I attended my best friend’s funeral on Thursday. That was the last thing I ever expected to do at the age of 28.
My long time BFF, Brittany, was on a fun, relaxing, and much deserved/anticipated cruise to the Bahamas when she unexpectedly had an ischemic stroke. After the ship medical staff did what they could, they had a helicopter take her to a hospital in Florida. Sadly she passed away last Thursday the 9th and the hearts of her family and friends were heavy and hurting from the sudden loss of such a beautiful soul.
As many of you might have experienced with the loss of a loved one, the pain and emotions are brutal at first. Her loving husband and sweet boy were suddenly without a wife and mother. I was angry that she was taken at such a young age and sad that I hadn’t been able to say goodbye in person, but deep down felt joyful that she was in a better place. The tears wouldn’t stop and I hated feeling so helpless. Luckily I live next to my church and have a husband with keys, so he opened it and let me to go pray and cry it out for a bit. That immediately brought some solace to my soul but I still had a hard time falling asleep and calming my heart and mind that night.
Then I had a whirlwind weekend with my brother in law’s wedding festivities, but that was actually a blessing in disguise as it helped keep my mind off of the situation and my sadness. The pain slowly turned into peace and comfort and I was able to focus on the beautiful life she lived and the awesome memories we shared without quite as many tears.
The funeral was a joyful celebration of Brittany’s life with a message of hope and still plenty of tears both happy and mournful. Our old choir group reunited after 10 years to sing our beloved rendition of the Irish Blessing that we performed several times in high school. I’d halfway held it together till then, but was standing right in front of her family and as we started the song, the emotions came pouring in and I lost it.
But Brit wouldn’t want us to be sad. She would want us to move forward and live the beautiful lives we’ve been gifted with. She was always so full of life and joy, always giggling, having fun, and dancing. She wanted to include everyone and touched so many lives with her spunky spirit and welcoming nature. And she was a fan of selfies, so we took one in her honor after choir practice. (photo cred to Krista)
Brit became my partner in crime in middle school and we were practically joined at the hip through high school. I’m so blessed that I got to experience so many of life’s big moments with her. We learned how to drive together, and somehow survived drivers ed, even when the teacher made her cry because she didn’t know how to change a tire. We got our first jobs together at a rodeo, where we were bull riders… just kidding, we sold BBQ sandwiches and cheese fries at the concession stand. We stood by each others sides as we said “I do” on our wedding days. Then we were both blessed to become mothers and experienced a new kind of love like we’d never imagined.
Now I mostly mourn the fact that we won’t get to experience all the things we’d planned for the future. Finally going to the state fair and eating too much fried food, having play dates with our kids as they grew, and being sassy old grannies together someday. Our BFF nickname was always peanut butter (me) and jelly (Brit). We were awesome combined, but I know that I can stand strong while we’re apart. You’ll always stick with me, Brit. 🙂
I love you and miss you. Requiescat in pace.