Lost and Found

“At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.”
(Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden)


I feel things very deeply–joy, sorrow, pain, enthusiasm, gratitude, loss. I may not always show those feelings, but my emotions run very deep, rising up from the very depths of my soul.

Last week, I shared some thoughts on friendship. Old and new friends, both of whom should remain close to your heart. While the post had been cooking for some time, it was the sudden illness and death of an old friend, with whom I had just recently reconnected, that made it so urgent that I express those feelings.

I first met Jenny in 6th grade, when I changed elementary schools. She was very friendly and outgoing. There was a pretty strong clique of girls at my new school, but Jenny always had a great smile for everyone. We were in the same class for the remainder of our years at the Catholic school, and then both went on to the same Catholic high school. I remember her as a talented musician (she played guitar and sang at Mass) and cheerleader throughout grade school and high school. She made friends across the high school social scene, from jocks to nerds to band geeks to cheerleaders, and everyone in between.

As is often the case, we lost touch after high school graduation. I would occasionally see her at church or around town if I came home for a weekend, but we didn’t reconnect until Facebook a few years ago, and our 25th high school reunion this past summer. Through FB, I found out that she had married and was mom to two sweet kiddos. At our reunion, she was exactly the same. Outgoing, friendly, talking to everyone. Didn’t matter that 25 years had passed, she was the same social butterfly, greeting people and catching up.

Then a few weeks ago, her life changed. And when her life changed, so did the lives of all who knew her.

I don’t know all of the details, but Jenny was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. She went in for immediate surgery, and at first, the surgeons were hopeful, sure that they’d gotten it all. Word spread quickly, from Jenny’s family to our group of classmates, connected by our Facebook pages.

It was utter disbelief, followed immediately by massive prayer.

And while we prayed for miraculous healing for our friend, God had other plans. Our friend, who was always so sweet and outgoing, had a bigger role. God would use her to provide miraculous healing for others.

For in their grief, Jenny’s family agreed that they would donate her organs.

So a small piece of Jenny’s spirit will live on in the bodies of others.

And in the hearts of each person who knew her and counted her as friend.

Today Jenny’s body is laid to rest. Family and friends will gather to celebrate her life. We have not lost her, she has simply found a new home in Heaven.

Rest in peace, my friend. We look forward to seeing your smiling face again.

Pie Jesu
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem.

Agnus Dei
Qui tollis peccata mundi
Dona eis requiem.

Sempiternam, requiem.

Merciful Jesus
Who takes away the sins of the world
Grant her rest.

Lamb of God
Who takes away the sins of the world
Grant her  rest.

Everlasting rest.


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