It's taken me four days to find the strength to write this post. Today, we lay to rest another dear friend. This death came without any notice, incomprehensible, leaving us all in shock. This one wasn't supposed to happen.
Elaina was a beautiful, 33 -year-old woman with a heart of gold, hands of creativity and generosity, and a body committed to serving those around her. She was always filled with joy, enjoying life with a fervor beyond her years. She loved giving of herself to her family, her friends, and her community.
When I first met Elaina, I had just married hubby and she and her family were our closest neighbors (they still are, although her brother and his wife have built a home in between us). Elaina was 11. She was thrilled about our little girls and enjoyed spending time with them. As she got older, and we had our son, she spent more time babysitting for them. She taught my children so much over the years.
She was a wonderful baker, a beautiful quilt maker, an avid 4-H participant and then leader. For having such a short life, she touched more hearts than just about anyone else I've known.
This past Wednesday, February 24, I received a call from my mom. Life changed from that moment on. Elaina was gone. She had gone to bed the night before and had not woken up. Her older brother had been sent to check on her when she didn't show up for work. Her car was in the garage, she wouldn't answer her phone, and she wouldn't come to the door. The adrenaline starting pumping in his 6'4" body and he made quick work of her two back doors, breaking through them with a mighty kick. He found his precious sister gone. She was lying peacefully in bed with her kitty curled up under the covers beside her.
Shock. No other word can describe the feelings that went through her family and her friends as the news trickled out. Deep sadness, incomprehensible shock. This could not be happening we all seemed to be saying. Sadly, it's real.
Today, we say our final good-byes. My heart aches for her mom and dad, her two brothers and their wives (so very close to Elaina) and especially for her five young nieces and nephews. She adored them and they, her. My children were blessed to have known and grown up with her, they have good memories, it saddens me so to think that the youngest four are not going to be able to really remember her.
God, grant us all the strength to face this day. May you be glorified even as we struggle to understand.