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2013: The Year of AWFUL, Pt. 2
or The Rule of 3+

To see Part 1 of this series, click here.

This post is in the most danger out of the rest in this series to be the whiniest, self-absorbed crap that you've ever read. I promise I'll do my best to keep the emo to a minimum, but I make no guarantees.

In short, everyone is dying. And I'm tired of it.

Since late May, I have attended, taken part in, and been privy to not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 funerals. That's 4 deaths in just a little over 3 months. And it's not like they were funerals that you attend simply to show support for the families affected because you didn't know the deceased very well.

These were personal. 

These were heartbreaking.

'Not Quite Mom' (but almost) was the first death that rocked my world this year. This woman was... amazing. Her daughter and I were really close when we were younger, and she opened her arms and her home to me frequently after school while her daughter and I grew up together. She was a bastion of servitude and grace under pressure, and I learned so much about being a well-rounded, Southern woman from her.

Earlier this year, NQM was having headaches. Debilitating ones. She went into the doctor, but no one could tell her what was wrong. A couple of months later, after a bunch of testing, the doctors told her that she had 2 weeks to live. Around 2 weeks later, she was gone.

That's how quick it was. It didn't seem real.

It wasn't - it isn't - fair.

I can't even imagine how her daughter made it through. If my Mom passed away, I would be inconsolable. I just... 
I don't even want to think about it. 
I can't think about it.
I won't.

The 2nd death happened less than 2 weeks later. He was a friend of mine from high school whose sense of humor and kindhearted generosity affected everyone around him. I don't know all of the details, but he fell into some bad times over the last year or so and ended up taking his own life. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish I had made more of an effort to contact him (he had kind of fallen off the grid, and no one was really able to get a hold of him), to touch base and catch up. So many 'what if's' to which I'll never get an answer.

The 3rd funeral was the first one that I couldn't attend due to time constraints and distance. I didn't know him as well as others, but he was a deeply caring young man that died doing what he loved: mission work and enjoying the outdoors. He was on a missions trip over in Spain and and fell to his death while vacationing in Switzerland. He had been mountain climbing. He was in his early 20s, and it breaks my heart that the world only got to see him for such a short time.

Out of all 4 deaths, the 4th one was the one that hit me the hardest. Or possibly it feels that way because it's the freshest. Last Sunday, I got a call from my Mom telling me that, per Facebook, a very good friend of mine had passed away in a motorcycle accident in Utah. 

At first, I didn't believe her. I thought she was playing some sick joke, that she had just taken a crazy pill and thought something like that would be funny. But no, it was real. It was devastatingly real.

He and I had dated a few years ago before he moved home to Utah, but we had ended things mutually simply because we had different ideals and life goals. We had maintained a close friendship ever since. Heck, I even have an entire folder in my Gmail inbox devoted to e-mails that he sent me. I have yet to go through it, but I will never, ever delete any of those e-mails. Ever.

He was a wonderful man, and the world is a little bit darker without him in it.

A few days before his funeral, a family member of his contacted me to see if I would sing a song in remembrance of him. Apparently, he had made a comment to a church friend of his a few weeks prior saying that he wanted me to sing "Nature Boy" at his funeral whenever that happened. It was a bittersweet twist of fate that he would need me to sing it so soon.

Since the funeral was so far away (Logan, Utah), there wasn't any way I could feasibly make it. I got together with some very generous and talented friends and put together this recording in his honor. While I was absolutely honored to take part in the funeral proceedings, I wish with my entire being that I had never needed to do so.

So... this year... HARD. I'm still not done processing, and I doubt I'll be able to wade through all of the feels for quite some time. As stated in my previous post, I have to take all of this one day at a time and address emotions as they hit me. Hell, sometimes I don't even have to address them. I just have to allow them to happen.

All of that being said, however, I am completely spent, to the full extent of the word. I've never cried this much. I've never felt so helpless and small in my life. The only thing I can figure to do is just wait for it to pass.



Unknown said…
You have an amazing voice.

I'm so sorry all of this happened at one time. All of the best people leave us way too soon. I'm glad you had those people in your life and I'm sure they all felt lucky to have you in theirs.
suesal said…
Stef - I am so sorry for your losses. Let your writing take you through your grief journey. I've one major loss this year - that of my mother and I've dumped my soul into my blog a few times as well as poetry and venting on a FB page with my sisters. It's a wonderful outlet to allow just a little sanity to settle into the chaos when the world feels like it has turned upside down. Thinking of you.....
Linda H said…
I love you Stef.


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