this week we lost a dear friend. a friend who was both sweet and sassy. a friend who fought a more than 10-year classy fight with a brain tumor. Claire Carey is with Jesus and while there's clearly a part of me that's saddened over the loss of a friend, there's part of me that's envious of where she is right now - the songs she's singing that have been sung for thousands of years, the dancing she's doing without needing any help, the talking she's doing without delay and without the struggle it's been to tell her brain to tell her mouth what to speak, but mostly the sweet interaction she's having with our gracious God who gave her to us, but now has called her home to Himself.
there is a sense of loss for those of us left behind. those of us who knew her only peripherally, those of us who got to spend time with her weekly at home group and those of us who were in her daily, even hourly life. it's for those that my heart hurts most. for her husband, her best friends, her family, her caretakers the last few years. there's no worse pain.
but there's something that happens when we lose someone.
we give ourselves permission to grieve - to cry, to pray, to talk about things we wouldn't normally, to drop everything else to be community for each other. and there's something about this that i think is so healthy, so right.
after our home group spending time together last night doing just those things, i went home feeling somewhat relieved, feeling more peaceful, feeling more raw but simultaneously more put together than i did when i got there. why? because we need that. and we need that more often than just when there is loss. we need that regularly. we were meant to be known. so why do we only use tragedy as an excuse to cry, be honest, drop all other things to be family? my resolve is to do this more often... to be family for those He's put in my life and to be real and give others permission to do the same whether times are good or bad.
Claire Carey, thanks for trusting that God is good despite your inability to understand your circumstances and thanks for using your life as a testimony of that. and thanks for making us family this week. we will miss you here, but will see you there when He calls us home.