And Again...It is Well
Charli took this picture yesterday at school. It was the celebration of All Saints Day. Chandler knew three of those young men. I am sorry for each of those families who are missing their loved one, trying to figure out how to do life without them.
I’m sorry that among all the stressors of being a teenager with a packed schedule, a rigorous academic program, and now applying to colleges, my daughter has to add missing her brother to the list. She is not one to talk about feelings. She processes often through her writing. One of her college essays expressed with heart-wrenching eloquence the experience of being with Chandler on his last day and how her perspective on life has changed as a result. She will never be the same person. None of us will.
Today Chance played guitar at the memorial service for a friend of mine Diane DeZarn, also the grandmother of Chance’s good friend Andrew. One of the songs he played …it is Well With My Soul. I sat there praying for Chance. He was determined to keep it together. I’d already rehearsed keeping it together on Wednesday when we sang It is Well at Jen’s memorial service. We caught a bit of a break. They chose a version with different verses and melody. Eventually came the classic chorus – It is well….with my soul. It took some cognitive strong-arming to corral my thoughts into the space this is today as they insisted on visiting another day when Chance sang that song for his brother. I was proud of my son. It took a lot for him to do that today, and he did it because he wanted to be there for his friend.
Almost everyone who spoke at the service today talked about how joyful and at peace Diane had been up until the very last breath. She had been fighting a long battle with cancer, so she had plenty of time to be afraid. She just wasn’t. That blows me away. The pastor doing the sermon today had asked Diane not long ago if she was afraid of what she was facing, the final passing from this life. She replied, “Not…one…bit.”
I want to be like that. I want to be so full of faith and peace and joy that I will view death as just another part of my life, and in fact, a threshold into a life like none I could have ever imagined here on earth.
I do know one thing. I hope it doesn’t offend the Lord, or Mama or Daddy, or any other person I love dearly who now resides in heaven. When I get there someday, the first face I want to see is that of my sweet Chandler, and the first words I want to hear are, “Hey, Mom.”