Monday, April 23, 2012

one year.

today it is one year since briana died.

a few weeks ago, on good friday as a matter of fact, i missed her so badly and had so much sadness that i didn't even know where to put it, and so it came spilling out of my eyes in great big tears as i was driving home from work. thinking about her hurt that day.

but today i woke up and i felt so happy and peaceful and calm. it was raining, like it was on the day she died, and it felt just right somehow, cozy and familiar.

it was a year ago that holly called me and told me. something had happened. there was an accident. briana was gone. i heard her but i couldn't understand what it meant. all i knew was that i couldn't repeat the words, out loud or in my head, without breaking down to cry.

i felt alone and far away from so many people who knew and loved her-- and me-- the best. and so to make some sense of it all, to wrap my head around something that i could dissect and analyze, i became obsessed with the details. the roads were wet. the car swerved. but why? they weren't wearing their seatbelts. but why? how did the car roll? where did it land? i read every article, every blog, watched every news report, looked at every picture.

had she been afraid? had she suffered? i worried.

and i worried for myself, too. i have not had many chances in my life, thankfully, to learn the language of grief and loss. was i doing it right? mourning enough? too much? in the right way? i wanted briana to come to me somehow, maybe in a dream or just in a thought, and tell me i was doing OK, tell me that she remembered me, that she missed me as much as i miss her.

lately, though, i have felt that there's no reason for her to tell me something i already know and believe in my heart. of course she remembers me, the thought comes. but she's much too busy to take the time to tell me that when i don't need to be reminded and there are so many other things going on over on the other side.

and so today i woke up and i felt happy and peaceful and calm. it was raining, like it was on the day she died, and it felt just right somehow, cozy and familiar. i put on a big sweater, and treated myself to a morning hot chocolate.

and tonight i baked lemon bars and filled a bowl with fresh, delicious berries, and gathered around me the women friends who have meant the most to me in my life here, who have inspired me and forgiven me and served me and loved me and it didn't matter whether they had known bri or not. it was universal sisterhood in action. we sewed and ate and laughed and i told a few stories and it was just the way i wanted to spend tonight. i can't think of a more perfect way to remember dear, sweet, beloved briana. and i think she probably took a few minutes out of her eternal day to join us.


SRA said...

Beautiful. I read your entry from Good Friday-time and looked up a bunch of stuff online about her. All I could think was "Wow". Loved and admired by so many at such a young age. Not many come along like that. At all. You were blessed to know one of them...and to know that you will know her again.

Stephanie May Anderson said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your friend. I felt like you were writing many of the things I have felt since losing my friend. I really needed this post Frances! Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts and gift of writing. Sure miss you here. I know our friends watch over us and peek through the windows of heaven every now and then in their own way to remind us they do love, remember, and miss us.