My Friend Amber.

This past week was rough. Hands down, it was the saddest, most draining, wearying week that I have ever been through. I still feel the effects of it at the most random of times. I seem to have more instances of saying or doing things that I didn't mean to say or do. It's like my brain has decided to take brief vacations without my permission or acknowledgment. For instance, I just misspelled week (weak) and effects (affects) and didn't even realize it until I stared at the sentences for a while. I never do that. It's really weird, unsettling.

I have always considered myself lucky that I have only had a few people pass away that I've known personally. My grandmother in 2007, my grandfather in 2010, and that's it. I know that it was hard to accept the news when I found out about their deaths. I remember being sad. I remember crying. However, once the initial shock wore off, I remember normalizing. I knew that they had both lived pretty full lives. They were older. They were my grandparents. Even though it didn't remove the sadness, I had at least accepted that grandparents eventually pass away.

But Amber wasn't one of my grandparents. She was one of my most unique and favorite friends. She wasn't old. She was barely 31. A friend isn't supposed to die. As illogical as that sounds, that's apparently what my insides believed. She was technically my sister-in-law, I suppose. However, she was more like a long-lost sister. Our insides connected in this completely inexplicable way. We had our differences in opinion and in personality, but there was something completely indefinable that linked us. It was something that I can honestly say I have never found in any other person. She was special.

We had plans together. We were going to get our hair cut together soon. We were going to watch Ramona and Beezus and eat nutritional-yeasted popcorn. We were going to have our epic Puzzle Day (and find out if she was an over-controlling puzzler like I am). She was going to be the cool aunt of all my little half-asians. We were going to take pictures of the world when Delaware woke up from winter. We were going to explore the depths of NYC together, during a New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, or both. There was going to be much dancing and laughing and random squeals of giddiness. It's so hard to believe that she's gone.

It is so hard to think/write about this type of sadness because there are so many conflicting emotions. Grief, peace, heartache, and very small glimpses of happiness. I can't even imagine what losing your spouse and best friend feels like. So many times this past week I've wanted to just selfishly cave to my own sadness. I would go back and forth between wanting to just curl up and cry somewhere and wanting to somehow relieve the ache that I knew Shawn was/is feeling. I don't think I could be as strong as he's been. It amazes me.

God is unendingly good. I know the thoughts of "Why Amber?" are normal. I know I may never know the answer to that question with the level of detail that I want. But I know that God's plan is bigger than anything I can possibly understand. I know that God is in control even when the story ends differently than I wanted. He has a Purpose in the midst of all our sorrow. So, even though I continue to have intense moments of heartache whenever I think of certain things, I can't help but thank God for every single moment that I got to spend with Amber.

I'm so incredibly thankful for the days we spent up in Tulsa last summer. When Jason and I went up for Roman's wedding, Amber and I stayed up late into the night just talking. We talked about everything. At 3 or 4 am every night that weekend, I would just wish and wish that the night wouldn't end. We laughed so much. So hard. We told so many stories. She was such an amazing listener. She made me feel like I was the only thing in the world she was interested in listening to. She had a way of actually giving her complete undivided attention to whatever I was saying, stupid or not. I loved when she laughed. She was an actual one-of-a-kind person.

While in a flower shop last week, I saw a picture frame that read "Our roots say we're sisters, our hearts say we're friends." For me and Amber, however, it would be the reverse. "Our roots say we're friends, but our hearts say we're sisters." Amber and I were somewhow connected in the oddest, yet rightest, way imaginable. I doubt that I'll ever find another Amber, but that's ok. When Amber and I get back together in heaven, it's going to be absolutely ridiculous. In such a good way. I love Amber.

So, if this post doesn't already make it clear, my insides are still intermittently chaotic, tumbled up and messy. I hope all of this doesn't come out sounding super selfish or self-centered due to that. I know things will gradually get better, more normal, as time goes on. And while I look forward to normalization, there's also still a part of me that gets scared that with time I might forget. And I don't want to forget. Ugh, such conflict.

I greatly dislike conflict.

Amber, you're missed by your little peanut. Thank you for everything. I'm glad we got to be sisters for these few years. If I ever patent Three Blind Mice, I shall dedicate it to you. I will try to laugh and be ridiculous enough for the both of us. I love you.

Some final notes:
- Amber has some amazing parents. I know why she loved them so much.
- My in-laws are incredible. They flew up here to Delaware as soon as they heard the news. Having them here all week made such a difference.
- Jason is such a strong man. I love my husband more than I know how to say.

love.love.love.love.love.love.love. To everyone.

God is God, and He is unendingly good.

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