It’s been 313 days.

13 has always been my special number.

So when I went to the little date calculator to calculate how many days I’ve lived with BJ dead,
before I even plugged in the numbers I thought to myself…

“I bet it’s been 313 days. Because of course it would be. Because 13 is my special number for BJ.”

And there we go, 313 days indeed.

And also OF COURSE it’s been 313 days.

And also, ever noticed how the letter “B” is a 1 and 3 smashed together?

That the “B” of BJ himself is my lucky number 13?

I just think that’s so cool.

Thanks for the wink, Abba.
 
 
_____

 
 

In other news, it feels like posting an update on facebook or instagram is such such a commitment these days. It seems very public, very exposed.

And so I struggle with knowing when and where to share my private thoughts.

I’m happy baring my soul. I want to share the private moments of grief and joy and pain and hope,
but sometimes it can feel so cheap to post on facebook and get a billion likes.

Did they really read? Did they really care? Did they really pray?

So I’m here at the blog, a place where my innermost thoughts still feel safe. As long as I don’t share this post on facebook, it’s a small tribe who gathers here and reads and prays for me and loves me well.

If you’re reading, I’m grateful for you.

When something big happens, something life-changing and utterly life-altering happens,
things can start feeling cheap.

Anything that is not Big or Meaningful feels cheap.

And so I crave real real real things.

And I want real hugs and real friends and real prayers.

And I realize what really matters in this life.

And nothing else will do.

And yet the irony is I find myself filling up with cheap things like scrolling facebook and watching videos and wasting time.

It’s not all bad. But then I wonder if I’m spending my nights with media in the absence of spending them with BJ.

I am craving love desperately.

Deep down I know God can meet my every need. He HAS met my every need.

But still God gives us earthly relationships to be a reflection of His love here on earth.

And so I find myself craving deep friendship. Craving to be deeply known. Craving to be deeply loved.

I know the cravings aren’t bad.

God designed us to crave good things– Love is good. Friendship is good. Marriage is good.

But I have to first orient those cravings around my desperate need for God.

I feel like I’m rambling but who’s reading this anyway? Hah.

My heart is healing but I still daily need to do brain yoga to wrap my mind around my new reality.
My new life.

Oh Abba, what do you have in store for me?

I’m trying to trust you.

Oh Abba, where do you want to lead me?

I’ll go anywhere for you.

Oh Abba, who am I supposed to invest myself in?

You know me better than I know myself.

 
 
 
 

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I once asked a group of friends why no one ever asked about BJ.

This was back when it was so fresh— maybe three months.

A candid conversation about grief came up and so I asked.

Why doesn’t anyone ask me about BJ?

I was curious– not trying to judge but just wanting to know, desperate to know why no one asked about him or mentioned him or spoke his name out loud.

We don’t want to make you sad.

We don’t want to make you sad, one girl shared with me.

I was grateful for her honesty.

I can’t remember what we said next but the conversation ended well but quickly.

But I could not shake what she had said.

We didn’t want to make you sad.

I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and then I realized—

What’s so wrong about being sad?

When you lose someone in such a shocking and traumatic way, when they die in your arms because their tumor slowly squeezes their heart until it can’t beat any more…

What can you do but be sad?

 

___

 

Death and loss and grief blows your capacity for sadness out of the water.

And it’s no longer a “Big Deal” to be sad– it becomes a way of life.

Now before you worry about sadness as a way of life, just remember Jesus wept.

Remember sadness is an appropriate reaction to a sad thing happening.

And so if you bring up BJ to me, and I get sad– that’s not a BAD thing, it’s just a THING.

Does that make sense?

I don’t mind being sad.

Sadness is an appropriate response to the death of my best friend.

And what perhaps makes me MORE sad is the thought of his life, his joy, his impact on me— will be forgotten because people are afraid to ask me about him because THEY are afraid to make me sad.

Now each grieving person has their threshold. We all grieve differently, but friends, for me, I say what’s wrong with being sad?

Go ahead— make me sad.

Bring up a memory of BJ.
Say you’re sorry for my loss.
Acknowledge the death of my dreams.

Isn’t the compassionate thing to acknowledge sadness and suffering, not ignore it?

Isn’t that what Jesus would do?



He leaned into suffering. He noticed it. He let it break his heart.

He let it drive him to do something.

He didn’t avoid it. He wasn’t afraid of it.

So what’s wrong with being sad?

Jesus was sad. Not all the time.

But when people died he was.

I get sad. Not all the time.

But when sadness hits, or if it comes…

I say hello.

I let myself be sad.

Because the only thing worse than being sad is feeling sad FOR feeling sad.

So instead I just let it sit with me for a while.

I journal about it or talk to a friend. I sing or I’ll pray.

But no matter what, I know if I’m sad, that’s ok.

 
 
 
 

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Found this note I made on December 22, 2015:
 
 
I was thinking about what BJ would say during family game night tonight–
What would he have said, have thought, if only he was there?

It’s hard to think that I’m finished with all my moments with BJ.
 
 

It’s still painful.

It’s hard to think I’m finished with all my moments with BJ.

No more moments.

I’m grateful for the ones we did have,

Though pained at the thought I’m finished with new-moment-making with him.

  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Easter is Weird | andreaenright.net

Yes. I put bunny ears on my cat.
And that’s not even the main reason why Easter is weird.

 

Today is the day where we have Easter egg hunts and go to church and everyone posts on Facebook “He is Risen!” And it’s not bad but I do find it distracts me and makes it harder for me to sit and think and really dwell on what Easter actually IS.

I mean I KNOW what Easter is because I’ve been going to church and hearing Jesus and Easter-y things FOREVER but in a practical way I forget to really sit and think about what this day means.

So I’ve been sitting and thinking.

And in my serious prayer and devotion and contemplation I’ve come up with some very big thoughts about Easter this year:

Easter is weird.

Easter IS weird. And I think we are so used to the word Easter and Easter-y things like chocolate and bunnies that we forget that Easter is intrinsically weird.

Now I know a lot of non-religious people. I LOVE that. Ya’ll are big-hearted and open-minded and just really cool. And I started thinking— do they even know what this crazy Easter day even means?

I ask because I know *I* forget. I just think Easter! Pastels! Hard boiled eggs! Church!

And I totallllly forget what Easter is.

And so I sit and remember what Easter is (outside of So. Many. Jelly. Beans.) and I realize and remember Easter is weird.

IT’S WEIRD YA’LL.

Now before you think I’m shouting blasphemy just hear me out—

Easter is a LITERAL day where millions of people AROUND THE WORLD celebrate a DEAD PERSON (who claimed to be God!!) who they believe actually died and then actually ROSE FROM THE DEAD three days later.

THAT’S WEIRD.

That’s a lot to take in.

That is a big ‘ol hefty statement.

To help you unpack the weirdness I created this Easter timeline:

1.) Man walks around telling everyone he’s God and doing really lovely things for poor people and sick people and marginalized people and it pisses off the Super Rule-Following Religiousy People
2.) Man-Who-Claims-To-Be-God gets sentenced to death even though he didn’t do anything wrong except say crazy things like “I am God!”
3.) Man-Who-Claims-To-Be-God gets sentenced and punished. He dies.
4.) Man-Who-Claims-To-Be-God gets entombed.
5.) Man-Who-Claims-To-Be-God isn’t dead? HOLY CRAP. (PUN INTENDED) Man-Who-Claims-To-Be-God starts showing up in different places three days after his confirmed DEATH. (Multiple eye witnesses)

Now there are a lot of other details but that’s the gist.

And guess what?

I believe it. Like really, REALLY believe it.

You’re probably thinking “Andrea! You’re cool! You’re hip! You’re smart! You’re sometimes clever and funny! YOU BELIEVE THIS???”

Okay. Probably none of you think I’m cool or hip so perhaps you’re ACTUALLY thinking “Andrea! You have some semblance of rational thought! And you believe this???”

Yes. Yes I do.

And there are so many reasons and I’m too tired to list them but for now just let it soak in that I believe this. I believe the God Man wasn’t just claiming to be God but actually was. I believe the God Man died and then the God man, who was actually God, came back to life and in the midst of that horrifying death scene and then really cool resurrection scene Jesus created a way for BJ to still be alive now and with God now even though he died and left earth.

But I sometimes I get so surrounded by Christians and Jesus People that I forget how CRAZY that must sound to basically everyone else.

It must sound like this:

Easter! Easter!! COME AND GET YER EASTER!! Millions gather to celebrate the God Man who got executed and then miraculously came back to life!

And not only is THAT what the Christians and Jesus People celebrate—

It’s what I celebrate.

And it’s what people have been celebrating for over two thousand years.

Easter is weird. But that’s why it’s awesome.

Easter is weird. But that is also why I think it’s true.

If you believe God = Love, (which I think MOST of us would admit we believe) doesn’t it make sense that God would enter earth as a wandering hippie who just loved and touched and healed and helped sick and sad people? Isn’t that what the human/physical/earthly embodiment of love would look like?

Isn’t that what God Love would look like? Not Human Love that can get distorted with things like fame and people-pleasing and a bad set of boundaries?

But wouldn’t a REAL God=Love/God Man love everyone? Even creepy people and sick people and scary people? Not just the nice people?

Because guys, I AM SO GUILTY OF ONLY LOVING NICE PEOPLE AND FREAKING OUT AROUND BASICALLY ANYONE ELSE. I am decidedly not-God and not the living embodiment of love and I would not get beaten to death on your behalf. MAYBE on the behalf of people who were nice to me but CERTAINLY not on the behalf of harsh people or insensitive people or mean people.

So here’s where I’m at:

God = Love.

And love looks like Jesus.

And Jesus = Man who Claimed to be God and Died, without putting up a fight, giving his body freely.

Jesus = God Man who died to make a bridge for us Not-Very-Good-at-Love-People to the Ultimate Expression and Creator of Love.

So yeah,

I think Easter is weird.

But that’s why I believe it.

I don’t think any human would come up with this kind of plan.

I think only a God of Love.

 
 
 
 
 
I don’t have all the answers, but I feel passionately about my friends making a choice for themselves about Jesus after doing the research. Don’t let weird people or extremists keep you from investigating Jesus for yourself. There are tons of intelligent, sound-minded, scientifically-minded people who believe this whole weird Easter thing. There are also tons of historical backings for Jesus and evidence for the historical validity of the Bible and a bunch of people WAY smarter than me so just google it.

Here are like 2 resources because I’m too tired to find more. Seriously! Google it!!

Read about Jesus for yourself.
Proof that smart, thoughtful Christians exist.
Historical Evidence from Non-Christian scholars about Easter’s weirdness.
Video to watch about Easter.

Have a weird Easter, friends. He is risen. He is risen indeed.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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It’s been nine months.

My thoughts on Saturday, March 26th:

My stomach hurts.

I want to write some poetic comparison on how it’s the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter and how that is a metaphor for being between BJ’s death and hopefully a life that will be renewed and restored.

I want to say things like

Some good things have been happening. There are some good things that I can see on the horizon. But when I think about them I cannot enjoy them because these good things don’t even compare to what I really want.

I have good things but not the one thing I want– BJ, my marriage, a life and love together, family, children. No travels or grad school or job prospects can satisfy the deep ache of loss I feel.

I’m just aching for my Easter. My Easter is when I’ll be happy again. I’ll be loved again. I’ll feel full and not empty. I’ll have children and not dull aches of a family that could never be.

I also have been feeling like I’m too strong. I’m too adaptable.

I know how to survive, how to make the most of things. And in that I don’t let people in on the ache I feel.

Someone asked me “Do you miss New York?”

I don’t know.

I miss BJ.

I miss having my own apartment. I miss cooking meals and making tea with my own kettle and eggs in my own pan. I miss my artwork, my stuff, my husband’s back rubs.

But do I miss New York?

I don’t know.

I miss walking. I miss reading tons of books because of my subway commutes.

I miss being able to go out for a drink and just taking the subway home because you don’t have to be responsible for a vehicle.

I miss being within walking distance from my friends and church.

But do I miss New York?

I don’t know

Maybe I’m too adaptable. Too strong.

Where ever I go, I try to make the best life I can.

I don’t know where I’ll end up. And I honestly don’t care.

I don’t care if it’s New York or Oregon or Tanzania–

I just want love and family and people who love me and a mission I’m fulfilling for the Kingdom of God.

People I love and who love me, not a place.
A restoration in my life of all that’s been broken, not a specific city or country.

In this tension, I also feel like if I never met another person for the rest of my life I’d be perfectly fine. I mean I love people, but I desire to be known. In the absence of the man who knew me better than any one human on this planet, I have hundreds of people who sorta know me.

So I find myself surrounded by people- at school, at church, in my grief group, friends online, friends abroad, family members, acquaintances, strangers.

People EVERYWHERE…

And yet I can’t think of 12 people near me who I could invite to a dinner party.

Not that I could HAVE a dinner party. I don’t have my own home. My own space.

I could host one but it wouldn’t be really mine, with the silverware I picked out on our wedding registry, or my mosaic fish platter, or the beautiful wooden salad bowls our friends picked out for us.

And it wouldn’t be in my oven with my spatula.

Also,

Seeing pictures of him is really hard. Pictures of us. Of our life.

It’s like looking at pictures of a life I’m not allowed to live.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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