who has already claimed that job. He is merciful and extends that mercy willingly.
- We should remember everyone by the good they bring into this world, not by their mistakes or weaknesses. Would you want to be remembered for the worst thing you did? Neither does anyone else.
-I learned that I have limits and that I don't have to do everything by myself. Even though I have trouble with executing this, I am doing better.
-It has been confirmed to me over and over again that my Heavenly Father loves me. That he considers me a treasure.
-I also know how much He loves you. I know how much he loved you while you spent time here on earth, but also how that love has extended and grown since you have returned to him.
-The Atonement is not just for sins. It is for broken hearts and struggling souls too. It is there to make us whole and steady our faltering feet.
-The Atonement cannot work if we don't come unto Christ and allow him to take that burden from us.
-Give up the burden. Holding on impedes healing and you don't have to hold on to the hurt to show love for someone.
-He is waiting for us to come to him. He is calling our name with open arms.
- We must have faith.
-We must remember that faith is more than believing. Believing is not enough. Faith requires action (prayers, scripture study, faithfulness in callings, temple service, etc.) along with belief.
One thing that hasn't changed, that I have known all along is that I stand beside you. Your name is golden in my eyes and until I am give absolute proof of wrong doing it will remain so. There are no number of hunches or signs that prove to me otherwise. You are my friend and if I were in a similar position I hope you would treat me the same way.
Do I wish I could have my friend back? Heck YES! Everyday! Would I give up the lessons and experiences I have gained through the trial of losing you? No, not at all. I am a better person because of it. Which brings me back to Wicked....
Over these past couple of years anything that has dealt with Wicked has been Taboo. When it came to town the billboards, Facebook posts and advertisements made me feel nauseous. The music was banned in our house. Whenever a certain song came on it was quickly changed to something else with less memories attached to it. The ban continued until the other day a few weeks ago.
I was busy cleaning to my iTunes account playing from the computer in the kitchen. I had been down stairs and before I knew what song was playing it was already past the introduction and into the first verse of the song. I reached for the mouse to skip to another song and as I did the words penetrated my heart. It was time. I let the song play on while I sat like a puddle on the floor and missed you, my friend.
This is your song.Your good permeates my life even to this day. I have learned so much from you! Now and then, before and after, you have touched my life for good. I thank you.
And HaPpY BiRtHdAy Jas! May there be rainbows, kittens, and unicorns to make your day complete.
Beautiful, Natalie. And here I am, tears in my eyes, missing our friend, too.
Both you and Gerb are much better people than I am. You've been productive in your grief. I'm still circling and cycling and I'm in the "I'm mad at you"!!!! stage. Funny how when I first heard of the loss of our friend, I was mad but quickly moved onto intense grief and denial and blame. Now I'm mad again.
I wish I'd known you were going through this yesterday. I chose to spend the day in denial. Acknowledged that it was his birthday and then quickly suppressed any feelings.... I guess that isn't denial is it. :) Suppression.
There are certain songs that come on the radio that I associate with Jason. I immediately change the station. I'm hoping to someday get to the point where I can celebrate them instead of run from them. Running and building walls. That's what I do best! :)
This was beautifully written!! Much like the author!
You are amazing Natalie! I loved this! Jason did so much good for so many people! I am reassured to know your heart is healing and your faith is strong. You have always been an example and a pillar of strength to me!
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