Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Shadow of Death

Don't be overly alarmed by the subject... I and my immediate family are alive and well. But in the past ten days, I and many of my good friends have been plunged into unexpected grief and bewilderment. Our friend Michael Arreola decided last Tuesday to end his own life. He is one of the people who is deeply woven into the fabric that is Wapato -- he is from an extensive family, married into a prominent family, and is thus in-lawed to another extensive family. More specifically, his sister-in-law is Johnny Gomez's wife, and Johnny is my brother's closest childhood friend.

The memorial service was last Saturday, and it was such a dichotomous and emotionally draining affair. There was lots of laughter as Mike was a regular card, but it was other-wordly to be laughing and to be happy to see people I haven't seen in years only to be hit by a wave of shock and soul-wrenching ache to think of why we had all gathered -- all 1500 of us... the church was PACKED.

The hardest thing for me in this has been walking beside people who were much closer to him... my students especially. I am very thankful for my small group who has been praying for me and for his widow, whom I saw yesterday and got to chat with a bit.

Then I got a call yesterday from Lisa Jean, who told me that our friend Kyle, who has been battling brain cancer for several years, is in his last days and so I should give his wife a call so that I can go out to their house (he's been on hospice) to say goodbye. My gut reaction is to flee... to Cold Stone. But that won't actually help.

So while I was hoping for a better weekend this week, it seems that this one will have its own set of emotional challenges.

My sincerest thanks to those of you who've encouraged and prayed for me these past weeks.

love -- marah jean

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Marah, I'm so sorry to hear these things...suicide is such a bitter herb to take. And your friend Kyle too. Has he passed? My condolences. Imagine my crushing embrace...