Most of the time, each thing I write is an independent beast, my posts can be read individually without the reader missing anything. I don't usually have a reason to talk about my previous posts, but my last post felt a little different than what I usually write, and I don't want to move on without acknowledging that. People thanked me for writing it, which is excessively kind, and extremely undeserved. I wish I did not know how it feels like to lose a friend, but I do, and so I tried to use that knowledge in a helpful way. Since I wrote about such a serious subject that so many people seemed to relate to, it's intimidating to continue writing, knowing that not everything I write is going to impact as many people as that post. But I'm going to keep going, and ironically, talk about how to keep going.
I noticed something Sunday in the choir room at church, a note about how they should sing a song "softly, and a little slow". Those words struck me as not only a way to sing a song, but a way to conduct life after a loss. I remember the days after Scott's funeral, when the official mourning was over but my personal mourning had just begun. I wondered how I would continue going to youth group and English class knowing that he would never be there again. I honestly don't know how I did, other than just getting up every morning and getting through the day, until eventually my grief became an intermittent sting instead of a constant ache. I learned to be soft with myself and others (which I am still working on), and to be patient with myself when I feel like I am moving through the various struggles of life too slowly.
As our community continues with life after loss, many of us trying to understand why we outlived such a young person whose life was just getting started, I hope we remember to be soft always, not just in the few short days immediately following a tragedy. May we heal, but not forget the lessons we learned in our pain. In a few days, many of us will spend time with our families and focus on being thankful for all that we have. May we remember to pray for those who are missing someone in this season that is all about being with the ones we love, and always be thankful for the people in our lives, never forgetting that our days our numbered and there's no time to be unkind.