As I am making my way through my own pain and grief at the loss of Debbie and trying to get past it long enough to comfort others who love her as much as I do, I can't keep the question out of my mind, "Why Debbie? Why God, would you take one of us who is such an intregal part of so many people's lives?" I am angry with you for taking her from me. I am angry that she left me, her husband of 28 years, her sons and grandson, our mother, our sister, the world. We need her to get through our day, our lives, I need her. Yet, I know if God gave her a choice in that week of restless unconsciousness, of coming back to us as what she would have considered a burden, or entrusting us to His care and going with Him, I know she would have chosen the least selfish path and entrused our care to Him and each other.

I know she fought to stay with us, I watched her. And as I pray for an answer as to why I have to go on without Debbie the same Bible verse keeps coming to mind. In John 14 Jesus says to his disciples "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God now trust me. There are many homes where my father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there."

I took care of Debbie until she was about 13 years old. I honestly believed she was mine. I understood my parents brought her here, but as far as I was concerned it was for me. Somewhere along the way we changed roles. I don't know where or when, I do know in adulthood she was the caretaker of me and my daughters. She and her husband watched over us. Debbie and I always needed to be together. We threw our children into a pile and raised them as brothers and sisters because of our need to be together. But, as adults there was never any question as to who was the caretaker, it was Debbie. A role she extended from her husband and sons, to me and my daughters, to her friends, her students and most everyone with whom she came in contact.

As it says in John 14 "I am going before you to prepare a place in heaven" I believe she has gone before us, because she has always been our caretaker, to make a home for us, so we will see her face and hear her laugh when it is time for us to join her. And for this and a lifetime of precious moments I thank you, Debbie and, as always, respect, admire and love you.

Your sister,

anniversary date
date of post 11-16-96

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW