This past week has brought more emotions to the surface for me than I ever believed possible in 8 short days. Saturday, February 7th marked a milestone in our family, the last day during which Bruce's brother, Chris, was alive on this earth. On Sunday, February 8th, at about 2 p.m., Bruce got the news that Chris, at the young age of 43, had died in his sleep. We began the long journey into grief, trying to figure out how to plan a memorial in his honor and how to forgive ourselves for our parts in his unhappiness. Together, we finally agreed that while we may not have been as involved as we may have been in Chris' life, he was an adult and made decisions that only he had control over.
Faith helped me immensely, as I physically felt the results of prayers that so many of my friends and family members were sending up on our behalf. I have faith that Chris is no longer in pain, that he has met is Maker and is on a better path. I have faith that I am where I'm supposed to be, living the life I'm supposed to live, and that there is nothing I could have done differently to change the outcome of Chris' life. I have faith that, with a little help from my friends, I will be OK.
Elation came on Friday, just hours before the memorial service, as we found out that Tori will be portraying Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie at Linganore the last weekend in April. We needed that good news to buoy us in this time of grief. She was lifted up to sing at the Memorial - Blue Wind from the musical Spring Awakening - a haunting song that reflected the sadness we were all feeling. So many people came to the memorial - many of Chris' friends from the writing group he worked with, friends from school days, family friends, and many of my dear friends from work, theatre, and girlfriend circles. They will never know what their support and presence meant to me - words can't adequately tell them.
So, onward we go...winter is waning and soon the green shoots of Spring will be popping up everywhere. We may see one or two more snowfalls, but the very most dark part of Winter is on the way into the past. We have all of the rites of Spring to look forward to....singing competitions, Easter, Spring Break, and the musical. Tori's Junior year of high school is winding down, and college visits are on the agenda.
Life goes on....