June 23, 2009 was by far one of the saddest days of my life. I can't express the feeling without looking like a fool. I was just . . . so depressed. Nothing could stop the pain, the sorrow, and the longing.
I just grasped the fact that I will never see her smile again, or hear her voice, or feel her embrace. Audry was like another mother to me . . . how could this happen to her? Her, of all people, when she had three daughters who still needed her, who had a granddaughter who just learned how to say "Grandma"? She was an amazing woman . . . and I loved her.
She was smart, beautiful, loving, and generous. She opened her home to me when I needed time away from home, and had a smile that would shame anybody. She knew so much . . . and she was an angel.
Death is . . . sad. But when it hits so close to you, you know you're not invincible. When it happens to someone you see as immortal, and immune to death, you see the reality of the world, and just how cruel it is. It's especially sad when the person you love becomes a murder statistic. Audry, I hope you can find peace. I hope you rest in peace, if you're somehow reading this. Rest in love, Audry. You deserve it. I hope someday we meet again.
When someone you love dies . . . it hurts. Just deep down inside of you, it's like a wrenching pain that's stabbing at your heart. If I could just see her smile again, just one last time, to say goodbye . . . I would not cry for her departure anymore.
When I first heard the news . . . I was hysterical. How could someone do this to her? How could they justify taking her from her daughters, her granddaughter, everybody who loved her? How could he just bring himself to do it? All of this was running through my head. I couldn't believe it, it couldn't be true. But it was . . . and the services were a week away. I couldn't not go, because she would have come to mine. She would have come to pay her final respects, and I knew she would have. She was that wonderful. And as I looked up, I put my hands together, and I prayed for a sign you were in Heaven, and at peace. I prayed like crazy that you weren't gone, for a sign.
And a ladybug crawled right in front of me, though I was in my room. I held it with a smile on my face, and it tried to fly. It's wings wouldn't help it, one was broken. And then I knew that you were where you belonged.
Every word that was said about her, about how she was so wonderful, how she was almost perfect, broke my heart more and more. What mended it was when her sister started talking about Audry's life. She had three daughters, she single-handedly bought a house, she worked for the state, she did everything for her daughters. Everything she accomplished was for them. The three of them are like sisters to me, and her granddaughter is like my niece. I love them, they're my extended family.
The dash between the dates completely mended my heart. Why? As the church member went on about everything, he said something that made me smile a bit.
"I was looking at the tombstones, the other day, and I noticed they all had something in common. Sure, there was the date of birth, and the date of death. But in the middle, that is the most important part of the tombstone. The dash between the dates. It indicates that the person came to live.
"The dash is their life. Every single day that they were here is in that dash. That dash is a sign that you came to love this person, you had the luck of meeting them."
I could not believe what I was hearing. This man was right. As we walked out of the church, Audry's aunt was speaking to the lucky daughters of the unlucky mother. "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it was." And she was right. Why cry because she died, when I can smile because I had the chance to be in her enchanting presence?
Her aunt went on MySpace before I got home. On each of Audry's daughters' pages, she posted something simple, yet amazing.
"I will miss your mom, too. She was an amazing woman. She left us with dignity and grace, and now we will live with broken hearts. But we'll see her again someday. You'll see."
At this, I smiled, though tears streamed down my cheeks. Because I knew deep down inside that she was right about all but the broken hearts part. Because she's somewhere better, somewhere she deserved. Though she was 34 years young, she is with the angels, she is one of them.
I love you, Audry. Forever and ever, until the end of eternity.
Author's Note: Those of you who do not believe in Christianity, I'm sorry if I offended you. This was my way of dealing with her loss, so just deal, please. It just hit me that she's gone and not coming back, so . . . yeah. I suggest writing to help come to terms with a loss, it helps bundles. Thank you for reading, please remain respectful if not kind. To clear up any misconceptions, Audry is NOT my grandmother, but she was very close to my family and I loved her like another mother."