Carving. And Stories. ~ The Grace Between

Carving. And Stories.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of one of my best friends. Eight years. If you are a regular reader, or a Facebook friend, you already know that. If you’d like to read more about her, feel free to click here.

You know what surprised me about yesterday? I’m not surprised by her absence anymore.

It used to be that I would trick myself into thinking that we just hadn’t talked in a while … Army life does that to friendships … she was busy, I was busy … and then I would remember, ambushed by grief and loss.

Now, for better or worse, losing her is a part of my story. When I look at the shape of my soul today, her death carved a permanent contour there.  And the inevitable cracks in my foundation, coming on the heels of losing my first child, still shake me to the core on some present days. There is the before, and the after of the first year, and  my knowledge of her life lives in the before and her death in the after. And friends, the after is long overtaking the before.

Not just her life, but her death is a part of who I am and how I live now. The good AND the difficult parts of me. I don’t know how I feel about that. I don’t know how I am supposed to feel about that.

There are lessons in the carving, and even in death, in grief, there are moments of joy, of laughter. And we who grieve, we stake those moments down, we feed them into our weary, sad souls, and we grow with the knowledge we reluctantly gain.

And truly, capturing the stories of these moments, it’s what I love, it’s what I crave. All of them fashion the landscape of our lives, they form the valleys and mold the mountains, they tell our before, and after.

All the small stories together become our Story, and the hard parts change us. They carve into our souls making these new shapes, not better or worse, just new. 

And maybe the mystery is that I can be thankful to a Sovereign God for who I am now. I can be all gratitude for my story, and still be honest enough to admit that were the years ticked backwards, I would not write the story this way. I would not choose this method of carving again – that the cost still is too great.

I can live in the grey on this one, my friends. I pray the same mystery for all of you who grieve.


{Linking up with #imperfectprose and #TellHisStory}.

{My dear friend Jaime touched countless lives … please know that this is just MY small way of dealing with her part in mine … I would give anything to know she was just a phone call away.} 

And it may have been eight years, but I write the story of her death every time I say this little girl’s name … who couldn’t be anyone BUT Jaime, and who would not exist were it not for the loss of Baby H. {I realize these are old-ish, from March of 2013, but these two pictures tell her story far better than I ever could}. Mystery. And grey spaces.

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