My son’s girlfriend, Gillian, passed away from cystic fibrosis on February 20, 2014. This was one of the toughest times for my family and I am ready to now share the letter I wrote dear Gillian a month after she passed away:
It matters not how many days have passed since you left this world, it is too new, too raw, and seems we’ve grieved a lifetime already, but it’s still not enough. The absence you left when you passed from this world to the next has sucked all the air from our lungs. It is devastating and confusing.
I misplaced blame and anger wrongly at what happened before you left. I am sorry. I prayed my hardest, but the results came out differently. I accept God’s plan and my faith has been healed. I know you are dancing, free from struggle, and joyful in heaven, but we are all so lost without you. You healed my son and left him broken at the same time. I pray now for everyone left behind to obtain peace within, to live through their feelings and conflicts, no matter how difficult, and to find the gift of joy you left with us all.
When my Grandfather passed years ago, I lost my faith. I walked through the motions trying to find understanding and peace with God. I attended church, taught catechism, and more, but it mattered not. I saw my grandmother so alone and lost, childlike almost, so sad. I lost hope in heaven and belief that there was anything beyond. I internalized that death was final, dust was just dust, and the soul did not move on. You, dear girl, changed that for me. It was completely indirect, you could not have known. You passed your faith to my son, transferred so perfectly, while keeping just as much for yourself during your beautiful relationship. I will be eternally grateful.
It happened on February 18, 2014 when my faith returned as Chris transferred his energy to you, hoping it was enough to heal your earthen body. I could see before you woke, the transfer of power being willed from his hand to you, while holding your hand. I will be forever thankful that against all odds, you woke that day, and you shared your love with all once more. It was a blessing to have those moments with you and witness such unconditional love in the room. We miss you so much and can not begin to heal fully from your physical absence, we cannot even understand where to begin. You have been fully healed, no pain, no struggle, no worry, no nervous cuticle picking, no more needle poking, no surgeries, no endless pills, and no vest.
I pray for Chris’s peace, I ask him to give this pain to God. He keeps running, spirit runs, which worry me, not for his mind or body as I know it does him good, but for his safety. I hope it gave you a chuckle when that coyote was spooked by him in the wee dark hours of morning. This young man has a passion and fire that most his age can not even comprehend, never mind adults. You got him so completely, thank you for that love. He will carry you with him forever and the brokenness he has currently may mend, but he will be forever altered for having met you, loving you, and being loved by you.