I learned this morning that Sara, of whom I have written, passed away last Friday, March 16th. This is the link to the obituary.
Unfortunately I have not been able to be in contact with Sara’s mom, Janet, or her dear friend, Mattison, who has been at Seattle Children’s the last few months helping to care with her, so I’m not sure how they are doing. I am pursuing contact with them and hope to visit them sometime in Butte where they live and Sara was from.
It was shocking to see this picture of beautiful Sara and to know that I never had the opportunity to know her. The Sara I saw only on rare occasions was already very much being taken down by her disease. Never will I forget an afternoon on the SCCA unit when the most forlorn wailing I have ever heard came from the closed bathroom 20 feet from where I stood, talking at the front desk with one of the doctors. We all tried to continue with what we were doing; an attempt to lend privacy to a young woman who, in catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror, grieved the life being stripped from her. I so wish I could have been there when the time came. I so wish I could hug Janet and Mattison. I get so frustrated at how limiting words are to convey such things and frustrated at how hard it is for my being to really take in such a reality. We all know death is the frequent end of those with cancer, but it is always shocking that it really does come. I spoke briefly with Andy, Stellablue’s dad, today and we both agreed that we know this is possible but we keep our heads down, taking one step at a time because it is the only way to keep going.
I just began a book today entitled, “Grace Disguised.” It’s written by a man who lost his mother, wife and 4-year-old daughter in a car accident. Two brief things have already stood out: “…it is possible to live in and be enlarged by loss, even as we continue to experience it…I realized that something incomprehensible and extraordinary had just happened. By some strange twist of fate or mysterious manifestation of divine providence I had suddenly been thrust into circumstances I had not chosen and could never have imagined. I had become the victim of terrible tragedy. I ransacked my mind for options that would provide a way out of the pain I knew intuitively loomed ahead for me and my family. In that brief window of time, I exhausted all possibilities except one. I realized that I would have to suffer and adjust; I could not avoid it or escape it. There was no way out but ahead, into the abyss.”
It is an absolutely resplendent beautiful spring day here. The sun has been out all day and the sky is fresh bright blue. The cherry trees are blooming and the birds frolic in the air. Death seems foreign and far off. But my beloved friends Janet and Mattison and Sara’s brother, Josh, have already entered the dark abyss. I pray dear God, that you would meet them there. That in the blackness of their sorrow, in the mundane ordinary of life that goes on regardless, that you would daily and moment by moment show them your face; that somehow, in the midst of this awful time, your mysterious grace would fill them and they would indeed find their souls enlarged.