Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celebration of Life

On Tuesday I knew of 3 new little lives who made it into the world - on Wednesday I knew of 2 sweet souls who left it.

My facebook homepage has seemed like the definition of irony, with nearly half the posts dedicated to welcoming the new little ones and sending congratulations and well wishes to their parents, and the other half mourning the loss of those seemingly taken far too soon.

Brandon, Jonah, and Josiah - Just 3 months ago at our wedding

On Wednesday afternoon, our dear friend Josiah was welcomed into the arms of Jesus.
I’ve never lost a close friend before. Last year an acquaintance passed, and nearly 2 years ago we said goodbye to my elderly grandparents, but I’ve never lost someone this close to my age who I cared so much about. There is such comfort in knowing that Josiah was a believer and that he is now free from the pain he has suffered from for so long, but when I think about the wife and young son he left behind, my heart just breaks.

In 2006

We got the call on Tuesday night that things were coming to an end. Josiah was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago and although he went into remission a few years back that last year has been extremly hard. Brandon and I were ecstatic that he was well enough to travel to Michigan in January and be part of our wedding. Shortly after the wedding his medications started causing more harm than help and although he was technically declared cancer free, pnemonia and other lung infections kept him in the hospital.

Brandon and I cried and prayed with Brooke, Josiah’s wife, on the phone Tuesday night and then Brandon said his goodbyes to Josiah. I felt hopeless as I watched my husband try and stay strong while he told one of his oldest and dearest friends how much he loved him.
On Wednesday morning I dropped Brandon off at the airport to head for Minnesota. We had no clue whether or not he would make it in time to spend a few last moments with Josiah, but we knew he needed to try and to be there for Brooke and Jonah. Amazingly he made it and was able to spend a few hours with Brooke, Josiah, and 2 other close friends before Josiah passed. Brooke told Brandon that she kept telling Josiah throughout the night that Brandon was on his way - that he had to hold on just a little bit longer.

20-year-olds at Josiah's wedding - yes they wore kilts!

I know this is how life works - we celebrate birth, mourn death, and try and move on. But the cycle just seems so off when someone dies young. You still try and celebrate their life, but you can’t help asking why - why was it his time? Why now, when he has a young son who needs him, a wife that loves him, and so much more life to live?

Brooke and Josiah have been such an example to Brandon and I of what vows truly look like when you commit to stay together "In sickness and in health."

Brandon said yesterday - "If he was going to die from the cancer, why didn’t just God take him the first round he fought it? Why did he have to suffer for so many years?"
It’s a hard question, but then we realized something.

Because if Josiah hadn’t been able to experience that period of remission, Jonah wouldn’t be here.

And so the cycle of life continues.

We miss you already Josiah.

1 comment:

  1. My heart breaks for all of you... Especially Brooke and Jonah. But today I will also celebrate for Josiah who is surely only rejoicing with our Saviour. Prayers for the difficult road ahead as his family and friends continue this journey without their friend, husband and father. A big hug for you and Brandon.