And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among human beings. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist any more—or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the former things have ceased to exist.”Revelation 21:3–4(NET)
I actually have quite a positive outlook towards life. Sometimes it doesn’t show, however, I do hope what I write on this blog (and especially in this particular post) shows that positive outlook. It is a large part of why I titled my blog “A layman’s look at this fading world with a certain hope…”
Considering it is December and the new calendar year is in view, a bit of year in review is in order. This review will be bullet points, nothing descriptive, just brief statements about what has objectively happened in my year before I get to the theme of the title of this post…
- I finished learning Koine Greek!!!
- I taught Koine Greek!
- I decided to go to college… yeah? Yes… yeah!
- My sister and nephews move in for the Spring
- My sister moves to Florida… *sad face*
- I seriously contemplate ditching everything
- My wonderful friends renew my love of my local church at just the right time
- I’m given an opportunity of great significance
- Grandma moves into our home
- I start University!
- I seriously refigure my outlook on romantic a relationship (I date a lady)
- I get fired from my job of 3 years
- I go and see an Oregon Ducks game and become an Oregonian for sure
- I reconfigure my outlook on a romantic relationship (I no longer date a lady)
- I start reading and writing en mass again while devoting most all of my energy to my fellow saints in the local church
It’s been a full year of ups and downs, many more downs by far. But the auspice of this post is something that happened last year in August that has festered and only grown worse. The loss of one of my best friends in the world, Jillian Jensen.
It pains me to remember her and what is worse it pains me to think I will forget her. I don’t believe I ever will, but the sorrow I feel grips all the more. In just a few weeks I will recall the Christmas/New Years Jillian, Ted, and I went to our climbing mecca of Bishop, CA. Driving through the icy snow, even getting her car and mine stuck on an icy hill at 11:30 pm. It was one of the most memorable climbing trips I’ve ever had, and Jillian was one of the biggest parts The battle over the Dirtbag Pirate Flag with the youth group camped on the ridge; the delight of Jillian climbing her first V1 “Heavenly Path;” Jillian helping me make my first snowman; most of all, one of Ted’s and my friends finally experiencing our shared love of climbing.
My atheist friend was never one to back away from talking of deep things, making any serious mood light, and never forgetting her real friends. When I left everything to come up to Oregon, Jillian didn’t forget me. When everyone seemed to abandon Jillian during a time of immense struggle she called me. She flirted with Christianity at that time, and then even came up to visit me. Jillian never really converted and it crushed me to the very end. To have such a good close friend only go so far as convert to mild theism, never brings me great solace. But it never diminished my view of possibly one of the greatest people I’d ever known.
I’ve cried more times than I can remember in the last year recalling my friend. Even now as I write, tears stream down my face and expands the time I have to write the words. There are stages to sorrow associated with the suicide of a loved one. I pray no one ever feel this pain, and to those who know such burdensome grief, it is all to real and seemingly endless.
The sorrow of never seeing them again; that they aren’t a phone call away, the long nights of scouring for photographs and mental pictures; of imagining their voice and seeing their face, or the litany of freckles that lighten up their eyes as they call you “cuz.”
The sorrow of thinking, “What could I have done to change the outcome?” When you consider maybe just maybe I could have altered the final solution in their mind or at least delayed it to get one more opportunity, one more memory. But my world view doesn’t allow for that, what is done is done and I can’t change the past, I can only look towards the future, by reflecting on the past.
And the future is what gives the most sorrow and hope, yes both simultaneously. I’ve wrestled for about two weeks in writing this post for the very reason I’m about to explicate…
The sorrow I feel is that I am confident I will truly and fully never see my friend again. She will not see her Creator outside of judgement. I will not get to enjoy the undiluted joy of Christ for eternity with my friend. It is one of the blessings of eternal life to also share it with those you love, and yet… One of the people in this world I love most will not be there. She will endure separation from God. This for me is ultimate sorrow, selfish and empathetic sorrow.
There is the hope of Revelation 21 I quoted above. That there will be no more sorrow, no pain from the loss of someone dying. Only rejoicing that the Judge of all has done right, that justice has been met. In this world I will only know the sorrow, for I can’t conceive of what rejoicing in the separation of a loved one may feel like. Of all the highs and lows of my year’s conclusion none can compare to the emotional anxiety I feel when thinking of my Jillian.
I hesitated writing this for what it may do to anyone who knew her, and what they may think of me for doing so. I have little other outlet to emote what I feel and little hope the sorrow I have can be relinquished this side of eternity. But I write to let out my emotions, and to remember I have hope, and possibly to give one other person that same hope.
So I appeal to anyone reading this who may be contemplating self murder, to think of those around you. That what you may do will do to them, and the anguish it will cause. Do whatever it is you can to overcome your personal demons, for those you love and those who love you in return will be desperately and possibly forever in a state of anguish because of your actions in this life. That is not showing forth any love to those who love you, and wishing someone end their own anguish by such a method demonstrates the same ill.
I miss my friend and long for the hope of the Judge righting the sorrowful anguish I can’t seem to rid myself of. Since I miss her desperately, it’s the only hope I have.