The Importance of That One Day

Today is the 15th. That means that Jaime died one month ago today. That’s one entire month without my sister-in-law in my life. and one entire month that I cannot believe has passed already. I don’t know if I’m in the denial stage of grief or what, but it honestly does not feel real that Jaime won’t walk through my front door today to apologize for being a flake and not seeing the kids in forever.

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The last picture my Mom took of Jaime. They were getting ready to pull out of town last January and were going to meet us at church that morning before leaving. Jaime wanted to say goodbye to them, so she walked over to the house before church to hang out for a few minutes and then we all walked away together…

When we picked Thursday, March 20th to be the day of Jaime’s Memorial instead of waiting until the weekend, it was chosen for the simple fact that we simply didn’t think we could handle two additional days of intense grieving, plus it was going to be an outdoor service in the mountains in March so we needed the best weather possible. The Pastor we wanted to lead the service could come on Thursday, so Thursday it was.

After the day was set, we realized that the 20th was also the 1st day of Spring (the Vernal Equinox) and the United Nation’s International Day of Happiness. I like that. Jaime was an incredibly happy person – it made sense to celebrate her life on that day.

We had three area photographers offer to capture the day on film for us, and it’s been pretty darn cool to look through the 100s of pictures they sent us and see who all was there. Around 500 people came to support us that day and celebrate Jaime’s life, so it was impossible for us to talk to everyone that day. It has made our hearts swell with gratitude though to be able to take time to look through the pictures and remark in awe, “Oh! So-and-so was there too!”

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The scene…

The scene...

The crowd…

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The new family photo sans Jaime 😦

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So many flowers…

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What a beautiful day.

Case in point: We have a good friend whose father died in a plane crash when our friend was maybe 20 years old. Jeff told Charlie one day long ago how much it meant to him to see everyone who showed up for his father’s funeral that day, and he told him that ever since then he has made every effort possible to go to funeral services himself. It’s often easier to NOT go, but he knows first hand that it meant the world to his grieving family, so he does it. For Jaime’s funeral, he and his wife and kids were actually on vacation in Peru about to hike Machu Piccu — and they came back to Colorado instead to be with us and to grieve with us. No way in hell did we expect them to cut their vacation short, change their international plane tickets, and come back for just that one day… but you know what? It was an important day, and I am so thankful they were there. I’m so thankful that everyone was there.

I know that most of you who read this blog don’t live anywhere near me, but I honestly know that SO MANY of you were thinking of and praying for me and my family that day, so thank you. Thank you for being there with us that day. Thank you for supporting us however you could. Thank you for all of the cards and letters and messages you sent us. I truly cannot thank you enough for being there for me on that one hard day and on all the days to come.

I love you guys.

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17 comments

  1. Esperanza · · Reply

    Each and every post about Jaime brings tears to my eyes. I’m so angry and sad for your family that such a vibrant and positive presence was taken from you. I’ve been around long enough to know that those people are few and far between, and the world needs as many of them as it can get.

    Thank you for sharing her with us, so we can all know her in our own ways. Knowing what she was like, and that she’s not with you anymore, makes me want to be more like she was, more happy and positive and present.

    I’m so, so, so sorry for your loss.

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  2. I second everything Esperanza said.
    I love these posts about Jaime so much, but I hate so much the reason for them. She seemed truly extraordinary and I’m sorry that your blog friends only got to know her through tragedy.

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  3. I saw your post on Facebook about this blog and the posts. It was beautiful. As is this one. It’s so incredible to see that there IS strength and support and love and true friendship in this environment, if we’re willing to embrace it. It sounds as though you have an incredible community around you – there in your town and here as well. I still cannot wrap my head around a loss such as this one and I think of your often.

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  4. You have me in tears again. It’s amazing how someone’s experience can bring back so many emotions. We lost my husband’s sister very unexpectedly 9 years ago on April 19th and my heart breaks for your loss.
    Continued prayers over the entire family for peace and comfort.

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  5. Those pictures are incredible. What a gorgeous service, what an incredible outpouring of love and support for someone who so clearly touched so many lives.

    And Jeff and his family flying back? Stop it.

    Just stop it.

    Sigh.

    The world IS still full of so many good people.

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  6. mcmissis · · Reply

    I grinned from ear to ear reading it was the International Day of Happiness. It seems so fitting for her from what you’ve so loving described.

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  7. I’m so glad you were able to honor Jaime’s life in such a special way and that so many people came and made sacrifices to be there. And I’m sorry that you’ve had to live a month without her, and will have to live many many months without her. It’s not fair, and I pray for peace for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your memories with us- Jaime was obviously an extraordinary person and a light in this world. Hugs.

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  8. How perfect for the Day of Happiness. From all your posts about her, it seems so fitting. Been thinking of you my friend.

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  9. ❤️❤️❤️

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  10. theurbanjunglegym · · Reply

    It truly does look like a beautiful day and a celebration of a beautiful life. I am so, so sorry she was taken from you too soon.

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  11. Kathy K. · · Reply

    All those friends, neighbors, acquaintances. All those people who care. And all these people online, less visible, but also caring. Walking with you through your grief.

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  12. … And we love you!

    It is just so amazing to see the turn out you had in person that day and also how many people around the world, not just the country, were thinking of you, your family and of course, of Jaime on that day. Like Esperanza said, thank you for sharing her with us and for sharing this time with us because we are here for you and always will be.

    What beautiful photos from Jaime’s memorial and what a beautiful person she was.

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  13. mandski · · Reply

    How amazing to have such a tremendous turn out with so many people coming so far to honor Jaime and your family. I’m glad that you have beautiful photos, though I wish like anything that you never had reason to have the memorial service in the first place.

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  14. Seriously it all still takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes…I hate that it is real. Constantly thinking of you guys..

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  15. Thanks for sharing Jaime with us. You also inspired me to go to my ex-aunt’s funeral for my cousins (she was my aunt only until I was about 4 and I hadn’t seen her since I was maybe 5). I drove 5 hours to be at the funeral for an hour and a half but I’m glad I went and they were glad to see me. It matters to be with family and friends at funerals. I just wish no such reminder happened because she was still with you all being her goofy self.

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    1. I love this. Your cousins will remember that you made the effort to go all that way to support them. ❤

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  16. One month? I was shocked to read that. It really doesn’t seem that long. Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

    Like

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