The Diaper Diaries

but hopefully not full of crap

Remembering Abby-Jill March 16, 2008

Filed under: Faith — thediaperdiaries @ 10:22 pm

angel.jpg I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to fit my experience this weekend into a blog post knowing full well it is impossible. I recently lost a friend to a 2 1/2 year battle to cancer and Saturday was the memorial service. The funny this is, Abby-Jill wasn’t one of my closest friends by any means. Yet the thing about her is, if you knew her at all, she was a friend. She just was that kind of person. So the hubby and I headed back to Chicago to celebrate an extraordinary life at the church that we used to call home.

I don’t say that term lightly. People often use the word home when referring to the church they attend. But for many years Park Community Church was my home. I moved to this huge city and didn’t know many people and found this amazing church. Immediately I fell into a group of musicians who simply embraced me as family. Ryan came into the picture shortly after and we “did life” with these people. They weren’t just our Sunday morning. They were our Wednesday night, our Friday and Saturday night, our Sunday afternoon. They were our “family” away from our real family.

A few years into our attendance there, the church went through a semi-ugly church split. Suddenly this group of people that had been a huge part of my life splintered into all sorts of directions. Of course we kept in touch, but time tends to make things harder. We had kids and everything changed. We stayed at the church and made some new and equally wonderful friends. But the music changed and the people singing it changed and nothing quite felt the same. It was this moment in time that disappeared before I even realized what I was going to miss.

So yesterday standing in the space where church used to be held, singing along with the band that I started out singing with, singing the praise songs that are now “too old” to sing anymore, I could not stop crying. Not just for a friend whose life was cut way to short, but for a space in time that I can’t get back and won’t ever be able to. And then it hits me that what I am longing for I won’t ever find on this side of heaven. I got a taste of it yesterday singing Abby-Jill’s favorite praise songs looking around the room at the faces of so many people I love. This week Abby-Jill got to fully realize what I got a glimpse of this weekend. We aren’t meant for this world and I find myself strangely longing for that place when I am once again singing in a room full of “family” without a care in the world. Thank you AJB for reminding me and for touching my life once again.

For another perspective on Abby-Jill check out what my hubby had to say about her legacy.


15 Responses to “Remembering Abby-Jill”

  1. kate Says:

    such a great reminder. Thanks for this.

  2. stacey Says:

    i am so glad you shared! i went through a similar experience almost 3 years ago and again last september.

    i will remember her family and friends in my prayers.

  3. Jill Says:

    Oh, it is so hard when we have a taste of something so good in our lives and realize it will never be that way again. I had my very own grieving of that realization this week, too. Mine was in regards to how friendships seem to be harder as you get older. Between people being so transient, the busyness of life, and having kids and their activities, etc…friendships are hard. Oh, and then top that off with wounds and hurts that tend to harden our hearts or even those we are in friendships with, and boy, you’ve got major hurdles that keep us from the simplicity of friendship that I see in my daughter’s life (5 years old). Oh, if we could only go back to those simple days of life and friendship. But, I guess the lack of simplicity helps us to long for Heaven.

  4. Ron Rowland Says:

    Hey there,
    All I can say is that you captured everything that I was feeling on Saturday as well. Having had the opportunity to share that season of life with you and Ryan, I think only now are we grasping just how special and very fleeting that time was. In a way, it’s a gentle reminder from the Father that this is NOT our final destination. But acknowledging that we are designed for that longing. That sense of home. The memorial, for me felt like a movie trailer for what our heavenly home will be like, just without the having to “get-back-to our-regularly-scheduled-lives” stuff. And also without the having to sing while we’re choking back tears thing, too.

  5. Courtney Says:

    Wow, Bookie!

    I could not put into words what I felt this weekend — but you were able to verbalize it perfectly. Saturday brought back so many memories of the “good old days” and now Abby J is experiencing the “good old days” non-stop. We are only here on this earth for a little while. And, one day, we will be with our family again in heaven. I am so happy I got to see you and the hubby this weekend and I miss you already.

    Court 🙂

  6. Loss is so hard. Yet God uses it to shape us and remind of us our lives are fleeting, but eternity is forever. Thanks for reminding me of that today.

  7. This was a powerful and really sad post. I’m so sorry for your loss. And yes, in this world, the losses are all around us. What a week to feel these pains, too. Happily, we are a people who live in that crazy resurrection-hope. Easter is on its way!

  8. Tammy Says:

    Thank you for sharing. I’m touched by both your and your husband’s post.

  9. I am so sorry about your friend. I can’t share that with you, but I can share the palpable difference in ‘the times’ and the loss of comfort that comes briefly in early adulthood for so many of us, then splinters.

  10. Wow, darling! That was powerful. Truly. I am sorry about your friend. May she rest in peace and may you always have peace in your heart, as there, God resides.

  11. Mom24 Says:

    I wrote about something very similar on my blog, It’s so incredibly painful, there’s nothing quite like it. We have tried and tried to find a new church home, and we just can’t do it. I think there will honestly be a hole in my heart forever. One thing that makes it hard too, is that if you’ve never experienced that kind of situation at church, you have no idea what church could be; if you have experienced it, you’ll never be happy again without it. I wish you peace. That’s what I pray for, peace and guidance. The worse thing for me is that my 15 year old no longer has that. That is a huge pain.

  12. Paige Says:

    That is wonderful. We are heavenly beings having an earthly experience, so it is natural that at times we long for heaven and our home there. We just try to make our earthly homes as heavenly as we can.

    God be with you.

  13. Steve Lavey Says:

    Check out Jim Poole’s Moody Radio commentary this week on the passing of Abby-Jill Brauhnhere/a>

  14. […] have decided to enter this post in Scribbit’s April Write Away contest. For details on how to enter for the chance to win […]

  15. Sounds like everything a congregation should be–excellent take on the topic.

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