One I loved Died
I was placed in a
position to experience grief in a huge dose a few years ago. Could I
handle it and keep my sanity? I wasn't sure at the time. God surely was
with me or I wouldn't have made it.
It started out when my best friend wrote me a letter. She lived 500 miles
away and the letter simply said, My friend, I'm dying. I need you. My
husband so generously agreed to drive me the distance to spend some time
with her. We had been best friends for probably 15 years. She was the kind
of person that made you want to take care of her. She was unmarried with a
young daughter. They were very poor. I didn't have much either but I
only had myself to take care of, so I often picked them up on Sunday for
dinner at my house. When I could I bought things for her daughter. I
loved them like my own family. My mother was sick and I was taking
care of her so we were only able to keep in touch by letters and an
occasional phone call.
I'll never forget the day I received the letter from her. The way my heart
just sank and the tears were uncontrollable. I've never been able to make
friends easily and she was so precious to me. We made that long drive and
I spent every minute that I could at the hospital with her for three days.
We talked about all the things we had done together and all the things we
wished we would be able to do but couldn't because of her illness. I would
sit for hours reading, or singing. That seemed to soothe her. She
was in such pain. Oh, why did she smoke so much all her life? I tried to
get her to stop, but she just couldn't seem to get out of that awful
addiction and now she was paying with her life. She did ask me one last
favor, which surprised me at the time. I hadn't realized that my
witnessing about the Lord to her had made that much of a difference.
She said to me, "promise me you will do for my daughter what you did
for me." When I asked what I'd done for her she said,
"make sure she goes to heaven." I was so thankful that I'd
told her about God and how He loved her so many times. I thought,
'This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.'
Finally the three days were over and I had to go back home. I
couldn't leave my mother any longer than that. In three weeks I
received a call from her daughter. She just said "she's gone,
and I feel so alone." I tried to stay in touch with her, but
she finally stopped writing to me. I can only hope that she has
found the Lord and will meet her mom again someday.
It was about 6 months later that my baby sister was taken to the hospital.
She was 40 years old but always my baby sister. From the time she was 8
she had taken injections for Sugar Diabetes. Over the years she has
experienced such pain and never could adjust to living like that. Her self
esteem was almost nothing and she didn't do well in school. She
never would stay on the diet she needed in order to stay healthy.
My mother had spent many nights in the hospital with Ann over the years,
but I never really felt the need to do that. I visited often when she was
sick, but mom was the one she needed. This time it was different.
Mom was sick too, she had cancer and couldn't do the things she used to to
so I took the responsibility of looking after my sister. I woke up
that morning with such an urgency to see Ann. She was in the hospital at
least 150 miles from home, but I just had to be with her. I got my brother
in law to drive me, since my husband also had cancer and wasn't able to
travel now like he used to. Leaving him and my mom to look after each
other for the few days I was to be gone, I went to visit my sister. I
thought it would be like all the other times she was in the hospital, a
few days to get her blood sugar regulated and we'd both be going back
We had some quality time together. We talked about our years of
growing up, our concern for mom. We shared a love for God so we read the
bible together. We both loved to sing so when we were in the room
alone, we would sing a little, but she was getting weaker every day
instead of getting better. On the third day, I left the motel early and
went to her room. As I rounded the corner toward her room, I had such an
uneasy feeling. It only worsened as I looked into her room and saw
that her bed was gone. She was no where to be found. I can't even
describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew something awful had
happened. I started looking for a nurse or doctor, any one that could tell
me where she was. A nurse finally told me that they had been trying
to call my room. My sister had gotten so bad, they were trying to
keep her alive until I could get there and tell them what to do. They
informed me that they could go on working with her, but she was so fragile
it might break her breast bones. She might live an hour or so at
best, so when they ask me if they should go on with it or let her
go, I didn't even hesitate. "I know her heart is right with God,
please let her rest in peace."
I stood there with her as she slipped away to be with her maker. I kissed
her cheek and whispered, "I love you, I'll see you in a little
while." Then she was gone. Again I thought, 'This is the hardest
thing I've ever had to do.'
I got through those two losses, with much heartache. I thought
'how strong I'm turning out to be'. I didn't realize I was just pushing
these things to the back of my mind where I couldn't feel the pain. I had
so much to do I couldn't afford to feel all that grief. Sometime shortly
after my sister died, my dog had to be put to sleep. My husband was so
weak by this time that I felt I had to be the strong one about this. I
took it upon myself to be the one to hold her while the vet was giving her
the injection that would take her out of my life forever. I cried so hard
over losing my precious friend, just a dog but so close to me. Again after
a good cry, I pushed it to the back of my mind. I had my mom and my
husband to care for. My mom was getting worse. I would schedule their
Chemo-therapy on the same day. We lived in a small town so I'd have to
drive them 50 miles to the hospital. I would take my husband first,
he was more capable of going through the treatment by himself, my mom was
timid and afraid, so even though it would break my heart to leave him, I'd
get him settled and go with my mom for her treatment in a hospital a few
miles away. When she was finished, we would go and pick up my
husband who had been sitting alone waiting for an hour or so.
This went on for 6 months after Ann had died, and then my mom couldn't
make it any longer. I knew the time was close. She had gotten to the place
where she couldn't do anything for herself. My husband helped
me as much as he could, but he was weak too. My mom and I were so
close. It was as if we were one spirit. She couldn't speak for the
last couple of weeks but I always knew what she needed or was trying to
tell me with a certain look. I knew she was so tired and wanted to go on
home, but she was worried about me. I had worked so hard over the
last year or so taking care of her and my sister and my husband. I had to
tell her it was okay, that I would be fine. I said "Mom, you've
waited all your life to meet Jesus, now you can go and spend eternity with
Him" She smiled at me, I said "I love you Mom." For
the first time in a couple of weeks, she spoke. She said so clearly,
"I love you, Carrie." With that she slipped away to be
with her Jesus. I sat there thinking again 'the hardest thing I've
ever had to do'. I felt so alone after she died. I begged God,
"Please don't let me be left alone, don't take Ross too. At
least wait, I can't take losing them both." He was so gracious
to me, he let me keep Ross for another year and a half after losing mom.
But that's another story. I am writing a story from the journal I kept
while we went through those months and years of chemotherapy.
The only way I got through the grief of losing all the people that I loved
the most was to have God in my life. Still I just made it. I
wanted to give up and die myself so many times but He was always there by
my side, helping me through the hard times.
Prayer is the only answer.
© by Carrie Kinyon 2001