Thursday, June 08, 2006

In awe

A little over two years ago, I was celebrating my 26th birthday. I had just met my boyfriend, and everything was still in the beginning stages, at it was all so exciting. But a few days later, I heard that an old friend of mine had lost her husband in Iraq, on my birthday. It made very clear to me what it meant to be dating a soldier.

And as fate would have it, she happened to be visiting Germany, and we had plans when I heard the news about the Big Windy 25 crash. She and another friend stayed at my place until late in the night, keeping me company during those hours of uncertainty. I couldn't believe she was so strong, to be sitting there with me, comforting me, when she had lost her husband 9 months before in similar circumstances. I am sure it was a little too close to home for her, but nevertheless she stayed.

Her college alumni newspaper published an article about her, and I can only echo their sentiments, and be in awe of her grace and dignity:

[...]McCrae also said she now realizes that Americans generally do not know how to grieve. She said many people attribute war deaths to the youth and inexperience of the soldiers.“They all knew they could go to war when they signed the dotted line,” McCrae said. “Of course you don’t know what it’s like to see a body in pieces on the ground or to smell burning flesh—you can’t prepare yourself for those things. But none of them didn’t know what he was getting into.”[...]

“Heather has a way of surviving on her own,” Elegant said. “She doesn’t need us to protect her, but she lets us for our sake.”

This echos Heidi Sims' words:

[...] McCrae may be surviving, but she said she will never be able to move on, and she said it is wrong to ask someone who has experienced such a loss to do so.“You never move on,” McCrae said. “You learn to live with. You learn how to let go of the pain to some extent but hold on to the memory. You learn how to, instead of being consumed by the grief, allow the grief to accompany you forward in life.”

Grief, McCrae said, is important in any loss, whether it be the death of a spouse or a change of career or location.“I’m proud of myself for not running from my grief, for not listening to a lot of advice from people about what I should be doing,” McCrae said.


Blogger Heidi said...

Thanks for sharing that article. Your friends name sounds very familiar . . . maybe she is on the same message board that I write about sometimes. It sounds like we have the same outlook and thoughts. I woke up to amazing news and it reassured me that it is worth it . . .

4:07 PM  
Blogger Day by Day said...

Your friend sounds amazing...

4:32 PM  
Blogger MQ said...

I pray for these women all the time. They are heroes too.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Wow...great article.

BTW--apologizes for being such a downer on June 4--your birthday! I'm glad you brought that to my attention because now I will think of that and not my Croatian escapades! Hope you had a good one :)

5:27 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Wow, she sounds like quite the woman and someone to admire.

7:15 PM  

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