Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An Unexpected Blessing

This afternoon, I received an email that blessed my heart immensely. I may have to warn you to have some kleenex handy. My eyes were very wet and my heart was very happy after reading this.

"Dear Cliff,
Hi my name is Ronna and I'm married to Suzanne's brother Greg. We live in Florida. We just returned from Meridian about an hour ago. First, I want to thank you for posting your thoughts about Suzanne. she really was a dynamic, charming, talented, and loving woman. Unfortunately, she had her issues and some bad "seeds" got ahold of her and tormented her. Anyways, she is at peace now because they can not bother her anymore. My thoughts are running a little askew today and for the past week. I check out your blog from time to time through Suzanne's blog. I usually check her blog everyday waiting for new beautiful pictures or her new poems. I'm not a blogger so I do not leave comments. the service was nice. they played a beautiful song by Sarah Maglaughlin--" In angels arms" or something close to that. Her parents and the kids picked it. Then we proceeded to the cemetery where she will be in peace next to her grandparents. After the funeral, I came back and checked you blog to see if you had posted anything new. I saw the poem about the feathers and the meaning it had for both of you. I knew Suzanne had feathers at her house. I found a red, green, and blue feather down there. My husband took me back to the cemetery that evening after she was officially in place. I placed all 3 feathers by her head and told her they were from you. I figured that she could use the prayers. We are all saddened by this tragedy, but I hope a put a smile on your face for just a minute.
Thank you for being her friend. I know she will be looking down on you and all of us."

Here's the best part: They were from me. I sent Suzanne a card of encouragement last spring and put the feathers in it. It was a real blessing to know she hung onto those and another one knowing someone put them on her final resting place. And my eyes are wet as I type these words, but they are tears of joy.

I feel as if Suzanne was telling me that everything's gonna be all right!

22 comments:

wzzp said...

Wow! His mysterious ways.

Jessica said...

This is breath taking Cliff!

Kristin said...

One step at a time... Everything will be all right...

coltfan said...

Shows how much she really cared about you cliff . She must have thought the world of you ,I am glad that even from beyond she found a way to give you comfort.

Hale McKay said...

Cliff,

That is so touching in a spooky sort of way - a good spooky, not a bad spooky.

... Only the good die young.

Michelle Dawn said...

They say God works in mysterious ways and this I see as a blessing as I'm sure you do. All we can do is take it one day at a time.

Mojo said...

I must have been the last person in the blogosphere to hear the news, and even though I didn't know Suzanne well, when I read about her death it was like being hit in the gut with a bag full of quarters.

Like a lot of people, I knew her only through her blog and a few scattered emails over the last few months. But even in that short time it became obvious that she was one of those all too rare people who unfailingly embraced everyone as a friend.

Like a lot of people, one of my very first thoughts was along the lines of "If I'd only known...". But the fact is I had the opportunity to know, could have known if I'd taken the time.

I feel better knowing that she had a friend like you. Ultimately we all cross the bridge alone, bu tin the time before that it's important to know that we matter to someone. Suzanne mattered to more people than she probably realized. She mattered to us more than we probably realized. And I can't help but wonder, if she'd known would it have made a difference?

Perhaps the guilt is misplaced. Perhaps the result was inevitable no matter what I or anyone else might have done. But guilt has its place. It keeps us mindful, makes us accountable. It reminds us -- painfully -- that we cannot know what's going on inside another, and that the email or blog comment or phone call you respond to with friendship might be the single grain of rice that tips the scale.

Wherever she's looking down from now, I hope she knows how much we miss her and that she's found the peace in the next life she never found in this one.

I left this quote in her guestbook at the Meridian Star, but I'll leave it here for you and your readers too. It was sent to me by a friend, who had it passed on to her from a friend who probably had it passed on to him. The origin is uncertain, but the sentiment is pure. And it's been a source of comfort to me at times when I needed it. I hope it will do the same for you.

"The only way around these things is through them. So if you bury your dead, bring a shovel, if you burn them warm to the fire. Look into whatever riddance you consign them to. Lend a hand, stand and weep or watch and wonder. But stay until it's done. Keep the names of your dead alive among your people. You get one father, one mother , one true love , one life and maybe a couple of good dogs. There is no easy way to do this. So do it right: weep , laugh, watch , pray, love, live, give thanks and praise; comfort, mend, honor and remember." -- Author Unknown

Incognito said...

So sorry to hear about you friend, Cliff. I read all your posts about Suzanne, how terribly sad. Unless you have suffered from depression, it is hard to understand the pain one goes through. I struggled with depression since childhood, and finally was able to get a hold of it about 10 to 12 years ago, but it was challenging. Being Bi-Polar is even more devastating, my Mom has struggled with that all her life. thankfully neither of us was suicidal and my mom only finally found a combination of meds that helps, but her life has been a very painful one, simply from her mental illness.

I'm sorry Suzanne was unable to find help and that she felt the need to end her life to end the pain.. but, she is at peace now from her torment.

Prayers to the family and friends.. just know there was nothing you could have done.
Blessings to you.

Memphis Steve said...

I only just found out tonight. Suzanne and I used to talk. She'd visit my blog and leave comments. I'd go visit hers and be amazed at the amazing photos and her incredible talent. We began talking back when things seemed to be going well. She mentioned starting her own shop. Then suddenly it all went wrong. I had been worried about her ever since, but she always seemed to put on a brave face and tell me she was going to be alright. I can't believe she's gone. I can't believe I didn't get to talk to her one last time. She was such an amazing woman. I never knew anyone quite like her. I still can't believe this has really happened.

lime said...

the good you put out there comes back to you. i'm so glad one of her family members was moved to make that expression and then tell you about it.

g-man said...

Cliff,
We all meet certain people in life that we have a connection with. You and Suzanne obviously had that connection. Liquid showed up on my blog to offer me a Flash Friday 55, a little Blog feature that I sort of inherited. Through her few offerings we became blog friends as well. We exchanged a few E-Mails and the "Forewarded" little things that people send. She was just one very beautiful soul, inside and out. My heart goes out to you buddy as you seem to be the answer man for everyones inquiries.
But I'm sure this is a labor of love.....
Hang in there....Galen

JimOhio said...

I wanted to say that when a person dies and their body is buried, they are not there; that is only their body. It is too late to pray for Suzanee now. If Suzanne, or anyone that has died that has put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, for the forgiveness of their sins, they are in heaven. If Suzanne, or anyone that dies has not put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, for the forgiveness of their sins, they are in hell. My comments are made in respect and love and with the best of intentions to invite all people to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior, for the forgiveness of their sins.

Chelle said...

Sometimes we are touched in ways we never thought possible....

Busy Bee Suz said...

this is very touching...I do believe she is at peace now. I pray for her family to come to terms with this though.
take care,
suz

Jen said...

Cliff
My heart aches for you and all that knew and loved your friend Suzanne.
May we take comfort in knowing one day our Lord will reveal why He allows these things to happen.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I love this Cliff... and you're right. This story was a gift to you.... Suzanne's way of letting you know "I am fine now... I'm at peace."

Pat Jenkins said...

we all need to grieve together in time of loss wixy. and your blog has been a gathering place to allow such mourning.

Syd said...

It sounds as if she is at peace and things have been completed with the feathers from you placed at her grave. I don't believe that God turns away the sick and suffering. She is at peace.

SandyCarlson said...

What a beautiful message. What a family.

My dearest friend took his life in 2001; I have often felt that he made a conscious choice to become a teacher when he made this decision. I also believe his troubles exhausted him and this cruel world afforded him no relief. Somehow, choosing out was choosing peace, and I respected that though the loss is no less painful all these years later.

Your blog has been a conduit of love and kindness most especially since Dec. 24. God bless you, Cliff. And thanks.

Amel's Realm said...

Now my eyes are wet too!!!!!!!!!!!

Hilary said...

For a few reasons, I've begun to believe in the power of feathers. I'm glad that yours are with your friend.

rdl said...

OMG this is so beautiful.