Two days after Brett left this world for the next, we lost our other friend David as well.
Terminal cancer has taken the lives of two of the men in our close group of friends, aged 43 and 41.
We have said some farewells, shed some tears, shared some memories and leaned on each other.
Somewhere in the midst of caring for my friends and racking my brains for ideas on what I could do for my girls who were facing such immense loss and change in their lives, I forgot that I needed to grieve too. My angels have surrounded me this weekend as I am carrying a tiredness with me that is rivalled only by the tiredness a first-trimester pregnant mother could understand. Some angels wake me to hear my boys crying out in their sleep, others get me moving, and getting through the difficulty I've found in just putting together a simple meal. Another angel has come in human form, turning up on my doorstep with icecream and hugs, and then taken me out to a movie the following night so I could forget myself for a while. And another angel who is a friend from secondary school, who reminded me I have my faith to lean on, which was so encouraging. So although I grieve, and I still get angry from time to time, God has sent me enough to get through. I always always look for the silver lining in life, and at the moment I think the silver lining in this is that I have a closer bond with my friends and my husband from this experience, even if it was a horrific way to get there.
If you're one of the confused few that has been stood up by me as I have forgotten a play date, or a housewarming, or even had me with you in body but my mind has been elsewhere, I thank you for your patience. It's been a tricky sort of year.
I'll end this post with a message that Brett's widow Kylie shared at his funeral: slow down and enjoy what life has to offer. There'll never be enough years to do everything you want to do, but enjoy what you can. Laugh. Love life.
Be kind to yourselves!
The Riley Family's website: http://www.thelifeofriley.co.nz/
Suz and David's website: http://davidonaplate.wordpress.com/