Today is the one year anniversary of Kara’s passing. I’ve been avoiding this day—or at least thoughts of it. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until the first Mundane Faithfulness blog came out last week. Blythe is doing a series from many friends about this year, and I did not write anything. It wasn’t on purpose. I just put the thought aside, and then suddenly, it was upon us. Once I realized the reason I’d been avoiding writing—because it hurt so much to think about Kara—I burst into tears. It was like a reminder…yep, the grief is still there. Just because it lays dormant for a few days or weeks doesn’t mean it won’t spring back at me.
Knowing that this date was coming has been like being unable to take a full breath. Like knowing when you round the next corner something is going to jump out and scare you. And yet you have to round that corner. You dread it. And you try to avoid it. Until the day you just can’t.
Last week, we celebrated the release of Kara’s last book. Her third book, And it was Beautiful, is a compilation of her blogs. The party was on the same day that I’d realized I hadn’t written anything, and I lost it. Missing Kara felt fresh and raw, and my tears streamed most of the day.
I could not get excited about the party. My heart felt heavy, and I wondered, what had we been thinking planning this? Yet at the same time, leaving Kara’s last book un-celebrated felt wrong. I attempted getting ready for the party. I didn’t bother with much makeup as my eyes were swollen, and I knew I didn’t have to hide from the women I was about to see. My tears would hardly quit for the few seconds in front of the mirror. My husband came to listen to me. His words were simple, but they hit home. You’re doing what Kara would want—a party. But Kara isn’t here for it. And that’s hard.
The simple acknowledgement rang true. He was right. We were getting together to honor Kara, doing what Kara would have wanted, and she wasn’t there. Admitting that truth helped. It gave me the strength to go. And guess what? It was a beautiful night. She would have loved it. I’m so thankful for the community of women who have loved each other through this year.
I remember saying as Kara was fading that we didn’t know how to do this. We didn’t know how to lose a friend. We didn’t know how to let her go or what the days after would look like. A year later, I can tell you that we still don’t know what we are doing. It is still one day at a time with a God who’s never left our side. Some days grief is silent and soft, other days it roars and licks at us with flames.
But one thing has been consistent: Jesus.
He was with us last year on this day and I know, I know, I know he never left her side. That is the simple truth I take away from this year. He is with us in our suffering. He never leaves. Our understanding doesn’t make him more or less. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
This is the post I wrote last year on this day: Kara’s House.
“I may not know how to do this or how her family will do this, but I know God will show up. He always does.”
Today, one year later, these words are still true.
***You can find the beautiful Mundane Faithfulness series here.***