Monday, August 23, 2010

Goodbye, Michelle

It was a tough weekend.  I've experienced very little death in my life, and those I have greived do not compare to the shocking loss of a beautiful young friend. 

Michelle's funeral was a beautiful memorial service filled with hundreds of photos and memories.  I'll think of her whenever I hear one of my favorite songs, "I Can Only Imagine," by Mercy Me.  Her young neice sang it in front of a full auditorium wearing a sparkly black party dress and flip flops.  So brave and sweet.

We were the last in Brent's receiving line, and when he saw us, he embraced us in a huge bear hug and wouldn't. let. go.  He'd been smiling and shaking the hands of those before us, so I was not prepared.  Oh...I cried.  I tried not to, for his sake, because it was just moments before the funeral was to begin.  I've cried buckets since Tuesday.

We signed a memory book for Brent and his son.  I filled an entire page with all the places we went and double dates we did together right off the top of my head.  For the rest of the weekend, we would say things to each other like, "Didn't we go to.....with them, too?" right in the middle of a different conversation.

Michelle's wish was to be cremated.  Her sister said that she'd seen the body, so I presume the family was able to say their goodbyes.  I didn't realize how important it is for people to be able to actually see the body, feel the cool hand, and say goodbye.  It is for me, anyhow.  My dear, sweet, husband reassured me I had, that the last time I saw her, I hugged her in our garage.  Thank God he told me that, because I couldn't remember. 

I still wanted to do something special to say goodbye, so we took a walk to a nearby cemetery yesterday afternoon.  We found a gravestone for her and left her flowers. I chose one belonging to a woman who'd lived to age 79, because Michelle should have died an old woman.  Her last name was Holmen, one letter off from Holmes, so I'll be able to find it again and leave a little love at that seemingly forgotten stone.

I can hardly write this.  The letters are blurry and swimming.  I've been typing, deleting, and crying for a half hour now.  But before the boys get up, I have to get this out and tell you all that I love you and care for you so very much. 

Please get right with God. 
Please wear your seat belt at all times.
Don't ever touch that darn cell phone in the car again.  

Because I can't lose any more friends this way.

*Big sigh* 

Okay, now I have to get back to my real-life duties of cutting up food into little tiny pieces and chasing the munchkins every which way.  My plan is to take this blog back into the cuteness of our little fellas who turn 15 months! this week.  Thank you for allowing me to share little bits of my not-mommy life with you the last few days.  Thank you for caring.


The Alexanders said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You are right about the fact that there are no words for a tragedy like this. I do use my phone in my car but after reading this post I WILL NOT use my phone in the car again. My thought are with you.

Bonnie said...

I will.
I do.
And I won't. Ever again. I swear.

Thanks for sharing your heart this way.

Meika said...

So sorry, Kim. Losing a friend is so hard. :(

Gretchen said...

I had that same experience last week with my friend Michelle. It is so hard to loose someone so young, so full of life. Those funerals are the hardest. I hope you find comfort and peace.