The funny thing about sunsets, sunrises

There is a strange thing about sunsets, sunrises-somebody else mentioned this, but I can’t remember who…maybe PBW? Anyway… Unless you are the photographer, it’s not always easy to tell if a photo is depicting a sunset, or a sunrise.

I took this more than two years ago in Alaska, and it’s depicting a sunset.  Fitting I suppose, as a dear, beloved friend of mine from church passed away on Monday.

A dear friend.   I’m 34.  I’ve known her since I was probably 8.  One of my happiest childhood memories is forever tied to her and her family.  Now she’s gone and that selfish part of me looks at a picture like this one and I can’t help but see the setting sun.  Even though I’m Christian and I don’t just think there is a life beyond this one-for me, it’s a knowledge and I know something better awaits her.  I know that her body, weak since before we were in high school, no longer plagues her and she can run, jump and fish, things she hasn’t done easily in more than 20 years.

Still, my heart breaks.

One consolation I have is in knowing that she no longer suffers.  That broken body that gave up on her far before her heart did is no longer broken.  She won’t look at a picture like this and see a sun setting on a life, but a sun rising on a new one.  It’s a small comfort.  Not a big one.  But hey, I’m only human and I’m allowed to take a while to grief.  I’m ready, though, to look at a picture like this and see the rising of the sun…seeing the strength, the warmth and the comfort that awaits.

I’d like to say I’m ready to stop hurting–I’ve got some friends who are telling me just remember, this is a blessing…you don’t need to cry for her. I know they mean well.   But I’m not crying for her…I’m crying for me, and the loss of her.  She was a near, dear, beloved friend and if she isn’t worth my pain and my grief, then I have to wonder…who is?

Don’t be afraid to indulge in your misery.  In the end, we’re only human.

In a few months, I know I’ll be able to look back and think of her sunrise.  But I need the time to mourn first.

and again, I’m turning off comments…not because I don’t appreciate the well wishes, but I need some time.  Also, while I appreciate the intent, please don’t email with prayers and condolences, well wishes at this time.  I do appreciate the good thoughts, but I’m cutting back on email and stuff for a few days.

ETA: Totally forgot I had a Writes & Wrongs blog going up yesterday…it was on author presence.