My dear friend Ashley had a vision just days after Chris was diagnosed. She kept it to herself until it became very clear that Chris was leaving this world. She described the vision as like watching a movie on her bedroom ceiling. She saw our family, with Chris, running down a long dock, but then, when the rest of us stopped at the end of the stretch, Chris dove in and started swimming, with all his might, with joy. The five of us were left there, stunned. We turned around to slowly walk the length of the dock back. And there, on the shore, was an army of people–a crowd, a sea, of people–holding lanterns, waiting to take us in.
I haven’t known how to write this post. It feels way overdue and actually impossible to accomplish rightly. I think I also have a fear that saying thank you might signal some implicit closure between us, and that scares me. But here’s what I need to say:
I cannot imagine where I and my children would be without every single phone call, text, email, card, donation, meal, thought, prayer, hug, tear. The image I so often have–daily–is that we are in a vessel–a sea-worthy boat–and the boat is physically made up of all of these things. They are–you are–literally the hands, feet, and arms of God. With lanterns. It’s one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen or experienced.
I need you all to know that I read (and re-read) every word you say and send. I don’t often respond. Apart from grief I’m a faulty responder. In the midst of grief I have next to nothing in reciprocation. I’m still letting your love just wash over me and carry me, letting it be light unto our path. I hope that’s OK.
Please keep walking with us. I shudder to think of this way without you all. But I don’t have to.