Whenever someone close to me dies, I always register such complete and utter shock that I am unable to express my emotions. I cannot cry. I walk around and around my house, distracted by this hole in my heart, but unable to release the pain with an outpouring of feeling.
Imagine how especially shocked I was by my friend, Melissa's, death, as young and vibrant as she was. She had everything to live for. She wasn't old and failing, like my mother was when she died. Although it is sad when an older parent dies, it makes sense. But, when some one as young as Melissa goes, it is stunning in its impact. I did not expect to receive the call that told me that she was gone.
Yesterday, a wonderful gift came to me when Melissa's sister, Ginny Thompson, sent me the link to a video tribute for Melissa (see July 29th post). You see, one of the things that was hurting me about Melissa's death is that I had not seen her recently and have no new pictures of her. She'd only sent me pictures of her children. I wanted to see my friend's face so badly.
I clicked on the link and sat back to watch my beautiful friend, smiling again, posing with her children and loved ones. I saw her with her mother, Ann, and her sisters. I saw her standing in front of White Lake, which is the area of North Carolina that my ancestors settled. Melissa and I both shared a love of that lake. I was so happy, so sad. My heart brimmed over with feelings and I finally was able to cry and cry.
That place in my heart which holds Melissa is still very tender, but I no longer have that awful hollow feeling. Watching the video brought her back to me, all the best about her that I loved so much. It brought back warm and funny memories. It made me feel like I had spent time with her again. While I was watching it, I talked to her in my heart and said, not "good-bye", but... "I love you, dear friend. I will see you later, farther down the road."
Melissa will always be alive to me. She will always be my sweet, guileless friend. Furthermore, I know she is happy and at peace with God and, that above all, is pretty much everything.
*(Again, I ask that you pray for the Love/Spruill families, especially for her children, Emili and Elijah. They are suffering terribly..Thank you!)